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The world has changed very quickly in the past decade and marketers have struggled to keep up with the advances that digital marketing now provides.

Marketing automation has been heralded as the saviour of marketing departments and it really can help them to maximise the opportunities that the shift online has brought - but only if it’s done right.

To find out how you can do that, read on for part one of this two-part blog post.

And for more information on this topic, check out the Econsultancy Marketing Automation Trends Briefing 2013.

Marketing Automation

You can’t just install a marketing automation solution and expect your results to be magically transformed. You have to have transformation on a cultural level first - it needs to be supported by an attitude shift in all your staff to ensure:

  • Collaborative working between departments.
  • Consistent measurement of results.
  • Continual improvement cycles.

So before you rush off to tell the board how your new marketing automation system is going to change their world, make sure you’ve got the right plans and processes in place to ensure that it can. 

How to make the most of marketing automation implementation

In an article on Marketing Sherpa David Kirkpatrick lists seven tactics for implementing marketing automation, we’ve expanded on these great tips to include two more. Our list would look like this:

  • Choose your marketing automation solution provider.
  • Understand the marketing assets you have in place already.
  • Make sure your website is optimised for marketing automation.
  • Understand your CRM.
  • Know your content strategy.
  • Develop your employee engagement strategy and implement your benefits-driven internal communications plan.
  • Appoint cross-functional project teams.
  • Ensure relevant staff get the training they need.
  • Plan and review your process.

Today we’re going to look at tips six to eight in more detail.

Develop your employee engagement strategy

If you don’t get the motivation for the marketing automation solution to succeed embedded across the relevant teams, then it’s really going to have its work cut out to get you the results you want.

Everyone talks about how important it is to get sales and marketing aligned, and research by the Aberdeen Group has revealed that the organisations that have done it and are using marketing automation to manage the lead generation and development process are:

  • Seeing 40% of the sales pipeline coming directly from marketing-generated leads.
  • Achieving 31.6% year-over-year revenue growth.

So, getting the sales team engaged is imperative. But a wider employee engagement strategy is essential if the customer experience delivered is to live up to what your marketing campaigns and collateral promise.

'Delivering on the promise of marketing automation' from MarketingProfs has some excellent steps to follow for driving adoption of the new solution, while these five keys for developing an employee engagement strategy should help you ensure that everyone cares about its success:

  • Have provocative visions and values for the project to excite and inspire people.
  • Show how the new way of working will provide more opportunities for professional and personal development.
  • Help everyone find a meaningful purpose in their work.
  • Introduce a meaningful reward and recognition process for initial adoption and continued use.
  • Include plans to manage ebbs in engagement levels and drive them back up again.
Sam Davies

Published 9 August, 2013 by Sam Davies

Sam Davies is a founder and director of Zoober Digital and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

6 more posts from this author

Comments (5)

Nitai Roy

Nitai Roy, Online Marketer at CPO Experts Ltd

Wow great. Informative.

almost 3 years ago

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Vinay Bhagat

Sound advice. In my experience a lot of organizations proceed with a technology purchase and under estimate the change management involved, and indeed the need to often hire a different skill set to be successful.

The wonderful thing is that there are now more and more technology options available.

We just launched a site where professionals share candid opinions of different business software systems through structured reviews, discussions and networking. Our initial focus areas have been social media management software, marketing automation, web analytics and business intelligence (data visualization/reporting) and CRM.

To see our coverage of marketing automation visit:
http://www.trustradius.com/categories/marketing-automation

almost 3 years ago

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Sydney Fleming-Gale

There are obvious advantages to marketing automation but these come as a direct result of wider collaboration with employees on how to target and qualify leads.

We recently published a blog on Marketing Automation by Garry Davis of Digital Marketing Agency, Grow Online Marketing, specialists in Marketing Automation. Davis highlights three obstacles for using marketing automation: lack of content, lack of analytical tools and lack of system understanding.

http://www.findgood.co.uk/marketing-blog/bid/320832/A-beginner-s-guide-to-marketing-automation

almost 3 years ago

pk vaish

pk vaish, MD at Livelink New Media

Really interesting article, its important to look into the issues surrounding implementing marketing automation before adopting it.

We’ve always believed that the successful implementation in any organisation needs to come from the top to make sure every employee is on board with it.

Have a look at our recent blog, which includes our list of the three essential steps to create the culture needed to successfully implement marketing automation.

http://www.livelinknewmedia.com/blog/take-top-down-approach-marketing-automation

almost 3 years ago

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Eric Metelka

Marketing Automation software is just that - software. It's a tool, albeit a very powerful one. But it won't replace sound strategy and process alignment. Using Marketing Automation software to augment and exponentially increase effectiveness of marketing within the organization is the power. How you change the organization to harness this power is necessary. That's why this post is so great and informative.

To understand the features of each Marketing Automation provider and to figure out which is best for your organization, you can check out the G2 Crowd Grid: http://www.g2crowd.com/categories/marketing-automation/compare

almost 3 years ago

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