echnology without a good strategy is a wasted cost. Likewise, a good strategy without an effective execution platform will fail to reach its full potential.
Contrary to popular belief, marketing automation can be both simple and inexpensive. Even small or heavily sales-driven (versus marketing-driven) organisations can create a seamless digital program that fully integrates across multiple systems for a fraction of the cost of enterprise automation platforms.
If your organisation uses a smorgasbord of unintegrated, free and/or paid applications to manage prospects, leads, customers, email distribution, social media publishing, website analytics, and advertising performance then this is the article for you. If you’re just looking to maximise the features of your existing marketing automation software then read on too as we provide tips on a simple and effective marketing funnel.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a marketing technology (Martech) stack – you can attain the same outcome in many different ways depending on your objectives and budget. There is also no single automation platform that manages everything in one place – you will always need to integrate systems, even on the most sophisticated software.
Let’s take a look at the basic funnel you’ll need to manage. While this will sound complex, we’ll explain how it can be done very simply:
Drive traffic to website -> capture leads -> retarget unconverted traffic -> capture returning visitor leads -> nurture leads via email -> track sources of revenue -> measure and improve
- To drive traffic to your website you’ll need paid and organic promotion including social media, search engines, paid media, referrals, etc. For organic social posts, you’ll want to connect a social media publishing tool.
- To capture leads you will need a CRM. This will need to be connected to your social media accounts and your website.
- To retarget traffic, you will need paid tools such as AdRoll, Google, YouTube, or Microsoft advertising accounts. These accounts will need to be connected to your website and your CRM.
- To nurture leads and digitise your sales funnel you’ll need email automation software. This will need to be connected to your CRM, website, and/or forms on social media platforms.
- To track sources of revenue, you will need to be able to track visitor behaviour across all platforms against sales revenue. You’ll, therefore, want to integrate website traffic, CRM, email automation, and social platforms for a 360-degree view of where your customers come from, which investments have the highest returns, how many touchpoints are required to convert a lead to a sale, how long your average sale cycle is, etc. etc.
Sound complex? Let’s break down what platforms you need to integrate at a minimum:
- Social media accounts
- Social media scheduling software
- Email automation
- Retargeting platforms
Now, either you can buy a license for marketing automation software such as HubSpot or Marketo, which manage most of these things in one place or you can pick and choose based on your needs and budget. Enterprise systems like those just mentioned will set you back from hundreds to thousands of dollars per month in license costs and once you’re in, it’s hard to get out. If you have the budget, this is an easy way to go and not a bad option at all – they are market leaders for a reason. Keep in mind though that you will still need to integrate some third-party applications.
If you don’t have the budget, it just means that you’ll need to do a bit more integration. And this is much easier than you might think. Tools like Zapier or Integromat (and a bunch of others) are incredibly easy and intuitive to use and offer freemium licenses. Taking this route means that you don’t get locked into any one vendor and you can often get the best price on the mix of technologies you choose. Because many of these platforms are cloud-based, integrations are standardised and can be as easy as entering in account details and clicking through some options!
We won’t get into all of the technology-mix options but if you want advice for the right suite then get in touch with us and we can help. If you already have software in place and you need to map your funnel and maximise automation features, then we can help with that too.
Whatever you decide to do we recommend mapping your customer journey against your marketing, sales, and campaign funnels. As we mentioned at the start, technology without a good strategy is a wasted cost. Likewise, a good strategy without an effective execution platform will fail to reach its full potential.