Marketers are just starting to understand the possibilities of MarTech and what it can mean for advertising in general. There is now a seemingly never-ending amount of technology to boost various elements in a wide range of strategies.
As with most things, there's always a tendency to over-complicate matters, especially when it comes to tech. Understanding the basic principles of marketing automation will help guide your digital strategy and identify the areas in which this type of tech can support your campaign.
Here are the five fundamental truths of marketing automation:
1. It relies on an effective strategy
Some people like to think that picking the right software is the most important decision and everything else will follow seamlessly. Unfortunately, as crucial as it is to find an automation platform that works for your unique needs, the hard work doesn't end there.
Like every other area of marketing - and indeed business as a whole - having the right strategy in place is crucial. Automation won't solve any of your problems unless everyone on the marketing team understands what it's for and how it will realize one or more of your objectives.
2. Simplicity is key
Keeping things simple is key when it comes to integrating any sort of automation. It should make marketing easier, not more complicated, so focus on finding solutions that save time, money or stress. It's natural for marketers to want to get involved in the newest, most innovative automation application, but if it doesn't work for your unique needs, it's worthless.
It's also important to think about the user experience, as any software you pick should be easy and hassle-free for everyone to use, requiring minimal training and entry-level knowledge. This means it will be as accessible as possible, allowing you to get a better return on investment.
3. Multi-channel marketing isn't just an option
Any strategy of value will include more than one channel and marketing automation should always compliment this. Multi-channel marketing is no longer an option for marketers but more of a fundamental, so you should always be looking for automation that will facilitate this. By their very nature, multi-channel campaigns can be complicated and intricate, but automation should look to streamline your efforts, while bringing information into one inclusive place.
Think about the channels that are most important to you as a brand and prioritize automation that focuses on these core elements. This will save you a lot of time in the long term. It's much easier to find a solution that offers what you need as standard, rather than trying to force it to work.
4. One size does not fit all
Marketing automation should be as unique as the brand it's serving, so prioritize software that comes with elements that are either designed for your organization or can be customized with as little hassle as possible. This doesn't mean you shouldn't learn from other brands or even your competitors, but don't be influenced entirely by what other companies are opting for. You need to find marketing automation that benefits your organization and will help to realize your objectives in the most reliable way.
Marketing automation should work for you, not the other way round, so don't settle for a solution just because it's the first one you used or the cheapest on the market. It's an investment just like any other area of marketing, so consider your options carefully.
5. It should feel empowering
From customer and market segmentation to complete measurability, marketing automation should feel empowering. It allows you to do more than ever before, with less legwork and better results - when implemented effectively it should empower everyone on the team. The trap is that many marketers look at it like other software, and view using it as a chore that needs to be performed, rather than a tool that can be leveraged.
The entire team should feel excited by what automation does for them and what it allows them to achieve. If not, chances are you're using the wrong solution, so shop around and find one with elements that really excite you and your team.
These marketing automation fundamentals should help you find the solutions that work best for your brand, allowing you to realize the true potential of your campaign. As with any technology, marketing automation is almost constantly changing and evolving, so it's important that you are regularly reassessing the elements you need and whether your current solution is the best fit or not.