Can't Ignore Marketing Automation, but beware, it's non-trivial

Christmas is time to avoid business talk but sometimes you just can't avoid it when you meet someone that is as passionate as you are about your work. Standing at the kitchen island, conversation started with an innocent question - how's your Marketing Automation Software working out? I did not realize how potent that question was.

marketing-automation-infographic
marketing-automation-infographic

This was a conversation with my nephew. He runs a very successful healthcare company that is growing by leaps and bounds. He had instituted Infusionsoft almost two years ago.

He paid quite a bit of money to get started including consulting to help him get organized. He even went to their annual conference in Arizona. I thought he would answer - Great, Fantastic. I hoped he would rattle out statistics how Marketing Automation software has helped him with his sales.

Instead what he said was, he's about to hire a consulting company and spend two days with them to help with the workflow and put process in place.

What? Why?

So what has he been using this expensive piece of software for? In short, just a glorified automated email system.

Objectives

It was definitely not about the Objectives - because he knew the potential of such technology, what can and should be achieved.  It was clear that he wanted to know who was on their site, and where inbound leads came from.

He knew lead nurturing was important. Yet,  so far it has been a hammer used to crack a nut.

Marketing Process

There was no well defined marketing process to automate. I should step back - there was a process. Actually data was integrated with his business software. However, Marketing was more tactical in nature.

If a list was acquired, marketing to that list was more ad-hoc and not guided by a well defined process. A clear Process for content creation that can be used for demand generation wasn't there.

Clear process to nurture leads via Drip Marketing and Nurturing wasn't there. Leads were not properly recycled according to a well thought out process.

New Business vs. Repeat Business

All businesses have client 'dropoffs', but with proper nurturing and drip with great content, it is certainly possible to be at the right time in the right place and on top of mind - when a client is ready for repeat business.  Again, a clear strategy was lacking.

In Short

I have written here before about my efforts at Marketing Automation - and how I had put in over two months of effort before I got a good system in place with proper process. More importantly, these processes are not etched in gold, it is and must always be work-in-progress driven by metrics and analytics to strive for continuous improvement.

As I always say, it is just a tool. Business is about People, Processes and Tools (Tools being last in the cog).