Marketing Automation! You are probably starting to hear that phrase more and more. What is it you ask? Software and technologies that help marketers more effectively market on multiple channels (websites, email, social media) and automate certain tasks (sending welcome emails, tweeting, lead nurturing) as well as analytics and marketing intelligence (tracking site visitors, search terms, A/B testing, buyer behavior). Even some older ideas such as auto-responders are now being called marketing automation - like at MailChimp:
The underlying principle of marketing automation is to take a process that is effective in bringing you customers and automate it.
The first part is the most important - if you automate a process that doesn't work, then you will just become much more efficient at failing to get new business. So first you must understand and identify your successful process, or you must develop an effective one. There are so many moving parts in today's digital marketing - a small business owner or director of a non-profit just doesn't have hours in the day to perform everything manually. Research shows it often takes five "touches" before converting a prospect to a client. That's a lot of work, done over and over.
Marketing Automation is still in an early phase, and most of the solutions available are intended (and priced) for large enterprises and big brands. A Hubspot or Eloqua implementation can cost $2,000 a month plus five-figures and dozens of hours of training to get it going. But here at FireRoad Digital, we provide solutions for small businesses and non-profits. So we are going to help you get going with a marketing automation process you can understand and afford.
This is start of a series of blog posts that will cover all aspects of SMB and non-profit digital marketing automation, with of course, a slant toward use with Drupal websites. We will cover :
- creating a strong marketing message and effective marketing process
- understanding the Reach, Engage, Convert funnel process that turns anonymous Internet users into clients
- learning which marketing channels your business should be in, and the tools used to market to those channels
- understanding how your prospects are finding you, and what is important to them
- automating your email marketing messages, social media postings, client touches
- creating eBooks andpremium offers to start the lead nurturing process with prospects
Since we are not FireRoad Analog, we won't cover offline activities such as mass snail mail, phone calls, and other non-Internet activities that may be important to your business. But digital stuff - we got that!
I've been a triathlete and multi-sport athlete for many years, and my coach once told me - "if your training consist of lots of slow runs, bikes and swims, then you will get really good at running, biking and swimming slowly." So let's not get good at performing a bad process over and over - let's put together a killer process for generating growth, then let the robots take it over.