The Marketing Automation Triangle – Are you making full use of it?

By Elena Savvides – EMEA Marketing Manager – Astadia Consulting

The Wikipedia definition of Marketing Automation (MA) is:

“The name given to software platforms designed for marketing departments and organisations to simplify processes by automating repetitive tasks. Marketing departments, consultants and part-time marketing employees benefit by specifying criteria and outcomes for tasks and processes which are then interpreted, stored and executed by software, which increases efficiency and reduces human error.”

Put into a simple example, if you wanted to launch a new campaign one of the pinnacle elements of that campaign would be email marketing, which in today’s world is all done through an MA tool, such as Eloqua, Hub Spot, Constant Contact and so on. What I’m not going to do is pontificate the benefits of each. Personally, I use Eloqua and despite the steep learning curve I had to make to fully grasp the strength of the tool, I wouldn’t be without it today. Yes I’m biased, but aren’t we all when we’ve found our perfect tool! Anyway, back to what I really want to talk about, which is what I like to call the Marketing Automation Triangle, which for today’s marketers is something that forms the fundamental foundations of any successful marketing campaign.

You’ve identified the goals of your campaign and have spent hours segmenting your existing contact lists so the right people receive your message. Through extensive A/B testing you’ve carefully crafted an email message that cleverly entices the reader to a landing page, where they can either download useful content, such as whitepapers and podcasts or sign up for webinars and breakfast briefings. But have you closed the third point on your Marketing Automation Triangle? Are you making full use of social media channels?

Social media is increasingly becoming the most important touch point in any successful Marketing campaign. Therefore, if you’re already on top of your game with sophisticated MA tools, why don’t you go the extra mile and add in a little social media to every campaign you execute.

“OK nice idea, but where do I start!” – I know that’s what you’re thinking and that’s OK, this “social media thing” is a complete mine field; if you’re not careful you could spend all day marketing your products and services through social media channels and never get anything else done. Fundamentally, there’s a knack to all this and if you want to hear more, have a listen to this podcast

Fundamentally, when I plan a marketing campaign I always factor in social media elements into the overall goals of my campaign. Once my landing page is ready and the email has gone out to my existing contact database I turn my attention to social media. My first port of call is LinkedIn. Why? Because it’s a great place to harvest contacts. I don’t use the same email, word for word, that I sent to my existing contact database. I tweak it slightly and using the groups I’m a member of, I search for relevant targets to send it to.

My next port of call is Twitter, if I’m hosting a webinar or breakfast briefing I want my followers to know about it. Twitter isn’t a static page, so you can’t make a posting once and think everyone will see it. You need to be constantly updating your Twitter feed with interesting content, be that work related or otherwise. People follow interesting people. Keep the content varied and you’ll have a fan club before you know it.

Finally, I target Facebook so my followers and any groups I’m a member of can also hear about the events or content downloads I’m making available.

There are many schools of thought on what social media best practice is. None are gospel. The key is starting small and growing from there. As a novice, something is better than nothing; however the more you play the more you’ll realise just how advanced you’re becoming.

Good luck and let me know your thoughts on this – I’d be really interested to hear them.

4 Responses to “The Marketing Automation Triangle – Are you making full use of it?”

  1. 1 Erika Goldwater August 7, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Great post! You covered so many points that can confuse marketers. With so many options it is often hard to know where to focus your efforts. Thanks for the tips and the direction that many will use to better their marketing.

  2. 3 Ashley Sass August 10, 2010 at 9:51 am

    A valid and very well thought through summary. Whatever the channel, how the messaging is managed and delivered is to chosen target audience will always be key for any marketing exercise. To my mind, marketing automation and social media can influence 2 aspects of any marketing campaign:

    1. With the right messaging, social media can be used to analyse and align your offering in a non-confrontational manner with the needs of the target audiences. Such an approach allows companies to work in conjunction with their audiences, influencing, informing, as well as getting vital feedback and consumer insight research.

    2. Ultimately, marketing’s job is demand generation (getting sales leads). Used in the right way, social media and MA tools can facilitate a high level of customer intimacy and insight to align the vendor’s sales process with the buyer’s own buying process, reducing the cost of sale (OPEX), and shortening the qualification process and sales cycle through analysis of buying signals.

    If this provokes some comments, then even better. Looking forward to more …

    • 4 astadiaemea August 10, 2010 at 9:56 am

      Hi Ashley,
      Good points – Thanks for your comment!
      True, social media is the new “softly, softly” approach, but it’s also the most cost and time effective way to get your messages out there.
      I agree social media is a fantastic means to generate leads, however it’s also a great platform to leverage brand awareness campaigns and get instance feedback from customers, peers, experts and so on.

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