3 Tips for Simplifying Your Marketing Automation

Marketing automation can be overwhelming.  Where do you start?  Which tools are right?  What if you make a mistake?  In this episode, Chris Casale and Ryan Smith offer three tips for simplifying your marketing automation putting you on the path to successful digital transformation for your business.

Podcast Highlights:

Chris Casale: [00:01:42] I really want to thank everybody that listens to the show and all the incredible feedback that we’ve gotten. We’re trying to decide where to take the podcast from here in terms of what to talk about on the next episode. 

And one of the questions that kept coming up had to do with marketing automation and specifically, when to embrace it, how to embrace it, what do you need to know to be successful? So we decided that we would dedicate this episode to three tips just to simplify your marketing automation. 

Ryan Smith: [00:02:10] One of the things that also started this (conversation), going back to Episode 19, it was great to have Scott Brinker on the episode, where we discussed why small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have a distinct advantage in Martech. And one of the key areas in Martech that we focused on a little bit, but maybe not enough, was the area of marketing automation. So with Scott Brinker, who, you know, we’ve dubbed The Godfather for Martech and also works at HubSpot, who is big in marketing automation, we wanted to dig a little bit deeper based off of that episode. 

And again, some of the feedback that we have received since that episode. So we’re going to get in and talk a little bit more about automation, some tips that maybe help you out that can sound overwhelming and you’re not really sure where to go. You know, your product or your service well, but the thought of getting into something about marketing automation might seem a little overwhelming. 

With that, we’re just going to start a real brief on what is automation. So, Chris, I’ll I’ll start off with the first one I think a lot of people use and maybe they don’t realize it. It’s when you get into social media that might be the one automation (tool) most people use, whether it’s both professionally or even personally. 

From a business standpoint, when you get into some of the services like MeetEdgar, Agorapulse, Buffer and there’s so many others. This is where you can queue up your content. It could be an article that you want to post that you wrote from a blog post. You could share somebody else’s (article). And basically, you’re scheduling that content to go out at a specific date and time. So from a social media standpoint, I think that is probably one of the areas that most people use themselves.

What are marketing automation examples?

  • Using tools like HootSuite, Buffer, etc. to queue up articles, links, and content for your social media platforms
  • Triggering an email or a series of emails when someone completes a lead nurturing form on your website
  • Analytics software recording a “conversion” when someone completes a series of defined tasks on your website

How to Successfully Embrace Automation without Dehumanizing Your Marketing

Tip 1: Start simple, scale over time

  1. Have realistic expectations for your industry
  2. Look for repetitive tasks
  3. Only buy what you need

Ryan Smith: [00:05:20] So we’re gonna begin with our first tip. And that’s how to successfully embrace marketing automation. Real, short and simple, one of the best ways to look at it and how to begin with it is to first as we start any process, whether it’s a campaign or a marketing plan, is you need to have real expectations for yourself as well as for the industry. 

Another way to tackle it and take a look at it is look at repetitive tasks. That’s really the heart of what marketing automation is, right? You want to trade your time in for dollars. And one of those ways that you can do it is if you’re repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again. You can come up with a marketing automation. 

So when I say come up with, there’s various different tasks, whether it has to do with working at a CRM, whether it has to do with answering in a chat bot, maybe it’s FAQs you’re constantly, your service team maybe is doing with it. It’s the document and find what are these areas that we can do that is automated. So these tasks become a little bit more efficient and you can spend your time in other areas. 

Tip 2: Focus on the process

Chris Casale: [00:06:31] Tip number two is focusing on process. Look for ways to empower yourself or your team so that you can perform more value added work. Ryan mentioned is part of the starting, simple and scaling over time that you should be looking for repetitive tasks. 

While that also applies to focusing on the process, if there are things that are consuming your day everyday or members of your team, small things that they have to do all the time and they’re repetitive. Those are great areas to start with your automation. So if you take a look at the process, if you can save 20 minutes a day for each individual, how much time have you just created in a given week or in a given month? Right. 

And those become really good areas to start focusing on your automation. Another key here is only purchase what you need. And what I mean by that is there’s a lot of tremendous automation packages out there. 

