5 March 2021
When it comes to digital transformation in marketing, we often see companies focus on technology first. They buy several software solutions and take the plunge without considering the technology’s surrounding elements. A year later, we find that organisations have made little progress in business maturity or adoption level.
This is because digital transformation is much more than merely buying IT tools and hoping they work. It’s about buying the right digital capabilities, supporting your team in learning the right skills and changing the processes along the way.
One of the most essential digital capabilities you can invest in is marketing automation, and it plays a critical role in achieving digital transformation for your company. However, simply knowing this fact is not going to change much for any company. That’s why we’ve created this blog post to help you understand why automation is essential for your company’s digital transformation and how you should go about doing it.
The world has evolved, and with it, so have your customers. Unlike in the past, they now can select and choose which services they interact with, which to block out, and give negative reviews online. It’s more important now than ever to put your customers at the centre of everything your company does.
To achieve this, businesses must build up a comprehensive experience for their customers with a 360 view of their interactions. They must understand which channels, style of communication they prefer and content they like to consume. This drives customer engagement, reinforcing their investment in the experience while creating a positive feedback loop. However, the only way to do this is through an integrated experience – and this can be a challenge.
Organisations often struggle to offer an integrated experience to their customers. This could be down to many factors, but some of the most common reasons include a lack of integration between systems or inefficient processes and poor collaboration due to siloed departments. Some companies even experience an overload of data but no way to generate actionable insights from that data. Others lack a team with the right capabilities and skills.
Whatever the reason, the result is the same – the company becomes stagnant, their customers gradually lose interest, and they struggle to maintain relevancy.
The truth is, it’s complicated to realise an integrated and consistent customer experience across various touchpoints for multiple clients. Integrated and personalised experiences are created from capturing interactions, analysing the content they view and then tailoring that content – for every single customer. This task is impossible to achieve for businesses with many customers, so marketing automation is critical to offering an integrated customer experience.
Customers expect better personal engagement, and they expect it to be wherever they are in the moment. One of the best ways to ensure you reach your customers is by taking advantage of the countless digital options we have available to us today.
Shifting your customer engagement model toward more digital channels requires a holistic approach: in other words, you have to be everywhere at once. This is where marketing automation comes in. Setting up marketing automation to support this requires time, patience, commitment, training and a willingness to embrace change within your organisation.
So how do you bridge the gap from marketing as you know it to engagement with Marketing Automation? Let’s walk you through it.
To introduce marketing automation to your company, you need to address the core capabilities of your business. These areas will be the aspects of your business that will help you implement marketing automation and digital transformation as a whole for your business.
They are – people, process, tools and data.
“Get teams engaged, ensure a full buy-in.”
Explaining why the organisation chose to adopt marketing automation to your team and the benefits and effects on individual roles will improve support and collaboration. Since IT plays a significant role in the product evaluation and later on during configuration and deployment, they should be involved from the very start.
A note on lead management alignment
Lead management is one of the foundations of Marketing Automation, and you should dedicate time with Sales to discuss it in detail. Unless Marketing and Sales align and share the same definitions, key terms and understanding of leads, the tool’s implementation may fail at some point. Create success metrics and define what a successful campaign should look like together.
Definitions that are important for both departments to agree on are:
Without structure and processes in place, you will have very little to automate. At worst, you will waste valuable time and money automating flawed processes – and your investment would be for nothing. It is crucial to review processes to understand what is currently in place and redefine or build the right ones to start.
All parties involved should be included in the process review to ensure alignment handovers between teams. Prioritise the processes you want to focus on and make sure your organisation is on the same page.
Numerous vendors are offering marketing automation platforms, but their cost and functionality vary dramatically. These differences are due to their focus on specific target markets, and it is worth researching to find out which one serves your organisation the best.
Your choice will depend on the size of your company and the budget and resources you have available. Focus on more than just the tool’s features and capabilities and look at how well it will fit into your organisation and meet your business’s needs.
Better automation goes hand-in-hand with real-time access to customer data and behaviours, including digital and non-digital touchpoints. It comes as no surprise that advances in technology further empower marketers to put customers at the centre of the experience, personalising messages and delivering them when customers are most receptive to their content. Combining deeper and richer data sets with learning models, marketers can create granular content and trust automation to deliver that content optimally at scale.
Simply put, the marketing tech of the future can do what humans can’t. The ability to analyse mass quantities of user data in real-time, split that data into segments and identify anomalies enables you to achieve more specific tasks. This information can lead to scoring models and predictive content recommendations and allow you to deploy marketing messages that resonate with consumers as individuals at scale.
Marketing automation should be a central aspect of any digital transformation in modern times. However, there is much more to implementing and running such a complex and dynamic tool. If you would like to find out more about marketing automation and where it fits into a digital transformation strategy, download our whitepaper here to keep learning.