How to Remove IT from Automated Marketing Work Flow - dummies

How to Remove IT from Automated Marketing Work Flow

By Mathew Sweezey

The first goal of most marketing automation tools is to give a marketer a single tool to manage all marketing executions with minimal technical skills required. This feature of marketing automation solutions is very compelling to smaller organizations and to organizations limited by technical resources. Here’s how you can remove IT from your marketing work flow.

How to drop IT out of your marketing work flow

All online marketing and content marketing require a significant amount of knowledge in HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The problem is, most marketers do not know how to write in these languages.

Most modern online marketing revolves around content marketing. Content marketing involves many moving parts, including HTML programming, to build and connect the following:

  • A form to protect the content

  • A landing page to host the form and the content itself

  • Connections to social media

  • Email marketing

  • Other online marketing for promoting the content

Marketing automation tools still use HTML, but they allow marketers to have a single platform for execution of all online marketing campaigns without the need for programming HTML from scratch. That way, you gain the ability to easily create HTML without needing IT support.

Most marketing automation tools use a WYSIWYG editor that allows you to drag and drop content into emails, forms, and landing pages. WYSIWYG is an acronym that stands for What You See Is What You Get. When you drag or drop something onto your screen with a WYSIWYG editor, the editor creates the code automatically, saving you a trip to the IT department to ask for code support.

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You can connect your entire campaign by using a WYSIWYG editor to drag and drop code in all the necessary places, thereby connecting your forms to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, email tools, and website. You can also build entire forms quickly and publish them online in a matter of seconds.

You will never need IT again to build, launch, or maintain a marketing campaign. So if you add up all the hours you spend with IT before marketing automation, your implementation can demonstrate a savings of time and money based on the hours saved and devoted to more marketing-focused efforts.

When you are considering marketing automation, make sure that you are looking closely at the level of flexibility of the WYSIWYG application. Dragging and dropping content is limited by the WYSIWYG editor’s features, so make sure that the application you choose allows you to build the programs you want to run.

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The single prospect record

Marketing involves targeting groups of people and individuals within those groups. Without marketing automation, IT is usually responsible for making sure that mass-marketing efforts are tracked on an individual level. This is because large databases are involved to connect multiple data points from multiple marketing applications.

Marketing automation solves this issue without IT because all efforts are executed from a single tool. Sharing a single database allows for all marketing efforts to be attributed to an individual in a database, creating a single-prospect record.

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Using marketing automation, a single-prospect record can easily show the prospect’s individual engagement with sales and marketing, all on the same screen.

With marketing automation in place, the idea of a single-prospect record is no longer an issue for IT to solve. That’s because a singular platform for execution allows for a single-prospect view of marketing engagement. Showing the value of automating single-prospect records to both marketing and sales will help you show a lot of value for your investment in marketing automation.

Sometimes automation needs a hand

Not everything can be automated. In fact, trying to go with 100 percent automation is not always best. Many companies use automation and still manually inspect each lead using a member of the lead assignment team before the lead is sent to sales. This approach ensures that lead assignment rules are kept to a minimum and makes for an even better relationship between marketing and sales.

Also, sometimes not everything can be automated. Amazon.com proved this when it released a tool called Mechanical Turk. It is a way for you to have real people doing manual tasks that are too complicated to do through software. An example is finding contact information for people. If Amazon sees the value in manual tasks, you should, too.

Overautomating processes is one of the more frequent issues that companies run into. Whenever you think marketing automation should get you 100 percent automated, remember Frankenstein. You are building a monster when you do this, and overautomation will become the slave of your tool. The main causes of overbuilding are people who are new to marketing automation, or those who did not invest enough time in understanding marketing automation processes.

If you find yourself wondering why one simple task takes a number of interdependent rules, you are probably trying to overautomate, or you have a bad process in place.

Marketing automation tools are built with best practices in mind. If your processes are not following best practices, you need to rework your processes to fit into a new tool. Failing to do so can cause lots of issues with process flow.

If you find yourself in an overautomated environment, start changing the amount of automation by going back to your main goals. Work with your vendor to identify modern best practices for achieving your goals, and see whether your vendor can suggest a better way through a new process or a feature you’re not aware of.