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.