Your marketing automation vendor can tell you everything you need to know about the system’s features and capabilities, but what about the details you want to know? Every major technological leap has brought its share of surprises to early adopters, and marketing automation is no exception. While vendors can give you specs, users can tell you more about the experience of using marketing automation software. Here’s what real users are finding out about the tech that’s revolutionizing how marketing is done and what you can expect from your installation.
There’s No Such Thing as ‘Too Much Content’
Two things fuel a marketing automation system: content and data. Data – firmographic, demographic, behavioral, contextual – pours in, and content pours out. For organizations that are new to marketing automation, the idea that they’ll actually need more content, not less, comes as a surprise. The reason automation is so content-hungry is that it adapts to the needs of every lead who comes through your marketing funnel. Instead of delivering a monologue to a single audience, automation lets you have a conversation with each of your leads. With that many conversations going on, you need volumes of subject matter. From blog posts and SEO for top-of-funnel inbound marketing to in-depth gated content that helps you gather data, content is an essential component of marketing automation.
Content Needs Organization
Producing high volumes of content isn’t enough. All that information is part of a bigger content picture, one that’s well organized and coherent. Everything you produce has a purpose within your marketing automation strategy. Your top-of-funnel content greets visitors when they’re first setting out on their buying journeys. As they progress, their status as a lead changes, and content changes with them to act as a guide. Other content’s aimed at your existing customers to help them make the best use of your product or service and potentially upgrade to more comprehensive solutions. Marketing automation software provides the framework for your content strategy; all you need to do is build on it.
If someone handed you a huge box of art supplies, you probably wouldn’t give Leonardo da Vinci serious competition at first. It takes years to become a masterful painter even if you have the tools. Fortunately, gaining enough proficiency with marketing automation to use it to its fullest advantage is a far faster process, but proper training and a good onboarding program are essentials for successfully upgrading to automation. Vendors typically recommend a training regimen, but what they don’t always tell you is that exploring the system on your own and putting it through its paces in sandbox mode is also vital to using it well. Marketing is a creative field, and creative types like to explore. Allow some time for play as you ramp up to full automation.
Work with Others
Some people hear the phrase “marketing automation” and get a mental picture of networked computers whirring away without much human input or direction. In fact, automation often involves creative cooperation with other people more than conventional marketing activities. It’s a force multiplier, not a substitute for collaboration and creativity. Marketing agencies with expertise in automation can help you get your system up and running, tailor it to your needs, and work with you to create amazing inbound marketing and nurture programs. You know your industry, and marketers who specialize in automation know how to bring the power of this new technology to what you do.
© Reach Marketing LLC 2016 All Rights Reserved.