marketing automation
28.07.2017

Marketing-Automation? These 4 tips help you to get started

There is a new trend in medium-sized marketing departments: marketing automation. The goal? Digital marketing processes, such as in the lead generation, become self-employed as economically and effectively as possible. In keeping with the trend, Evernine Group’s communications consultancy provides you with 4 tips on how to get your company going.

Digital marketing is currently being conquered by numerous automation tools that provide exciting features. Two examples of such platforms are HubSpot or Marketo. With their us, companies are expecting to automate leads, effectively connect all digital marketing tasks, or provide the right content and channels for digital signatures at the right place. Intelligent control and detailed reports are also included.

 

The Evernine Group, which is headquartered in Munich and Hamburg, has made a name for itself primarily in the field of digital B2B marketing projects and supports numerous well-known companies as well as smaller companies in implementing these goals. So, it is clear that the Evernine Group is also fit in the most popular automation tools of the market, is “partnert” or certified in many places – for example in the HubSpot area.

 

The house brings a lot of experience from numerous projects in the field of digital marketing automation. An important finding from this is that the introduction into this field, especially in B2B marketing, is well thought-out. We summarize the four most important tips.

1. Marketing-Automation requires standardization in the Go2Market

Many companies are involved in a permanent search process regarding their digital Go2Market. Specifically, it is always a question of transferring the often complex B2B solutions and offerings into standardized digital offerings. For example, an IT consulting company for individual cloud solutions will find it difficult to bring these offers directly to the customer in the web area and thus directly use marketing automation. Modern inbound techniques for the design of your own digital offerings, such as A / B testing, can help you to find the most successful access to the customer. This requires, however, first some money and a smart strategy in a phase setup, which starts without automation.

Only when the optimized, digitized Go2Market has been determined, it can be automated – and later perhaps also scaled. This means that as soon as your own digital story has been developed and the virtual sales funnel of the customers is known, marketing automation will deliver the results you want.

 

Tip for marketing manager: Do you have pressure – for example from the management –  to introduce marketing automation “as soon as possible”? First, talk to your supervisors: It makes much more sense to first find your own optimal digital market access before “getting involved” in complex automation tools with unsuccessful offerings. You pay for most automation tools for automation – not for the “digital self-discovery phase”. This also means that B2B is often not as standardized as B2C.

Lead Marketing im Mittelstand - Evernine Group

2. Full commitment in automation

For example, platforms such as HubSpot or Marketo are ideally suited today for centralized and automated control and output of content. We will take this opportunity again: Companies can use the tools not only as a powerful CRM and switching center for multi-channel marketing campaigns – but also CMS functionalities and deep analysis functions for (returning) customers and website visitors are available. In addition, you can use numerous interfaces, for example, to connect contact forms, flexibly control landingspages, or to import data from third-party tools.

 

One thing is clear: the range of functions is enormous, however the tools often only play their strengths when they are also properly served. A single person, who is used to control the tools at the beginning of the project, is not enough. In addition, all necessary contents should be sorted and tagged in their own data storage. Without evaluation and ongoing optimization, digital marketing cannot be fully developed.

 

Tip: To successfully implement a marketing automation tool, you need sufficient resources, clear routines and controlled processes. It is not just about the operation of the software, but also about their embedding in the processes of the company – here more departments are usually needed than you may be aware of. Also, the data maintenance, provision and hedging should be structurally clarified, as well as the nurturing of leads and the handing over to sales – which is often underestimated.

Automation can only work if all employees are involved. (Source: KeremYucel / iStock)

3. Automation is not a „sure-fire success“

After the first tips, you have already got an insight into the possibilities of modern marketing automation tools. But one thing you should remember: Now, the tools do not offer a direct replacement to a human employee. This also means that short-term adaptations, new findings (eg from market research) or individualized reactions, especially in B2B, are not automatically recognized and adopted by the tool.

 

With artificial intelligence – prominent examples like IBM Watson or Google DeepMind are perhaps a term – the marketing automation tools could soon be raised to a new level. In the industry, for example, IBM Watson already analyzes all the data from a factory and makes recommendations in real-time when products should be customized, re-ordered or processes adapted. If this approach is also adopted in marketing automation, completely new possibilities will open.

Tip: Automation yes, but only in parts. Automated reflected action no, without AI it does not work (yet). Use the advantages of the tools rather for a partial automation. In the case where processes are standardized in marketing, you can put the tools on the other hand well. An example: Your automation tool allows the creation of texts / text modules. This function can be used in a standardized manner for e-commerce (for example, to write product texts). However, the tools are less suitable for target-group-oriented content in B2B, which should be able to convince potential customers or prospective customers with professional knowledge and personal opinions, especially since such texts sometimes even should be adapted to the actual day.

“Marketing automation is, in a sense, a misleading term, provided that nothing is really automated, at least not at the level of context-related decisions, for example, individual channel customization or cognitive changes in individual advertising (content, banners, etc.) in ongoing campaigns The current effort is to store structured data and processes and, if necessary, to adjust them in the tool, to adjust them more precisely than under current digital marketing campaigns in the individual tools of the channels used, especially in this environment (mostly B2C), the current marketing automation tools can be used better than for products requiring explanation, which are usually individually and specifically aimed at specific target groups and require market interpretation, “says Hannes Beierlein, CCO the Evernine Group.

4. Use the strengths of the tools targeted for your purposes

What simply sounds simple in theory is often more difficult to apply in practice. How can I know where marketing automation is most useful for my company? This question arises precisely when you are active in the non-standardized B2B environment.

 

Our answer is: approach the tools step by step. It is, for example, possible to network and operate HubSpot and Co. in combination with an agile CMS, even if complete CMS functionalities are already integrated in the platforms. Most of these tools provide excellent interfaces, such as WordPress. If you place the entire structure of your digital marketing directly on a new automation platform, you run the risk of losing track of the many possibilities. The Worst Case: You will completely ignore the functions that are best placed in your hands.

Tip: At the outside, build a parallel web environment as a “play meadow” for marketing automation. Perhaps one of your products / services is suitable for this. Place the test environment under a neutral, pain-point-oriented URL on the web. Find out in a separate phase how the platform is most useful to you.

 

“Marketing automation tools promise a holistic approach to digital marketing, which is a good thing, but it does not always meet the real needs of B2B companies, and it makes sense to approach the issue step by step instead of ‘wild’ tools “We are often stating in our customer projects that automation is not always the solution but also, in a first instance, a more transparent and agile communication structure in our own company,” said Alexander Roth, Head of the company the Unit Business IT and Managing Director of the Evernine Group.

Source of title image: iStock / Rawpixel