Marketing automation can bring you and your team great power, and as Spider Man’s Uncle Ben once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I’m pretty sure he ripped that off from Voltaire, but whatever, stay with me here. Once you’ve got your marketing automation implemented, you need to use your new powers with respect and caution.
Here’s are five internal processes to make you a marketing automation superhero:
1) Be like Iron Man’s Jarvis: Have a Plan.
Define your request process and standards – you might even want to create a marketing automation playbook. Whether you’re the one creating content and campaigns, or the one executing those assets in your marketing automation platform, you need to have a well-defined Standard Operation Procedure in place.
As a Marketing Automation Specialist at Hyland Software, I’m the end of the process for campaigns. A campaign specialist submits all of his or her content, graphics and information to me via a request form, and then follows a defined submission process. Our templates and regulations help us execute a high volume of campaign builds. This helps us remain consistent and there are never any questions about who does what. Having well thought-out internal processes like this are also ideal for training new hires.
2) Make Your Requests as Foolproof as Batman’s Utility Belt.
Encourage those who want a marketing automation request fulfilled to use the templates you’ve provided. This helps ensure that you’ll have all the information you need to execute the request, and will save a lot of time/confusion during the process. Even if you only have one person providing the content and executing it in your marketing automation, I still encourage you to build yourself a set of request templates to work from. These can be fairly simple, or more complex to reflect your own internal processes.
3) Keep it In Check! No Hulk Smash!
Even though I’m at end of the process, I still need to keep myself in check. Nothing is worse than an “oopsie” that could have been easily avoided! Key steps for me are using program templates as starting points and running through checklists. I really like this checklist from Marketo focusing on deliverability and creative. It is so easy to forgot to check certain things if you are in a hurry, standardized checklists, whether internal or the one like Marketo provides, are critical to ensure that all of your boxes get checked.
4) Test! Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) Didn’t Stop at Suit #1, and Neither Should You
Even the simplest tests can pay big dividends. If you are not testing subject lines on your emails, I implore you to start today. Make this step a standard piece of your process, and you’re likely to start seeing big improvements on your click and open rates. Plus, through testing, you can confirm or deny any hypothesis you may have, such as “I think this email got a low click-through rate because of the poorly positioned call-to-action”. Without any proof, your boss might be pointing the finger at you for creating a bad email. For best practices on how to perform a test, check out the blog post A/B Experimenting: Perform Tests That Can’t Be Ignored.
5) Like S.H.I.E.L.D’s Agent Coulson, Unite and Reward Your Team
To get buy-in for marketing automation at your organization, you need to be its biggest cheerleader. Create and advocate automation internally by discussing its benefits and real life successes. Something as simple as a monthly email sent to your leadership team about marketing automation successes can go a long way toward gathering support your efforts. Your executives will want to know that your marketing automation ROI is going through the rough. Oh, and never underestimate the power of balloons and cupcakes!
If your company uses marketing automation, what internal processes do you use to keep your superpowers in check? Let us know in the comments section below.