Marketing automation is a practice that has been around for years but is one that’s still out of reach for many due to time, resources, technology gaps, etc. That said, don’t despair! With a few simple steps in place, marketing automation can be achieved and quickly scaled.
Let’s align on the definition of marketing automation. Marketing automation is technology that manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns across multiple channels automatically. By carefully planning your campaign and its messaging and triggers upfront, marketing automation technology can take over the heavy lifting of your campaign and deliver you real-time results as you move through it. This allows you to spend your time reacting to those results and making campaign adjustments on the fly. (Instead of worrying about firing up the next step of your campaign manually.)
Before starting any marketing campaign, automated or not, it is important to know who you are trying to reach and motivate to take action. You’ll want to understand the demographic and psychographic makeup of this audience.
Next, you’ll want to set your campaign goals. What are the desired results? Are you wanting to engage new users, build trust, make a sale, increase average order value? Once you have the goals outlined, you can start to choose the tactics you’ll want to include in your approach.
The next step of the process is one of the more time-consuming elements in marketing automation: mapping your campaign. Understanding what media elements your audience is receptive to and influenced by starts to shape your campaign. If talking to new audiences, think about how you’ll first attract their attention. Is it through direct mail, digital ads, out-of-home or PPC? If talking to your existing audience, is email a tactic? Once you know what elements will make up your media mix, it is time to architect your campaign.
As you are mapping your campaign, timing is an important consideration. There are a few timestamps to identify.
- First, how long will your campaign run?
- When determining the length of your campaign, you’ll want to consider the decision-making window for your product or service. How long does it normally take for a consumer to purchase your product from when they express interest?
- Third, you’ll want to think about the non-user triggered timing of your campaign. If a user doesn’t engage in the top funnel tactics, how to you keep in front of them? What are the next steps?
- You’ll want to flight your campaign based on each medium’s best practices, but also your customer’s decision-making timeline. How soon after the initial campaign engagement should you make the next element fire?
The beauty of an automated campaign is that an engaged user determines when they are communicated to and with what message. Before any element of your campaign launches, you’ll want to ensure all tactics are plotted and programmed to launch based on a user’s action or inaction.
By knowing your audience, setting campaign goals and mapping the user journey, your business will be set up for marketing automation success.