But if you’re a small business (SMB), you probably don’t need a Salesforce and Marketo marketing automation implementation, that’s probably going to be much larger than you need. So if you focus on just the things that you need right now, you can implement lower costs, sometimes even free software to help automate those steps. 

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your platform.

  1. Segment
  2. Don’t forget to produce content
  3. Automatically score leads and notify sales teams

Ryan Smith: [00:07:48] One thing that we talked to a little bit about is when your prospective customer comes onto your Web site and they fill out that form and you get a sort of a lead nurturing sequence that can be fired off. Now, there’s a lot of email service providers that can do that. You can get into your Marketo, your HubSpot, ConvertKits, premium service from MailChimp. There’s several different kinds that will get into that lead nurturing. 

Tip 3: Don’t automate away the personalization

Chris Casale: [00:10:15] Step three in simplifying your marketing automation, which is build relationships. Don’t automate away the personalization. And I think this is a key step that a lot of organizations get wrong. 

There are certain processes that you can automate because they’re mundane and they lend well to automation. Because a machine can pick it up without missing a beat. But when it comes to developing your content, when it comes to a certain point in the conversation cycle, whether that email or on the phone with potential customers, you don’t want to be assigning that stuff to your automation software and not having members from your team or yourself handle that piece. 

Establishing those relationships is very, very important, both from the standpoint of, you know, individuals want to know that they’re doing business with a person, but also because there are certain things that you simply can’t automate away. A good example of that is chatbots. I’m sure you’ve seen them on most websites nowadays. 

If you were to book travel on a travel website and you have a question, you might get a pop up that says, ‘hey, how can I help type your question here’. Type your question and it gives you an answer for simple stuff that works very, very well. You get a very quick answer right at your fingertips and you don’t have to go digging for it. 

But there’s always a point in the customer service process where you don’t want to deal with the chatbot. You don’t want to deal with having to open a ticket. You want to speak to somebody and solve your problem. And if you make it hard to find you or hard to reach out and get the support that you’re looking for, that’s where you lose individuals. And Ryan and I have plenty of failure stories that we can share with you about what that looks like. 

~For a list of additional tools go to ARAXAM.COM/TOOLS~

Automation Fails

  • Dear Casale
  • Dear {{FIRSTNAME}}

Ryan Smith: [00:11:52] So before we started recording this, I received a email notification through LinkedIn and right off the bat it was ‘Dear’ and then it had the parentheses at ‘First Name’ and then a comma. And then it was a copy and paste, as we all know. So not just your traditional email inbox, but also platforms like LinkedIn. 

There can be some sort of marketing automation when you send out that type of notification instantly. People see sales pitch and you just feel very copy and paste. There are other emails where you can tell that it’s copy and paste. 

But at least if they have your first name right, then you feel a little better about it. But when it comes across and you have a marketing automation fail immediately, your interest in doing business with them is gone. And that could just be me, but if you can’t take the time to even get my name right, which is a very basic name, then I know you didn’t do very much research on me. 

And this is where marketing automation could actually hurt you in business. Most the time you do it right, you’re you’re fine on that. But it’s the attention to detail that it’s still important even when you get into automation. 

Chris Casale: [00:13:05] And that includes even when you’re doing a large volume of business. If you get the data wrong. The automation is going to be wrong.  

I can’t tell you how many emails I get that say, Dear Casale, which is my last name, not my first name. And if you’re gonna plug my last name in and you’re not going to put a mister or some other salutation in front of it, I know you have no idea who I am or what I do. So there’s nothing personalized about it, even though you try to add personalization to it, and the odds of us doing business together are very, very slim. 

Ryan Smith: [00:15:31] So to go over once again, the three tips for simplifying your marketing automation. 

  1. Start simple. Look for repetitive tasks. And that should be your starting place. It doesn’t have to be overly complex. 
  2. Focus on your process. Don’t forget to segment create the contents to produce. Focus on again, your process. Empower your team to perform more value-added work.
  3. Be personal, use automation to help build relationships, but remember, you have to have that personal touch in this automated communication sequence. 

And then for a list of tools that Chris and I both have used, that includes automation and then just overall digital marketing tools that we have found to have a lot of success. We created a tools list for you: 

For a list of additional tools go to ARAXAM.COM/TOOLS

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