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What is a good marketing automation strategy?

You hear about it around you every day, but you don't dare to admit that marketing automation is for you an anglicism in which you don't really know what to put in it? Or you vaguely see what it is, but don't know how to create your marketing automation strategy for your company? Follow the guide!

What is marketing automation?

The marketing automationThe first of these, which appeared in 1992, is the automation of marketing tasks that are done by hand. Instead of your marketing team spending their time sending an email in response to a form filled out on your site, software does it for them, saving them the tedious and repetitive tasks so that they can focus on those that are more strategic and qualitative.

Marketing automation is part of the strategy Inbound Marketing. It is represented by a software that allows the programming and distribution of your blog articles or your publications on social networks, the creation of workflows, the scoring of your prospects based on content, the display of personalized content to visitors to your site ... it is, in a way, an evolution of your CRM.

Oh... Are there any terms you don't understand? Let me clarify for the rest of our article...

The brief dictionary of marketing automation

So that the rest of our article does not speak Chinese, it is necessary that we take a break in order to master some vocabulary around marketing automation.

  • Lead = a prospect qualified by the sales team with a high score, and who demonstrates attention to buying the product or service. These buying attentions are determined by the sales team or the marketing team, but it is advised that it be a cooperative effort between the two teams.
  • CRM = Customer Relationship Management, a tool that allows you to track the interactions that are made by prospects, leads and customers. It stores customer information such as phone numbers, pages visited, and documents downloaded to help sales and marketing teams.
  • Buyer's Journey = This is the famous buying path, divided into three main stages of maturity to which you will have to add the questions your persona asks. The first stage is the discovery your persona is aware that he has a problem. The second is the phase of consideration your persona evaluates the different solutions that can solve his problem. The last step is the decision your persona is about to choose the solution that suits him/her best. So you will find all the phases of the purchasing process, from the first interaction with your company to the act of purchasing (and even afterwards). All of these steps are detailed to clear the conversion tunnel.
  • Funnel = It's the more detailed conversion tunnel than the one you learned in your marketing classes at school. It is often represented by a funnel.

Source : Hubspot 

In this funnel, there are three main parts, which echo the stages of the Buyer's Journey, and an additional part.

The top of the funnel conversion (top of the funnel, TOFU (and no, you can't eat it)), is the stage where (future) customers are in the discovery and awareness of the problem. The content shared at this stage aims to start educating (nurturing) this audience to understand all aspects of this issue. These contents are not focused on the solutions that the company can provide, but on the needs of the prospect. Example: a blog article "How to get more customers through your website".

The middle of the funnel conversion (middle of the funnel, MOFU), is the stage where (future) customers are in the consideration phase. (Future) customers are looking for content that gives more and more details about the problem and considers the different solutions. Here, the content needs to be much more complete and advanced, such as ebooks or case studies. Example: an ebook to download "The 10 steps to build your marketing automation strategy".

Bottom of the funnel conversion (bottom of the funnel, BOFU), corresponds to the decision phase of the (future) customer. You will group together the content that convinced the lead to make the purchase. He therefore goes from lead to customer. The content is therefore rather specific and of such a nature as to make the lead understand that the company is best suited to respond to his problems. Example: "a free trial of our Marketing Automation tool for 30 days".

  • Persona = the sketch of your ideal customer. Detail his sex, age, interests, profession... We'll give you the details. talk in detail over here.
  • CTA = Call To Action, a marketing message that involves a specific action on the part of the prospect. It often takes the form of a text followed by an action button at the end of an article, on a form, on an email...
  • Dynamic content = personalized content that displays different messages on a site, a form, according to the information known about the visitor by the CRM. For example, a form may not ask for the "name" field from a user who has already filled it in on a previous form, but may display the "company" field and thus complete the CRM database.
  • Workflow = a workflow (for "scenario") allows you to create tasks that follow on from each other based on the actions of the users in your database. For example, you automatically send an email to people who have downloaded your ebook. You can put in your workflow that 3 days later, you send a reminder email to people who have not opened your email, and an email with additional content for people who have opened your email, etc... Hop, you just have to let your workflow do the sending and you'll only have to analyze your results as people download your ebook!
  • Scorer = a technique that allows you to assign a score to a visitor to your site based on the content they have viewed and downloaded. Generally, the more relevant content they have downloaded based on their Buyer's Journey, the higher the score.

