Creating a marketing automation strategy can get complicated. There are a variety of tools and features available that you can utilize within each platform. But before you rush full speed ahead, make sure you look back at your notes from ‘Marketing 101’ and lay down the groundwork.
Starting with a SWOT Analysis
An overall understanding of your marketplace and where you fit into it is the first step in any marketing strategy, and it’s not much different when starting to create a marketing automation strategy. Take a look at your most recent SWOT analysis and see where marketing automation may be affected. For example, one weakness you have is content development, and you know this is necessary fuel for your marketing automation. This content development weakness will need to be solved before you start. Another example, let’s say you notice that your competitors are lacking in social engagement. This means you may want to include social media management in your overall marketing automation strategy. If you have already implemented marketing automation, but are considering revamping, this is a great step to take to observe weak areas and recognize opportunities for improvement.
Setting Goals and Objectives
How will you know if your marketing automation strategy is successful? You have to start with setting goals and designing a strategy that ultimately reaches those goals. Remember, goals in marketing can be broad, abstract and have a longer time frame. Objectives, however, can be more specific, quantifiable and usually set for a short term. Answer these questions when setting marketing automation goals and objectives:
- What is my purpose for implementing marketing automation?
- How does this align with my overall marketing goals/objectives?
- Do I understand the reporting ROI and attribution available in my marketing automation platform so I can know if I hit my objectives?
An ongoing basic to apply to marketing automation: research, research, research. Research helps you know your audience and your industry, find your place amongst competition (also known as your ‘Unique Selling Proposition’) and develop strategic nurturing messages.
Don’t leave the marketing out of your marketing automation strategy.
Check out our helpful 14-pg. marketing automation primer.