I love a good road trip. It’s always provided me with time to think, plan and be creative. As much as I enjoy road trips, they are never without a destination. Whether that destination is the East coast, West Coast or even internationally, without a clear map of my journey, I will never reach my destination. When we understand our marketing automation journey, we can more clearly understand our surroundings, be aware of our location, know what sights to see and what obstacles to avoid.
We can also become too mired in the details of our journey. And if you have children, you know exactly what I’m talking about. “How many hours will it take to get here?” “I have to go to the bathroom.” “Why are we stopping?” “I’m hungry.” And on, and on it goes. These are indicators that they our precious cargo are more interested in the destination than the importance of the journey. Seeing the big picture can offer us a view that is holistic, and gives us insight that we might not otherwise consider. That is why this final post in our big picture series is focused on starting your marketing automation journey.
As marketers we can become so hyper-focused on specific goals, campaigns or initiatives, we forget the broader context with which they fall into. This big picture view is critical as we begin to understand how marketing automation fits within our business. It’s important to remember that our understanding of this view will enable us to make the right decisions on how to automate our processes and marketing tools.
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve highlighted broader systems that your organization needs to consider as you evaluate the big picture view of marketing. It begins at the business strategy level, then works it’s way down to your marketing scorecard and goals. As you determine the metrics you would like to impact, it is imperative that these blend into your customer touch-points and not override them. If our customer journey becomes secondary to your goals, we are missing the point. The customers’ journey to your business is the windshield of your marketing efforts. It should be clear and unobstructed.
With that, let’s climb to a higher altitude and see the big picture landscape of our marketing automation journey. First and foremost, marketing automation is not a bolt-on solution. For automation to be truly successful, you must consider all of your marketing efforts en masse. Some think that a landing page with a compelling call-to-action is all their organization needs to integrate automation. But this is a shortsighted view. Consider our road trip. Let's say it will require multiple days to get to get to our destination. If we plot our course without considering the climate, construction and traffic at each stop, we may miss alternative paths to help us get there in a more effective and efficient manner. What if it is quicker to go around the big city? What if construction is slowing traffic down?
This is true of your marketing automation journey. If we consider our customer touch-points and lay that context beside the omni channel approach, we will begin to see paths and connections that we may not have considered before. This is one of the key approaches to automation that often gets overlooked. The layering of channels and touch points is as vital to the creation of automated processes as content creation itself. If we don’t evaluate the intersections of the customer journey in connection with the channels we communicate through, our efforts will fall flat.
Start Your Marketing Automation Journey
So now that we have a map of our marketing automation journey, where do we go from here? This is a conversation that will be entirely unique to each organization. We are extremely excited to have assembled a community of developers, users and marketers that have plotted their own journey’s and have committed themselves to share what they’ve learned with you. Mautic is unique in that this community cares about your success. This is not a profit game. This is a journey of connection. You see, when you win, we all win. Here are a few thoughts to get your marketing automation journey started.
- Assemble your team: As we’ve noted in previous posts, your marketing efforts involve a number of teams. As Macy’s discovered, Macys.com was having a significant impact on in-store purchases. The online team learned they had to work with brick & mortar and understand how the customer searches and purchases.
“We used have 2 separate silo’d budgets, we really now have one Marketing budget. And we look at the best way to spend that, what’s the best allocation, what’s the best media mix, whether it’s digital, offline, how do they work together to deliver…yeah of course the most sales, but really, that best customer experience.”
For more information on Macy's teamwork, click here.
- Understand your customer: This goes without saying. When you understand your customers needs, you will be more in tune to their purchase cadence. You will know more about their buying habits, how they seek your product or service out and what tools/communities they use to evaluate. This will help you deliver the right value at the right touchpoint.
- Determine the channels: The channels which you communicate and connect with your audience, will be incredibly important. If your customers are online, than connect with them there. If they are in your stores, connect with them there. If they are in both places at the same time, make the connection seamless. Don’t tackle every channel if your customers aren’t there and don’t automate what you don’t have the structure for.
- Automate with a goal: You should never automate without a set of goals you are seeking to achieve. Automation should further assist your audience/customer in meeting their need. It should never be self-serving. When you deliver value, your customers will remember. They will follow you because you care more about meeting their need than meeting their bottom line.
- Review and verify: This is as critical to the process of automation itself. Always be testing. Always be analyzing your audiences’ behavior and purchase cadence. This is an area that, as marketers, we need to become more adept at understanding the information that is being gathered with every click, every visit and every purchase.
- Adjust course if needed: Marketing automation is not a “set-it and forget it” proposition. It is a complex digital conversation that grants you access to the voice and cadence of your customer. Your customers change. They are constantly looking for value in every area of their life.
Remember, your marketing automation journey is more about relationship building than it is about channels, touch-points and data. With every piece of information you learn more about who your customers are, what their likes and dislikes are, and how they desire to be connected with. Our job is to listen, and trust that we've provided value at the right touch-point, through the right channel and at the right time.
For a full-size PDF of "Your Marketing Automation Journey" visual represented above, click here.