It can be frustrating and stressful for a marketing professional to be inundated with back to back meetings through the day and then have to manually send out all the blast and follow-up e-mails to potential leads, hoping one e-mail will resonate and convert. Sounds familiar? We have all been there.
Luckily, Marketing Automation has made marketing and sales more efficient. Marketing departments, across the globe, are automating tasks such as sending follow up e-mails, social media posting, setting up ad campaigns, and much more so they can use their energy and resources to deliver personalised experiences to customers. Social Media Today’s State of Marketing Report 2019 states that 75% of marketers currently use at least one marketing automation tool. And, why not? Marketing automation allows businesses to prioritise, streamline, track marketing tasks, and achieve scale.
There are multiple marketing automation platforms available for one, from Salesforce’s Pardot, Adobe’s Marketo, and LeadSquared to Hubspot’s. You might have already zeroed in on one for your business. We all can agree that marketing automation is indeed a powerful tool but ensuring a smooth launch requires work, patience, and a complete understanding of its components.
Ensuring a successful launch of your marketing automation platform
More often than not, the best guidance comes from those who have been there. We have made a detailed guide on every aspect of Marketing Automation, what it entails, and how you can best use it for your business growth. In the meantime, here are the right steps you can take to ensure a smooth launch of your marketing automation platform:
Set Clear Goals
Implementing marketing automation is time-consuming and costly, for any organisation. A key factor in making the implementation and launch it successfully is having clearly defined goals and alignment. Understand and know why you are implementing a marketing automation system. Is it to shorten the sales cycle, build alignment, drive revenue? Marketing automation can help with all of this and more. 30% of business owners and executives report they use marketing automation to save time, while 22% of them seek to generate more leads. Use these clearly defined goals to drive the launch and gain buy-in from all units.
Train More Than Sales and Marketing
Marketing automation impacts more than just sales and marketing. It impacts customer service, billings, and even IT. Training teams on the importance of marketing automation and how to use it is the perfect way to gain buy-in from all silos of your organisation. Offer thorough training on the platform and its’ capabilities before you launch your software. Use the training, implementation, and support guides from Pardot Training, Marketo, and Hubspot Training portal to ensure your launch is a success.
Create Visual Project Workflows
90% of the information processed by the brain is visual. Instead of writing out verbal workflows of how leads will move through the journey, create visual project workflows. These detailed workflows help relay big picture to all the teams, gain buy-ins, and generate faster feedback loops. Setting up workflows before the launch will also enable you further segment leads and closely target your nurturing process to specific client interests and needs. Knowing exactly how leads will be engaged and guided through the buyer journey saves time and allows you to market smarter.
Clean and Segment Database
Data is what your CRM and marketing automation systems are built upon, so it is essential to pay attention to the data quality. Address concerns as to how the data will be segmented and stored. Common segmentation strategies include dividing lists based on where the lead came from (website or landing page), information downloaded, customer pain points, or where they are in the buyer’s lifecycle.
The goal of marketing automation with the help of data is to create personalised campaigns for each and every customer, right? So, talk to different teams to identify data pain points and agree on the best way to segment it. Taking time to know the customer, and cleaning up and segmenting data will not only make your marketing automation launch smooth but will also significantly increase your chances of converting prospects into bonafide customers.
Agree on Lead Scoring
Marketing automation helps to establish better alignment between sales and marketing teams by tying both teams’ efforts to revenue. Commonly, there is a lot of disagreement between the sales and marketing teams with regards to the definition of a qualified lead. Setting up a lead scoring model based on consumer behaviour before launch will enable your sales and marketing teams to efficiently filter through all activity to identify the “best match.”
Build High-Quality Content Upfront
You can have the latest marketing automation system that has all the bells and whistles, but none of this matters if you do not have the content ready to feed into it. Create at least 2-3 months worth of content for all the segment groups and buyer personas. Here's what you can do:
- Email Templates: Create standardised email templates that will be used as autoresponders, in drip campaigns, and for advanced nurturing. Hubspot templates and Salesforce Classic offer a wide range of email templates that can be used for prospecting, inbound referrals, and follow-up. You can see some Hubspot templates here and the best selling ones from Tranfunnel's marketplace here.
- Landing Pages: Your website is your company’s most loyal salesperson. The landing page is the first thing people notice and it hooks them instantly (talk about pressure!). Use the Hubspot Landing Page Creation tool to create beautiful and engaging landing pages that generate leads.
- Set-Up Forms: Use your software’s form builder or form mapping to create new or update existing forms. Make sure these forms are connected with your website’s landing pages.
Integrate With Other CRM and Marketing Technologies
Ensure that you have integrated your marketing automation platform with all the existing marketing technologies like CRM, content management system, etc., before a formal launch. For example, Hubspot marketing automation software easily integrates with it’s Hubspot CRM platform. Pardot also integrates with various CRM via APIs. Marketo can integrate with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target and deliver increased personalisation. It is easier to track a customer’s journey and analyse campaign returns through one consolidated system. Get more out each of the systems by making all your marketing technologies work together.
Test, Test, Test
As simple as it may sound, don’t forget to test the system multiple times before the formal launch. Testing and rolling out the marketing platform out in phases allows you to quickly fix any bugs, refine and reset criteria, anticipate common user queries, and literally see if the process works. If the testing is done well, you will have almost no hidden surprises at the formal launch.
Tip: Phase 1 testing could focus on landing pages, forms, and e-mail templates, while Phase 2 can consist of turning on a few marketing activities such as drip campaigns and seeing workflows move.
Take a Leap of Faith and Dive In
Implementing marketing automation can seem like a daunting task but don’t let that stop you from diving into the automated world. Following our tips will ensure that your marketing automation launch is smooth and successful. Embrace marketing automation and meet the changing client expectations right when they need you.
Transfunnel Consulting offers in-depth Hubspot, Marketo, Salesforce, Pardot, and Leadsquared Training and consulting. Our marketing automation consultants are experts in providing the right automation support to ensure your automation platform has the perfect, hassle-free launch.