RAAK_Blog-Header_8. How to take your first steps in marketing automation

How to take your first steps in marketing automation

Want to put marketing automation to work for your company or organisation? To start off on the right foot, it’s crucial to align your sales and marketing teams and get a clear view on the customer journey.

Stage one

A thorough knowledge of your target group’s customer journey will determine whether or not your first marketing automation efforts pay off. It will show you the funnel your prospect runs through, from the moment he/she becomes aware of the need that has to be filled, right up to the conversion into customer.

First, you identify every piece of information potential customers might need during each phase of the buying process. Answer their general questions at the start of the funnel by means of blogposts. Then, in return for their contact data, offer them exclusive content. While doing so, be sure to keep the new GDPR rules in mind. From this moment on, your prospects transform into an MQL (or Marketing Qualified Lead), which makes them easier to follow up on and enables you to communicate on a more personal level.
 
Measure and analyse the online behavior of your leads
Marketing automation software tracks which webpages and emails your leads have looked at. It also registers their interaction on social media. The data you acquire helps you approach your leads with more relevant information through personal email automation. This method of lead nurturing is a highly effective way to keep your brand or company top of mind in an unconstrained way.

Want to keep track of the exact moment your lead is ready to buy your product or service? Map their online interaction by means of lead scoring: you attribute points to each moment of interaction with the content you offer them.  For instance:
  • Clicking a webpage: 1 point
  • Opening an email: 8 points
  • Downloading a whitepaper: 10 points
 
Once your lead reaches a predefined number of points, he/she becomes an SQL (or Sales Qualified Lead). As they have shown genuine interest in one of your solutions to their need(s), sales will have a better chance converting them into customers. Bottom line: you’ll generate more ROI on your marketing efforts.
 
Have sales and marketing join forces
A seamless co-operation between sales and marketing is essential to make this work. Motivate them to work together when mapping the customer journey and the MQL/SQL criteria. Preferably, both divisions should consult each other when determining the different scenarios for each action the lead takes during the sales process.
 
Choose the appropriate marketing automation system
When you’re aiming for success, be sure to take your time to select the right marketing automation software. Make a solid cost-benefit analysis, which takes the size and the actual goals of your company or organisation into account. It goes without saying that costly platforms will offer you better scalability and more functionalities, like lead scoring modules and automation flows.
 
Produce relevant content and refresh your database
Once you’ve mapped the customer journey and the marketing automation funnel, you’re ready to create relevant content for every phase. Attribute a lead score to every piece of content you offer your leads and make sure the addresses in your CRM-system are fully up to date.
 
One last thing, before you begin…
Marketing automation works best when you take it one step at a time. Start small, then scale upwards. Roll out one marketing automation flow, test it thoroughly and analyse its results. This way, you’ll keep your marketing automation perfectly manageable, and you’ll avoid having to make drastic changes.
 

 

Conclusion

A solid marketing automation system and a phased approach are fundamental to make your automation plans work. Once you’re ready to roll out your first stage, get your sales and marketing teams aligned. Test, measure and analyse the results during every step and scale up along the way.

Sset up a personal marketing automation plan for your company or organization. Download this ready-to-use template to draw out your path.

Download our marketing automation roadmap

Posted on
Aug 23, 2018