Increased use of the Internet as well as smartphones is also increasingly changing consumer behavior. With increasing digitization of channels and touchpoints, customers today are informed better than ever and thus harder to acquire. To register, evaluate and understand consumer behavior digitally too, persons in charge of marketing must today form targeted segments and create an accordingly coordinated strategy for potential customer touchpoints, in order to address customers on the right channel at the right time with the right offer, while nonetheless refraining from inundating them with e-mails or push-messages.
Marketing automation solutions help keep track of actions in the channels and develop the right multi-step strategy for customers. But which factors must be considered when introducing such a solution?
Generating real added value for your organization by means of marketing automation
The different solutions of marketing automation tools support planning, implementation and analysis of processes, and represent significant added value for CRM as well as marketing departments and organizations. They help achieve, on multiple online channels, more effective and personalized communication, execution of multi-tiered campaigns, and more efficient automation of repetitive and standardized campaign processes. This reduces fault occurrence and saves expensive resources.
Marketing automation tools can generally be assigned four main tasks:
- Creation and execution of marketing campaigns
- Centralization of multi-channel strategy
- Automation of processes (selection, realization, definition of triggers for a campaign)
- Measurement and analysis of campaign success
Successful introduction with step-by step implementation
Which concrete steps are needed for successful introduction of a marketing automation solution?
In the first step, it is useful to determine the internal degree of maturity. Which processes are manual, which are already partially automated, which processes are still completely missing? In which direction does the company want to evolve? Here, too, it is useful to evolve slowly and step-by-step; the way to an entirely self-learning and automated system can be long, whether technically, professionally or organizationally.
Which further modules (e.g. for data analysis or budget management) are additionally needed, or is introduction with the standard modules possible? How well are additional modules integrated into the campaign solution? Are there perhaps reference customers who can provide information about practical use of the solution?
During provider evaluation, the following aspects must always be kept in mind: Definition of professional and technical requirements for the solution, and feasibility of the channels to be linked (e.g. channels such as call center or mobile push). Compiling a project team (e.g. consisting of IT, CRM) can help merge requirements, create common synergies and select a satisfactory solution for all.
The time frame of the project should also be considered (regarding by when the decision should be made, and by when the solution be ready to use). A maximum budget including internal and external implementation expenditure and license fees should be planned; provision of data management and definition of data strategy should also be planned in advance. Use cases created in advance should be shown live, in addition to several references, during the provider's presentation.
Implementation of data management as part of the campaign solution should be defined in advance; this includes selection of the necessary customer master data, transaction or contract data, as well as dynamic and behavioral data from the order or ERP system. If there are many data sources, creation of a centrally integrated 360-degree view should be considered. The following diagram shows the functional reference architecture of a CRM / customer intelligence landscape:
Checklist for optimal implementation
The following checklist is meant to help select and introduce the right marketing automation solution, taking into account the most important factors:
- The appropriate solution is selected, taking into account the current and envisioned degrees of maturity.
- KMS data management is implemented as an important part of the target architecture.
- A dependable evaluation of the solution is performed; this evaluation encompasses professional, technical, organizational and budgetary requirements.
- The mobile channel of importance (to the company) is linked.
- The proper organizational conditions are fulfilled.
- Re-integration of data for the linked channels is ensured.
- Correct selection, meshing and integration of additional modules is also evaluated.
Successful implementation for improving process efficiency
How is the success of implementing a marketing automation solution measured?
The solution is still newly in use, the procedures are uncommon, other and perhaps new persons now participate in the marketing processes, some of which have become shorter, whereas others take (even) longer. After some period of adjustment, introduction of marketing automation should be checked as to whether certain things have improved:
- Further development and improvement of campaign procedures.
- No or very few workarounds for data management.
- The number of manual processes could be reduced significantly.
- The solution finds (high) acceptance by staff and users.
- The work relief hoped for earlier occurs, and desired campaigns can finally be executed.
- Employee learning is incorporated into process optimization and campaigns.
Would you like to know more about the topic of marketing automation or do you have further specific questions on successful implementation? Do not hesitate to contact us!