Let's face it, marketing automation is a key component of any great marketing strategy. While it's not always easy to adopt, the results make the learning curve well worth the bend.
In fact, just last year it was reported that marketers using automation software generate 2X the number of leads than those using blast email software. Whether marketing automation is new to you or not, every marketer should answer the following five questions before building an effective automation strategy.
The Marketing Automation Questions You Should Be Asking
1. Is your strategy prospect-centric?
The best marketing automation strategies are ones that cater to the needs and desires of prospects. Without this distinction, marketing automation can be disruptive to prospects and fruitless for organizations. A perfect answer to this question goes beyond providing demographics about prospects but instead dives deep into their behavior patterns.
In order to assess if your strategy is prospect-centric, you should be able to answer questions such as:
How do your prospects like to receive new information?
What is your prospect's biggest business challenge?
Does social media play a role in how your prospects shop for products or services?
Based on this information, you can modify your strategy to align with the behaviors your prospects demonstrate and make impactful decisions on how your marketing can enrich their buying experience.
2. Where is the value on your website?
Marketers take great pride in our ability to use websites as more than just a place to showcase products or service offerings but to also demonstrate our excellence in a particular field or industry. Often, this is done through the use of blog posts, case studies, or testimonials. These resources make it easy for us to add value to the lives of our visitors but can result in us missing out on ways that our website can return value to the organization.
In order to uncover the missed opportunities throughout your website, you’ll need to pinpoint the places on your website that you can extract value in a delightful way. You’ll want to start by answering the questions:
What pages are responsible for driving conversions?
Is there a page that drives more conversions than all of the rest?
By answering these questions, you’ll learn about the types of content that help visitors convert into leads as well as which pages are the most valuable in the conversion process. You can then create experiments to test types of content offers, calls-to-action, website copy, images and more. Your findings will help determine the role your website should play in your marketing automation strategy.
3. What are the key converting marketing actions?
Marketing actions help us understand how users interact with content on a specific page and can be used as triggers that kickstart your marketing automation. Marketing actions are usually defined in two ways, micro conversions and macro conversions.
Micro conversions are secondary conversions that assist in getting a user closer to completing a primary (macro) conversion, such as viewing a pricing page or watching a video.
A macro conversion is the primary marketing action a user will take in order to complete the overall business objective, such as make a purchase or become a member.
Try testing various marketing actions by using the Events tool in Hubspot.
4. What is your marketing automation strategy?
So what will it be? Should you set up a lead nurturing workflow or use smart content when designing landing pages? Should sales reps receive an email whenever a user visits your pricing page or should you wait to be contacted by a prospect?
These are important questions to ask when creating a marketing automation strategy that aligns with the needs and behaviors of a prospect. You may consider engaging internally with your sales or marketing team any time a user visits a specific page or clicks on an element on that page. You may want to engage externally with prospects by sending a follow-up email containing information about a specific topic they found interesting. No matter what you decide, be sure to leverage all interactions from prospects across all of your marketing channels in order to develop a strategy that caters to all of their needs and interests.
5. Where is there room for improvement?
The needs of your prospects and customers will naturally evolve over time and as a result, your approach to marketing automation will change. With this in mind, it’s important to build a strategy that is easy to modify. This will help make the marketing experience better for prospects and simplify the demands from your marketing or sales team. You may consider adjusting the frequency of your email sent in a workflow or the time in between sends.
Implementing Your Strategy
If you’re new to marketing automation or are interested in improving your current strategy there’s a HubSpot Project that can help. Use this Behavioral Email Strategy project to discover your top performing pages and identify where your key marketing actions and their performance are on each page, as well as implement a strategy that works best for your prospects and your business.
Go ahead and kickstart your 2016 marketing automation strategy with this HubSpot Project!
Originally published Feb 2, 2016 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017