Why brands should care about marketing automation
Posted by: Mason Zimbler
Date added: Tue 28 Jun 2011
When you hear the words ‘Marketing Automation’ you might think about that email Amazon sent you recommending Seth Godin’s latest book. Whilst that might remain the common perception of a much misunderstood tool, there’s so much more to marketing automation.
So what is ‘marketing automation’ in a nutshell? According to automation specialists Eloqua, it’s “the art and science of automatically managing the targeting, timing, and content of your outbound marketing messages in response to prospects’ inbound actions and online behaviours”.
At Mason Zimbler we’re passionate about the power of marketing automation in integrated campaigns. Used correctly, it can be leveraged for demand and lead generation, to qualify and distribute leads more efficiently and is ideal for nurturing – moving leads through the customer journey, across multiple channels.
But there’s a knowledge gap within some marketing departments where brands still only use automation for campaign implementation, not that critical nurturing.
Where a customer journey is neither simple nor linear, marketing automation is great at handling complexity. For example, where brands introduce automation to help tailor messages, typically they’re going from one campaign with no segmentation to tens of different messages across different markets and languages. Some make the mistake of taking existing content or messaging and just laying it into the automation tool without thinking about its role in the acquisition funnel, and how it needs to change to personalise. There are a lot of new dynamics to consider.
At Mason Zimbler we navigate clients through these considerations, handling segmentation, strategy and execution. We typically act as an extension of the client’s team, helping them define the processes and the road map going forward. We form a bridge between the client’s marketing, IT and sales disciplines to make automation more effective.
Working with Toshiba across Europe, we helped them move towards centralised demand-generation to better measure success by country, and even in the partner channel. Automation linked with other channels – like telemarketing – allowed us to deliver highly targeted and segmented campaigns with a much better ROI. Toshiba were visionary enough to recognise this is not an out-of-the-box tool, it’s about integrating behavioural data with all communications. They ‘got it’.
My advice for a CMO or brand starting out in marketing automation would be to evaluate your team and look at what skill sets you need to deliver your vision. Ensure you get buy-in across sales, marketing and IT remembering that it may require organisational or cultural change to deliver.
Utilise automation correctly and your marketing department can be liberated to focus more on strategy. You can be more creative, innovative and regionalised; deploying in-region and in-language customisation to understand cultural nuances, and ultimately to deliver better value across the customer journey.
And if you’re still scratching your head, check out the Eloqua guide, or if you want to know how we can help get in touch.
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