Of course, this list is non-exhaustive, marketing automation is a very deep subject and new terms appear every day!

The differences between a good and a bad marketing automation strategy

« You've got the wrong marketing automation strategist, it's the guy with the software, he sees a prospect on the move, so he automates. The good marketer automation, he sees a lead... well, he automates, but... it's not Likewise, he's a good strategist... »

We think you'll get the reference...

As we said before, marketing automation is a paying strategy to turn your visitors into customers by saving time for your sales and marketing teams. It should allow you to feed your site visitors with dynamic (and therefore personalized) quality content automatically until they become customers.

It complements your Inbound Marketing strategy by strengthening content distribution the most relevant according to the persona and his maturity. Nevertheless, the results of marketing automation disappoint some companies. Most of the software on the market offers dozens and dozens of different tools, leaving marketing teams in an embarrassing blur and an immediate obligation to generate leads.

At the end of the day, if you've released a budget to save the marketing team time, you need immediate results, right? Well, no. Marketing automation, just like inbound marketing, is a long-term solution. It takes time to implement, but the results are more effective.

According to a 2016 study of THREE DEEP58% of the marketing managers surveyed consider that their marketing automation strategy is not effective due to a lack of a suitable strategy.

Source : THREE DEEP 

Still many marketing automation strategies only revolve around sending emails (on often bought bases and not from the top of the conversion funnel) and are only focused on the company solution, the middle of the conversion funnel.

The proper use of marketing automation places the visitor and his needs as he interacts with the business and moves through the conversion funnel. A soft alchemy with your Inbound strategy and your Content Marketing strategy.

Our 3 tips to successfully implement your marketing automation strategy.

Define your expectations and goals.

As with most other methodologies, a clear definition of your company's expectations and objectives is necessary. Evaluate whether you have the possibility of having a dedicated team working on the project. The time it takes to install and get the software up and running is not to be taken lightly.

Marketing automation software is often an all-in-one tool and can replace those you already use to improve results (emailing, social network programming, etc.).

Choose the tool that best suits the success of your goals (and your budget).

Marketing automation software is numerous on the market today. Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot and Oracle Marketing Cloud are the mastodons and offer tools that are often more adapted to large structures (even if Hubspot is also accessible to smaller structures. Nevertheless, they require a significant financial investment and a lot of your time to set up.

Mailchimp offers automation and can be your first marketing automation tool to get started. The functions are quite basic (relaunch a customer who hasn't finalized his shopping cart, send an email for a prospect's birthday in your database, ...) but are free before your database exceeds 2000 entries.

Finally, why not opt for French solutions? Plezi and Webmecanik offer simple and terribly effective solutions for an affordable budget and a more than appreciable customer relationship, which you may not find with larger tools.

Start simple, then consolidate as you go.

The concern, when you have a new software as powerful as marketing automation software, is that you can't wait to try all the tools at hand. So, yes, it's understandable, but take it one step at a time.

Start simple and set up what you were already doing before using this tool (email marketing, article programming, ...). This should allow you to take the tool in hand and learn its specificities.

Once you're comfortable with it, get into the workflow creation that were so dreamy. Just because a piece of software that you pay for offers you a thousand tools doesn't mean you have to use them all!

Now that you know how to automate, move on to thinking about more complex strategies. With the software's analytics, see what works and where the sticking points are. Perform A/B tests and optimize your messages at every step to become more relevant and increase your click rates!

And as always, don't hesitate to call on France's leading webmarketing agency! Marketing automation and us, it has always been the great Love (with a capital A, notice). We use it ourselves and master most of the tools available. Reinforce your web marketing strategy and stand out with relevant workflows and an efficient content strategy!

à propos de l'auteur.e : Salome Guillemot

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