6 steps towards customer-focused marketing automation

Posted On by Frederick Vijverman

The trust of your customer should always be your main focus. Because once you lose it, it will be hard to get his attention back.

Marketing automation can serve a very broad range of goals. From eliminating repetitive tasks to handling a high variety of tasks like automating digital advertising or sending automated highly targeted emails. Integrated with your CRM system it can update accounts and contacts with marketing related information. All these advantages seem attractive, convenient and extremely easy to use. But if you’re not keeping your customers in mind, you might totally miss the point.

In today’s digital world, marketing fatigue is real. Customers are less loyal than they used to be, and the internet provides them ways to switch providers easily. Defining a marketing campaign process which can feed the marketing automation engine becomes more and more important. Having a well-defined and well-thought out marketing automation process can help you on your way to feed this engine in a more efficient manner.

So keep these 6 best practices in mind to guarantee your best shot at succeeding!

1. Set your goal

The first major step in designing a marketing automation campaign is to determine your goals and the scope of the campaign. Both of these will have a great impact on the development of the campaign, the people involved in the set-up and their workload. It will help enable consistency in your campaign and make sure you have an objective measurement of success.

If your goal is to acquire new prospects, the design of your campaign will be totally different than when fighting the battle against churn.

Marketing automation systems can help you with the measurement and follow-up of your goals and KPI’s. They will make sure that you keep a good overview of your campaign progress.

2. Gather your data

Gathering data is a step in the marketing automation campaign cycle that is too often rushed. Your target group, the automation flows, updates reflecting customer actions and other important campaign steps will rely on data. Data integration as well as data quality will impact the quality of your marketing automation campaigns.

Consequently it is important to have the right people involved that can help you figure out which data needs to be used and collected, and also how this should be done. Data can be in lots of different formats, contain null values or contain duplicates. A good integration of your systems and data monitoring policy are cornerstones in data management.

3. Design your campaign

When you have your goals set-up and you have the necessary data available, it is time to get more into detail. Define the different communication channels, target groups and communication frequency you have in mind for your campaign.

The same communication channels will not always serve the same goals. Choose wisely among all channels and be creative. Your Facebook feed is maybe cluttered with messages of your competitors and will make it hard for you to stand out from the crowd. And choosing the right channel to convince your existing buyers to buy your next product could be Whatsapp for one but a postcard for another.

The use of analytics can help you greatly with this and push your campaign to the next level. Propensity or predictive models can provide you with great insights into which prospects are most likely to buy. Another best practice is using a pilot group to test the campaign effects and to be sure that you don’t waste effort. Both predictive modeling and testing can be huge time and budget savers.

Knowing how many times you should target a customer with a repeat or a follow-up is also of crucial importance in this step. Finding the right marketing pressure isn’t easy. Luckily, several optimisation tools exist to keep a close eye on this metric and to help the marketing team define the right time and frequency of your message.

4. Develop content

Marketing automation tools support businesses in creating dynamic content, personalised emailing, progressive profiling and even advanced content testing. However, most of your success will still rely on your targeting and the quality and relevance of your messages.

To make this happen, investing in your content and making thought-out targeted selections is absolutely necessary. Creating some fun and easy to understand marketing personas can also help your creative people envision their target customers. The more you understand about who your customer is and what he wants, plays an essential role in producing the right content and achieving your goals. The content should stand out, but also give your customer something that is worth investing his time in.

5. Execute campaign

The execution of the campaign is the most wonderful but also most nerve-wracking part of marketing automation. All your efforts will come to life. You will finally get to see if it works as expected! Which clients show interest, who placed an order, how many prospects requested more information, how is the campaign received (and did the customer service desk get any complaints), which leads do we need to transfer to sales, did everything work as expected, were there any technical issues that we overlooked and that need immediate attention, …

6. Evaluate campaign

This final step is the most important one: keep learning and optimising your marketing automation campaigns! You don’t pull off a campaign once and never use them again. A campaign can provide ongoing added value by using and optimising it over and over again. Know what worked well and what worked great, learn which elements you need to repeat and which ones to improve, understand which customers responded better than others. No campaign is ever finished, it requires constant evaluation to keep improving!

Want to learn more best practices to elevate your digital marketing? With the combined forces of our data scientists and our marketing automation consultants, 4C can help you create next level marketing automation.