Marketing automation might seem like a sensible way forward, especially if your marketing team is stuck in a cycle of swinging and missing. Reduced returns, more mistakes, a team which seems run ragged, lacking clear focus, where ideas are bounced around but few results are seen. Marketing fatigue is common amongst high growth companies who have hit a wall when it comes to scaling one of the key engines of your growth: marketing capacity.
Automation is a solution which, if done well, scales at a fraction of the cost of hiring more people. You can launch, run and track campaigns. Detailed data-driven segmentation is possible. Providing you have the capacity to create content around the numerous trigger points you will encounter once you start automating then you will be in a strong position to implement this kind of strategy.
Which is where you might hit your first wall. What internal capacity, or budget, or external provider – or all of the above – do you actually have? Especially if your team is already stumbling in the dark, exhausted from everything they’ve already tried.
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Before implementing something like this it is worth doing a marketing audit.
Now is the time to examine the following:
Goals. Are your goals aligned with the abilities of your team? Are you assessing long, medium and short term goals effectively? Are your goals and brand values aligned?
Leadership. You’ll need internal support in order to gain traction. This means you need internal buy-in from your team, from any agencies or other parties you need to engage with. But above all of that you need sign off and scope to experiment from senior management in order to experiment, test and run with a new strategy.
Software. Do you have the right software in place to monitor and manage multi-channel marketing campaigns? Are your analytics in place (and are they being used effectively)? Have you tried various types of software before committing, and are you confident everyone who will be using these systems knows what they are capable of? Don’t buy a sports car if you are more comfortable in an SUV.
People need to understand what they are doing and why, and most importantly, need to know this would be an experiment: mistakes should be allowed. Review your team first. How adaptable are they? How strong are they when it comes to creative skills? Are they good with numbers and analysis? An ideal combination is a team with creative, numbers and project management skills. The same should be said of any external agencies you deal with.
Budget. Do you have the funds to experiment? Not just implement, but test theories. Can you invest in the short term to achieve long term goals?
Content. Can you get the kind of content you need? Either internally or through an external agency. This will be ongoing and evolve along with the campaigns, because it depends on hundreds of moving parts, all of which are centered around the customer, which will change the more you automate.
Once you know where you stand, with people (internal and external), leadership, funds, software, goals, and content, you are ready for the next step: implementation.
Attentive.ly is a social behavior platform for modern marketing teams. We help brands and organizations predict how customers and supporters will behave – even what they might do or buy – from social data. It has been used by over 100 companies and organizations to improve thousands of email marketing and social media campaigns.