Whether you’re just about to start your marketing automation journey, or you’re one week, five months or three years in, there are a range of different issues that your team can run into.
Exploring your options and taking the right priorities on board will ensure that you’re focusing your energies on strategies that will not only show you quick wins, but also provide long term successes.
Keep reading to discover the four mistakes every marketing automation team makes, and how you can improve your revenue generation by combating budget loss and time wastage.
1. Not focusing on low hanging fruit first
Many companies think that before they start any marketing automation campaigns, they need to ensure that the processes run throughout every facet of their business. However, there are plenty of opportunities to start on a small scale and build your way through the rest of your organisation.
During your marketing automation implementation, everything you learn and set up sparks endless ideas about how you can start using the platform in every area of your company. But much like any other venture, it pays to have a thought out plan (which we will explore in the next point). Insufficient planning can be disastrous, but waiting until all of your processes are planned sufficiently will delay activity and platform utilisation, as well as wasting time and money.
The earlier you start building campaigns, tracking behaviour and giving users the opportunity to connect, the sooner you can start collecting insights for building and optimising future campaigns. Apart from the crucial step of implementing tracking codes across your website, try to find areas of your business where you can start developing a nurture stream ASAP. For example, property developers can create a series of homebuilding e-books to be used across a number of emails in order to nurture a new enquiry from their website.
2. Building processes on the platform without planning
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in marketing automation is to take the step from concept straight into production. Take the time to really understand the impact of your process. Does it help you ensure that you can place a cookie on everyone you have just uploaded into your database? Does it aim to re-engage prospects who have fallen off the map?
Without a clear understanding of how or why you are creating a process within Eloqua, you can run into a plethora of issues. These could include running out of your database allowance, being forced to create complicated smartlists that accommodate programs that no longer work, as well as inconsistent and skewed results that you can’t use for future optimisations.
Map it ALL out. From action to action to app to decision, make sure you have a grasp of each method that you’re using, how it works and what you aim to achieve. After that, it is simply a matter of keeping track of how everything is panning out, and sorting out any issues you run into along the way.
Pro tip: Make sure to document your marketing automation processes. Along with using it to give a better understanding to your entire team, you can also have it on file to review and improve your strategies.
3. Mapping CRM to MA incorrectly
One of the most vital parts of a successful CRM integration for marketing automation is to ensure that all of the information flowing between each platform is correct and updating properly. While many companies may be focused on the destination of a fully functioning integration, in this case we need to be more wary of the precautionary steps we take during the journey.
As the crucial connection between marketing and sales, the CRM/MA integration relies on the right information being passed through, with the correct data populating the correct fields on the other side. Salespeople could otherwise be navigating the CRM system ineffectively and contacting the wrong leads with more information.
Join forces across Marketing, Sales and IT. Using a field mapping spreadsheet on Google Sheets, you can have each of these departments collaborating to ensure that each field matches and that you can be wary of any fields you will need to create. Every department should take the time to cross check the fields that are mapped during the integration. With all relevant users/stakeholders pulling their weight, you are far less likely to make a mistake and have to begin the painful task of troubleshooting your CRM integration.
4. Not testing and optimising
Fortunately, a lot of marketers are now realising the downfalls of the ‘spray and pray’ technique when it comes to advertising. However, a similar concept within email marketing is the email blast, which generally doesn’t take into consideration marketing automation features that can make a huge difference to the way users respond to your marketing communications.
Among not utilising an automated flow, email blasts aren’t sent based on the behaviour of users, their content is generally not tested before execution, and most importantly, they are a one-off, and can’t be optimised to send out to other users with better content (or at least it’s not ideal). Your team is, therefore, wasting time and money producing email content that doesn’t contribute to the wider improvement of your strategy.
Take the time to find out what your audience responds to. Break it down by buyer persona and consider how you can better entice email opens and link click-throughs. Analyse the data at each stage and implement optimisations wherever possible. The most important thing is to never stop testing. Audiences change and good results from one campaign should never be blanketed across the rest.
The key to implementing and using marketing automation software is a combination of both forethought and hindsight.
- Consider everything you want to achieve before you attempt to do it (especially integration);
- But don’t spend too long planning – start off with something small and simple;
- And don’t forget to keep your campaigns on their toes – test and optimise as much as possible.