By Liana Daren
Marketing automation is seriously misunderstood buzzword that has been misleading a large number of startup entrepreneurs. It sounds like a machine that you give all your marketing commands to and voila! You’ve hired a new robot that you wouldn’t have to pay a dime to.
If only, things were that simple! In reality, however, marketing automation requires your own efforts to market your campaigns, send your emails, and convert your customers. However, in time and after using the right techniques it does get easier and making the process much more efficient.
Marketing experts advise newbie business men and women on how to do marketing automation the right way and avoid the pitfalls that could lead to low conversions or a damaged reputation.
Here’s the gist of some their most important tips and two cents:
- Establish why you need marketing automation in the first place: What are your goals for marketing automation? Are your trying to convert your potentials or fire up lead generation? Are you looking forward to spreading awareness about your brand (this will be the case for most startups)? Perhaps, you want to clean up a negative image that has been associated with your brand. Whichever the case, your marketing automation techniques, tools, and resources will largely depend on what you’re trying to achieve. Once you have established that, you can move on to how to achieve it…
- Build Your List of Potentials Instead of Buying It: A lot of startups may resort to buying a list and making “automation” even easier. However, as we mentioned earlier the term “marketing automation” is quiet misunderstood it does not mean you don’t invest in your own efforts. The best way to lead a qualified marketing campaign is to have a qualified and curated list of contacts. These are people who are truly interested in you and what you have to offer!
- Know your ideal customer: This could be an addition to the previous point. It’s important to know what your ideal customer wants, needs, feels, or experiences before you begin the automation process. For example if you’re offering courseworkpoint services, your ideal customer could be a student, studying in college, working a job, and having too much on their plate. Create “marketing personas” and use them to guide you and your company on the type of voice that may be required. That way, what may be an automated message will be a lot more personal and enable you to improve your conversion rates.
- Don’t make it all about you: Many startups fail to recognize the fact that their efforts are not all about them or their shiny, new product. It’s about providing the ideal customer with a solution to a problem. Your focus should be on your customer, not promoting yourself. Don’t just put up images of your product on your website and social media accounts. Make it about developing and nurturing your relationship with your audience through content they will value.
- Choose the right tools—the good ones: Tools and tools everywhere! What to choose? A lot of startups will find themselves facing this problem (the choice) and not going anywhere (or not going in the right direction) with their campaigns. There are three things you are going to consider when selecting a tool such as Hubspot, Eloqua, MailChimp, Unica, etc : 1–Your goals (tip 1), 2– your budget, and 3– your control over the tool/campaigns. The latter is important if you want something that offers you control, and keeps automation to a minimum. The right tool could make all the difference, so make sure you choose well!
These are just “to-begin-with” tips that are ideal for startups. We hope these help you move one step forward on the right track and reduce any anxiety associated with the term “marketing automation”. After all, when it comes to marketing automation, reducing anxiety is exactly what we’re trying to achieve!
Liana Daren works as a digital marketer at social media geek who loves to blog about digital marketing, automation life, and such. She enjoys blogging, tweeting and watching 24.