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5 Must-Do Tips to Jumpstart Your Marketing Automation Plan


The term “marketing automation” always sounds great to me – great, as in, hit a button and take the rest of the week off.

It can be a little misleading to newcomers, because even though organizing and automating your marketing efforts will result in improved efficiency, it’s not robotic – nor would you want it to be, from the customer relationship-building perspective.  But it actually is an involved exercise that will require creative thinking, strategizing and adequate time investment, and as with all things, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.

Whether you handle your own marketing automation plan, or are looking to hire a firm to help, know as much about the process as you can.  Why put in the investment if you’re not going to know how to maximize the results?

What exactly is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is a technology-driven methodology that allows users to automate, streamline, measure, and improve the entire process in order to boost efficiency and ROI as inherent benefits.

Streamlining your marketing efforts helps you drastically improve your lead generation, lead nurturing, lead conversion rate, and customer retention.

So, is it really worth all the trouble?  Absolutely.

According to VB Insight’s “Marketing Automation: How to Make the Right Buying Decision” (2015), 80 percent of users who employ MA see a significant increase in their number of leads, and 77 percent of them also report seeing their conversion numbers increase notably (Notably, as in 53 percent higher, according to Autopilot.com).  Oddly, as recently as last year, only about 4 percent of US businesses with 20 or more employees are using marketing automation software. Think of it: Here’s your chance to get ahead of the curve!

And not to worry – the more you work at it, the easier and more natural and intuitive it becomes.  Here are some steps to help you get started.

Killer Marketing Automation

  • Why? What exactly are your marketing goals?  Why would you specifically need and use marketing automation?  Lead generation?  Lead nurturing/conversion rate increase?  All of the above?  If you’re a startup, maybe you just want to increase awareness of your brand more than anything.  Once you’ve established WHY, you can move on to HOW.
  • How? Start by building your own list of curated leads.  You want to qualify your marketing campaign, and therefore, it makes the most sense to have a curated list of contacts who you know are already interested in your brand’s goods and/or services.  Patiently nurture and grow your own list of potential customers – this will add “personal touch” value to your customer base, and help with your longer-term branding efforts.
  • Who? Who is your ideal customer?  Who are your fair-weather customers, and what is it that tips the scale for them?  Create your customer “persona” and narrative, so that you learn how to think like they think – what does your ideal customer experience, want and need?  What is his or her pain?  Again, long-term nurturing and branding.
  • What? What is marketing all about?  Certainly, it’s not about the marketer.  As you probably have come to know, it’s about providing your ideal customer with viable solutions to their problems, in a way that opens the door to a long-term relationship.  When it comes to automated and content marketing, make sure you’re giving them not only the products and services they need, but also the content that they want, need and value.
  • Where/When/How? Make sure you’re using the right automated marketing tools to help you meet your customers’ needs, within the right channels.  Depending on your goals, your budget, and how much control you’d like to have over the process, fortunately you have several solid tools and channels to choose from.  If you’re set on spearheading your own automated marketing efforts but would like some additional guidance, contact the marketing experts at Cox eLearning Consultants.

Hopefully these tips can help you get on the right track.  It’s a process, but as Mick Jagger says so eloquently, once you get “started, you’ll never stop.”  Or something like that.

Marketing automation really is meant to make our lives easier, so no overthinking – it’s going to change, and evolve as you go, so adjustments and redirects will be necessary.  And that’s OK.

Have lots of fun, and best of luck!  The most important thing you can remember is that while marketing automation is a great thing, never use it as a substitute for personalized attention to your customer relationship management. 

Are you an automated marketer?  Tell us more about what works best – We’d love to hear from you!

— Jonathan W. Crowell