Getting Started with Marketing Automation

Marketing_automation_goldlasso It’s not very likely that the number of channels consumers use to gain information and interact with brands is going to reduce anytime soon. In fact, quite the opposite is likely and that means marketers must contend with and plan for a moving target. When you consider this new reality, marketing automation and integration solutions become not just a “nice to have”, but a “must have”.

US-based GoldLasso has released a whitepaper which hopefully will help corporations get a handle on automation and what they need to do to plan and implement it correctly.

The report: “Marketing Automation for Everyone Explained and Implemented”, is just 8 pages and it’s a great starting point for your company as you consider the power of automation.

The web has created an explosion of marketing channels and totally disrupted established standard processes which companies have been using for decades to market themselves. Producing the content today is cheaper, but getting it out to the myriad of channels consumers use, has increased costs because the message no longer has the longevity it once did. This is a prime reason many companies are moving towards automated solutions to enhance their marketing.

The paper breaks down marketing automation into 4 main categories:

Workflow (MAW)
Automating campaigns based on variables such as timing and analytics.

Automated Message Development (AMD)
This can range from repurposing content using HTML parsing or RSS to the ability to create an almost infinite number of messages based on such things as behaviour, demographic and transactional data.

Segmentation, Personalization and Mass Customization (SPMC)
Relevance in marketing messages is probably the number one component for success and segmentation and personalization are two key ways to accomplish it. Still most marketers don’t do it because there is a perception that it is awkward and resource intensive. Automation provides tools to remove the drudgery from this task and harness this power for your company.

Marketing Intelligence and Analytics (MI)
Gathering this intelligence hasn’t been the biggest challenge – implementing it so that it’s effective has been. Marketing automation solutions provide marketers with a way to leverage this data in real time or at a predetermined interval in their campaigns.

The whitepaper is honest and thorough, not pulling any punches where cost and effort are concerned. The industry consensus is that this kind of marketing automation is a serious investment and takes a lot of planning, process and goal alignment. As well, those companies with longer sales cycles have to be willing to commit to a longer commitment before seeing a positive ROI. However, how much is not planning and automating costing you now? Have you added up the resource costs in material and personnel? What are you spending now and how much could you be making tomorrow with a good automation plan/solution in place?

The GoldLasso whitepaper includes a very helpful chart to help you analyze where you are now and where you want to go. A reminder comes with step one in the plan: “Most likely the cause of the pain is not a technology issue but rather a process that is broken. Remember, automation can only help you solve a business problem with the correct process in place.”

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