5 Steps to Marketing Automation Made Simple.

Ever noticed a football team practicing. They practice blocks and tackles. They run plays. They constantly go over the same moves to get them right. They understand the underlying strategy of the game. They know their opponents. The team leader knows what it takes to win against the competition. They run plays. They block. They tackle.

So, what makes marketing automation so different? Why do we make it so complicated? There are basic blocks and tackles that must be done in order to optimize your system. Most people never get to these because they are too busy trying to get fancy. However, if we get back to the basics and focus on the blocks and tackles, how much more effective could we be? 

BASIC BLOCKS and TACKLES of Marketing Automation

1. Know your audience. Really understand who your customer is and provide relevant content to them at the right time. This sounds really easy. This sounds like a no-brainer. However, how many companies actually send you the right information at the right time. Think about it. Content is King only when it is relevant to the individual…otherwise, content is just content. 

2. Feel the rhythm. There should be a cadence to your messaging. Not just slap it on the wall and see what sticks. Be thoughtful in both the content and the timing of your communications.

3. Leverage Social. Everyone is talking about social media, but few are truly using it as one of the levers in marketing. This can be your greatest asset. A great example of a company using Social Media daily is Mashery in San Francisco. They listen to their tweets. They know what people are saying about them and respond virtually instantly. Remember, your customers are speaking, are you listening?

4. Provide Value. Don’t sell. Selling to your customers is a thing of the past. When customers approach, they are already in the buying process. Be the hero and provide them with education that will help move them along the buyers journey. Be their expert consultant and you will score a touchdown. 

5. Keep Score. Many marketers forget this all-important step or create such wildly complicated KPI’s (key performance indicators) that is becomes impossible to track. Keep score. Keep it simple. Perhaps all you can do to start out is track number of leads and number of conversions. Fine, do that. Then, with more practice, you will be able to add how many interceptions you did…for example, at one company we started with the basics. Got that down to a science, then added more complicated KPI’s. Within one year we were tracking the whole funnel with certainty. 

Basic blocks and tackles. Keep it simple. Do it consistently. Watch your numbers grow. Don’t waste time on trying to be fancy. Authenticity comes through in the simplest of ways. Educate your clients. Know what matters and most of all, have fun playing the game. Play to win.

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Batch and Blast No More!

Do you or someone you know still perform batch and blast approach to email marketing? This type of email marketing gets the blood pumping and leads flowing in the door, right? Well, while this appears to be true at the onset, please be aware that the long term viability of this strategy is far from exciting.

Many companies are still leveraging this batch and blast method sometimes multiple times per month or, dare I say, a week. This type of marketing does bring leads into the system, however it truly undermines the credibility of marketing to sales and impacts this relationship in a negative way. Why?

The leads that come from the batch and blast strategy are frequent, yes, but they lack the authenticity and quality that comes from a programmed approach where thoughtful content is delivered at an acceptable cadence to the right audience at the right time. When, forming a marketing outreach strategy with a thoughtful approach the quality of the leads go way up as does the way marketing is perceived by the sales department. It takes a bit more time, a lot more thought and some planning, but well-crafted content delivered at the right time, to the right audience is mission critical in this new era of marketing automation.

Remember, marketing automation does NOT give us a license to batch and blast. That ship has sailed.

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