Shifting your marketing efforts from manual processes to marketing automation is a big step. When you implement your marketing automation platform (MAP), you’re going to impact a lot of people. This includes your marketing team, sales team, executives, and customers. A successful launch will require change management, learning, analytical thinking, creativity, a bit of courage — and good planning.
Once you’ve picked a MAP, create an implementation plan – don’t dive in without one! To get started, you’ll need to:
1. Get your team onboard.
This goes for ALL of your teams: Marketing, Sales, and your leadership.
For your marketing staff, automation will be a significant change for them. Every team is different. You may have staff who are chomping at the bit to automate campaigns. They’ll need to learn how to use the MAP. On the other hand, you may have staff who are nervous, uninterested, or averseto automation. You’ll need a way to get them onboard. Here are a couple of ways to do this:
- Identify a marketing pain point. Maybe it’s keeping new leads in your sales funnel, welcoming new customers, or following up with customers for reviews post-purchase. Each of these tasks can be automated. And each lets you quickly show holdouts how automation helps them do more with less time.
- Recruit a leader. This is someone in your marketing team who can champion the MAP. This leader needs to connect their coworkers’ responsibilities with the platform and advocate for automation. Someone in the team will have insight into each of their coworker’s quirks, preferences, and interests — so they can tailor their advocacy accordingly.
Additionally, everyone involved needs to understand that there’s an upfront cost to automation, in both time and effort. This goes for each time you implement a new automated campaign. The cost may feel greater for the first few campaigns, as your team learns what works best and how to use the MAP. However, it pays off as soon as your first automation goes live and that process is off your team’s plate.
2. Start with a small project.
Admit it — you were thinking big when you were deciding to purchase a MAP or pitching automation to your leadership. After all, automation will revolutionize your marketing.
Now, it’s time to think small. You can’t automate your entire marketing efforts in one fell swoop. You’ll start with one campaign. Ideally, your first campaign will have a good-sized audience. Maybe it’s a general customer welcome campaign.
Think about what routine campaigns your marketing team already manages. How do they identify the audience? What formats and channels do they use? Collect content that’s already created and in use. That’s what you’ll put in your first automated campaign. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you’re just starting.
Don’t aim for perfection. One of the best things about marketing automation is that you can perform testing and gather data on what works best — whether it’s subject lines, intervals, or calls to action. You can use that data to make informed decisions to revise your existing automated campaigns and implement new ones. But you can’t get that data until you’ve gone live.
Plus, don’t try to use every feature at once. Your MAP may have every integration that you can think of. You don’t need to go all-out for your first few campaigns.
3. Create a Quality Assurance (QA) process.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of testing your automated campaigns. You want to provide the best experience for your audience. Your MAP gives you the tools to do that.
But automation can go wrong. Automation provides consistency and reduces duplication of work — and it’s these benefits that can also trip you up. It could be a single broken link in an email. Or your automation could never actually trigger, so your customers never see it. Worse, your automated campaign could include incorrect information or go to the wrong audience.
Your team needs to do QA testing rigorously before going live with each campaign. Likewise, each campaign deserves a maintenance plan. Is there content that needs to be updated periodically? You don’t want your automated campaigns to be sending outdated information to your customers.
4. Use your data.
Once you go live with your automated campaigns, your MAP will start giving you data. This data can help you identify effective content, the best times to send emails, and the leads that are most engaged (and therefore more likely to become paying customers).
All of this data allows you to improve your marketing. But it can be overwhelming if you don’t have a plan for how to use it or if you try to use it all at once.
After you start getting data from your MAP, decide how you want to use it.
Do you want to segment your audience and send more tailored campaigns? Do you want to replace underperforming content with new material?
Your marketing team should use your MAP’s data to focus on campaigns that will result in meaningful engagement and get your company closer to its goals.
How can Definitive Results help?
Definitive Results is a team of professionals who are all excited to help your company succeed with marketing automation. Our team will help you select a MAP that meets your business’s specific needs and support your future goals.
And we don’t just help you pick one. We help you use it effectively. This includes planning for implementation, identifying campaigns that are candidates for automation, and understanding best practices for marketing automation.