Deep dive into Marketing Automation: key takeaways

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Marketing automation has been around for a very long time, at least since the early 90’s. And even though most of our meetup members are seasoned marketeers, last month we had the opportunity to learn more about this topic with Jennica Arvonen and Joonas Rinne from Valve in their session “Deep Dive into Marketing Automation”. Here’s a summary of what surprised me the most:

1. You may not need marketing automation

Just because marketing automation seems trendy and everyone else does it, it does not mean it is right for you. Investing in marketing automation is expensive, so before moving forward with your marketing automation strategy, ask yourself: what are the business benefits? Will these benefits outweigh the direct and indirect (resources, training…) cost of the platform? Map your business case and do the math.

2. Marketing automation is no substitute for knowing your customers

Marketing automation can give you data so you can learn more about how your customers buy your products. But it will not tell you why, or what your customers’ goals are. Never try to force customers to your company’s processes. Marketing automation cannot be used in isolation and should complement other parts of your marketing stack in order to achieve the final goal: help your customers and adapt to their needs.

3. Start simple and scale as you go

Marketing automation is more of a process than it is a platform. It will take time to learn and adapt to this way of operating, and it is totally OK to start small. You do not need to purchase top of the line software for learning this process. First of all, you will need relevant content and advertising budget to feed your marketing automation efforts. This is more important than the platform you end up using. Find a case that’s small enough to get you started and then keep developing gradually and systematically. There will always be time to upgrade and buy better solutions. In short, spend money in content and not the tool.

4. Constantly measure, test and optimize

Your marketing automation programs and campaigns will never perfect. Lose the fear of experimenting with new ways of putting your message and campaigns out there. Asking for customer feedback, using A/B testing, studying your customer journey, are all great ways to get an understanding of what works best and keep improving.

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