Marketing automation system is not something that can be installed and expected to work flawlessly on its own. The success and ROI from the system will mainly depend on how it is implemented and the way it is utilized by the marketing and sales department. Just like ERP and CRM, marketing automation is not a plug-and-play system. Three main aspects have to be considered for the system’s success:
- Effective Methodology: An effective methodology has to be designed to take care of the whole process right from lead generation to close, and everything in-between.
- Team and Accountability: The people handling the system have to be carefully selected, with a person to lead the team. Responsibilities have to be fixed and some measure has to be established for implementing accountability for each team member.
- Development of Content: Marketing automation system as the name suggests will automate various tasks, which improves efficiency and saves resources. However, the most important element of the marketing effort is designing excellent content, which directly influences, lead generation, follow-ups, and closings.
Knowing what People and Organizations Want
The initial step in implementing an effective marketing automation system would be to map the purchasing process of the customers. The marketing funnel then can be defined by understanding the purchasing habits of the prospects and customers. Such a funnel will begin with generating either a lead or answering an inquiry, and will end with the close of a sale. Each aspect of the funnel should be clearly defined and metric goals can be set against the funnel.
Product & Service Focused
Marketing automation system will not magically create better leads, unless there is clear understanding of the prospect and fixed goals are set for the sales funnel. The system is an effective support for marketing operations, and the company should have a clear idea about achieving specific goals with the system.
Automation does not make people obsolete, and the team operating the system is critical for its success. The designated chief for the marketing automation system should have complete knowledge about how the whole system works, and should be able to manage the team optimally, which is going to handle the system.
The job of qualifying leads needs human touch and this task cannot be fully assigned to the system, even if the parameters for qualification are clearly defined. This aspect of marketing cannot be automated fully, and qualified staff is needed to handle this task optimally. However, the system will help in progressive profiling and scoring.
Facilitating Business Endeavors
Marketing automation can become a tool for generating spam, unless there is creation of original relevant content. For creating effective content, it is first important to understand the needs of the prospects, and their expectations about a product. Marketing automation system will help in recognizing and segmenting various prospects according to their requirements, which will make it easy to design customized content.
The End Game
Different personas can be mapped and content can be created to suit such personalities. The prospect will stay engaged in the buying cycle as long as the relevant content is supplied, and the content should also be effective enough to close the sale.