The automation of digital marketing processes is here to stay. Thanks to mass disruption accelerated by the pandemic, privacy regulations, walled gardens, and technology complexity, only the brands and publishers that dive headfirst into the flexible future of automated marketing processes will succeed.
In fact, 77% of marketers achieve an increase in conversions after implementing automation. Standardized automation marketing processes are no longer optional; they are mandatory for business success.
Here are a few tips to help B2B enterprise marketers develop a smart strategy for their automated marketing processes as brands around the globe prepare for the flexible future of marketing in a post-pandemic era.
Why Automated Marketing Processes Are a Must for the B2B Enterprise Community
As the number of channels grows and audiences become difficult to reach, the ability to balance human and machine processes while scaling via automation has become a competitive imperative.
Most everyday business processes can be automated: Order-to-cash (O2C), ROI, email marketing, social media posting, creative processes, and more.
B2B brands can no longer afford to sacrifice revenue as a consequence of internal knowledge gaps or team time constraints. Automated marketing processes are essential to close those internal knowledge gaps, save teams time, reduce error margins, and keep up with competitors.
But marketing automation isn't only about having the right technologies; it's also about having the correct strategy built around what automation means for your brand. To create a winning automation strategy, companies need to know, up front, what works for them.
Before an organization can implement any kind of useful automation strategy, it must establish a well-defined and achievable set of objectives and goals for the business as a whole. Organizations must begin with strategy planning and goals that have the end in mind.
The next step is establishing which basket of technologies will help achieve that goal. The end goal could be a reskilling of employees, scaling of marketing tasks, or ROI, among others.
Once goals and objectives are set, companies must also take into account factors such as current skills, a fit-gap analysis of skills that will affect reskilling and upskilling, and career pathing for employees.
Companies must also note future savings across a one-, two- and three-year horizon. They must keep in mind the budget for technology licensing, the impact of client-facing pricing and its impact on overall ROI, and the overall impact on an organization's ongoing operating model based on marketing process automation initiatives.
It's also critical to ensure people across the organization are aligned with the automation journey to maintain efficiency and keep the human element intact.
How to Keep Marketing Automation Human
Some elements of campaign workflows lend themselves well to automation, but some need human creativity and ingenuity for success.
As the cost of automation technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine-learning (ML), and intelligent business process management (iBPM) have become mainstream and accessible, many have learned how to adopt those technologies to improve efficiency, accelerate business growth, and scale revenue faster than ever before.
But as a company shifts from a purely human-driven organization to one that utilizes both human and machine methods, automation will also affect the company's shift in its operational processes and business operating model, which also invariably affects the customer experience.
It is crucial to establish a clear structure of three internal teams to streamline your organization launch into a successful automation journey. Internal communication of the automated marketing strategy is the key for the flexible future of marketing automation. If internal communication of the automated marketing strategy isn't prioritized, then an automation approach will build insecurity within teams.
Open communication is essential for internal and external success of marketing process automation. Explain why automation strategies benefit employees, how to use those automated marketing processes and tools, the career growth path that automation offers, and what happens when automation might eventually take over their position.
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Marketing automation is achievable when companies set clear goals and objectives and research potential factors that come with implementation, including budget for new tech, consistent messaging, and employee training.
Any marketing organization that chooses to embark on the automation journey will probably face initial resistance and pushback from within the company. But don't let workforce insecurities slow marketing process automation implementation—it's here, it's making an impact, and there's no time to lose.
More Resources on Automated Marketing Processes
Using Automation for Spectacular B2B Campaigns | MarketingProfs Webinar
Three Tips to Automate Your Content and Campaigns but Not Alienate Customers and Brand Fans
Automation in Moderation: Amanda Holmes on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
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