Building a House of Automation
The tipping point of marketing automation is approaching, specifically in B2B financial services. It’s has taken a few years, but whether your firm finally received the funding and is signing contracts with a platform, rounding the final turn on consolidating multiple CRMs to a single database, or finishing the deployment of JS tagging on your multitude of sites, it appears there will be a large amount of us leveraging this capability in 2017
The technology allows us to increase, personalize, track, and score customer touchpoints while optimizing resources. It sounds like a silver nail for developing a data-driven marketing plan, but with all the bells and whistles, it is rather overwhelming to just switch the light on with this functionality. So where do you start; how do you build your house of automation?
Marketing and sales teams need to dig foundationally into the database and (re)define tagging; the “who, what, why, and how”. Both sides of the house need to be aligned on the database strategy; how you plan on targeting users in various segments of the sales funnel and personalization at different user engagement levels, ensuring the strategy maps back to business objectives. Doing this isn’t just about adding another auxiliary eCRM to connect with your CRM to make the distribution of email easier. It opens a range of capabilities and engagement data throughout your U/X. Building a house of automation without a properly framed database is like trying to build a house without a foundation. As the environment shifts, the database will go further out-of-square and basic functionality will be a challenge.
If you plan to use automation for drip campaigns, retargeting, and/or both, it’s essential you map campaigns and tracks, creating segment-specific communications and content. The days of sending everything to everyone (cough, cough –newsletters) have proven insufficient and offer limited drive to brand sentiment. Having specific goals and plans within the different portions of your database should be considered as a target state. That said, plan to fail fast. The beauty of technology is that it provides acute analytics to inform strategy. Expect changes after the data rolls in. Properly framing your CRM and wiring your automation platform allows you to be agile in your corrections, yet resilient enough to weather changes. This house will be ever-evolving, and users continually moving, presenting opportunity for marketing advancements and greater insight on your customers.
The data and lead scoring will illuminate your house. From automated email reporting to tracking customers’ activity being pulled into your CRM, this functionality could land a plane onto your driveway with how bright you house can get. Yet, turning on too much lighting will drain resources. Be conservative with your analytics. Customer tracking and lead scoring is most likely a new capability; you will need an acclimation period to determine benchmarks or simply have a snapshot of your funnel with this enhanced data. Choose analytics that are most important to meeting objectives and don’t expect your data-set to be perfect for launch. Determining lead scoring may feel like a dark hole, but a simple guide is to identify and rank activity that drive business goals. As long as you are using the technology to identify the most important moments in the customer’s journey to your organization, regardless of how complex your initial data-set is, it will inform the learning to push your marketing forward.
This isn’t an all-encompassing guide by any means to building your house of automation, but to have a deeper conversation, would require greater understanding of needs. These core areas can provide a preliminary assessment on what to have in order prior to do more rich planning.
Have specific questions? Please do not hesitate to reach out. And if you have any additional tips, feel free to leave them in the comments.
If you or know and organization that needs this kind of rich direction, I’m open to new challenges in the Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, and anything in-between. Learn more about me here: seangmccormick.com/#about