Successful online marketing requires efficiency and consistency. In order to increase output and continually stay in front of customers, many businesses are resorting to marketing automation. However, in order for marketing automation to work, it’s important for businesses to do it the right way – without compromising engagement.
How to successfully automate
With all of the tools and technologies available to you today, it’s easy to automate. If you have an issue or friction point that you want to streamline, there’s probably a resource to help you. With that being said, there’s a big difference between slapping a bandage in place to cover a problem and actually fixing the problem in a sustainable manner that will hold up under pressure.
What does that look like? Here are a few keys to success:
1) Choose the right tools
As mentioned, there are a lot of tools in the marketplace designed to help businesses automate different aspects of digital marketing to reach their financial goals. But not all tools are created equal. Whereas some tools can cost-effectively help your business grow, others will actually erode your business from the inside out by making you dependent on faulty methods.
When you begin looking for marketing automation tools, make sure you’re actively vetting and comparing different options. While it’s easy to make price the most important metric, remember that there are dozens of other metrics that matter – including features, customer reviews, scalability, capabilities, and more.
2) Coordinate marketing and sales
Some experts believe, one of the biggest mistakes that marketers make when using automation is not communicating their efforts to their sales teams. This lack of coordination often results in your prospects and leads getting nurtured by both your marketing team and your sales team at the same time – leaving them unhappy and overwhelmed with many emails and phone calls from different folks asking them to take different actions.
The solution? Establish clear rules for when marketing is supposed to hand lead nurturing off to the sales team. If you’re using the right CRM tool, you should be able to set up signals within the system to notify your team when this handoff can and should occur.
3) Know what to automate
Some marketing tasks are extremely conducive to automation, while others should be dealt with manually. Knowing the difference between these two categories can help you in the long run.
When choosing whether or not to automate a marketing task, think about how sensitive the touch point is. Take social media as an example. This is an aspect of marketing that deals directly with customers. As a result, you can’t afford to compromise in this area. Customers understand the difference between interacting with a real person and a computerized bot. When automating, choose wisely and try to identify tasks that compliment your core efforts.
4) Track your results
With all of the different campaigns and strategies you’re implementing, you need to ensure you’re tracking the results in an effort to understand what’s happening beneath the surface. The only issue is that tracking takes a lot of effort and time. The solution? Set up Google Analytics APIs to automate complex reporting tasks. It’s a lifesaver!
Automation with engagement
If you’re going to attempt to automate your marketing efforts, make sure you aren’t doing so at the expense of engagement. The absolute worst thing you can do is to compromise your brand’s ability to interact and communicate with customers in real time. If you don’t actively work to humanize your brand, you’ll end up on life support before you know it. Automation with engagement is critically important.