Building A Strong Marketing Automation Foundation

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Building A Strong Marketing Automation Foundation

If you are like me, you have probably seen TV shows that deal in home decoration or renovation where the goal is to ultimately go to market with a stunning piece or art.  But one show that continuously captivates me is Holmes on Homes, where Mike Holmes goes into a home, finds all the issues (and then some) so that the owners can have piece of mind knowing their roof won’t leak anymore or they won’t have their basement flood.

Having spent the last 10 years working in Eloqua with 100s of clients maximizing their investment in marketing automation, I have seen my share of drafty rooms, slanted floors and sinking foundations.  Sometimes these issues are clear as day – sometimes you don’t know something is wrong until you pull back the drywall and find mold spores covering your wall studs.

If your marketing automation platform is suffering from any of these 3 symptoms, it may be time to put your contractor hat on to see what is really happening:

  • Inactive Contacts: Like drafty windows, we can often find a portion of our database that is simply cold (i.e. inactive).  Understanding past implicit behaviours can help ensure you are offering the level of content personalization required to drive re-engagement if you don’t have the relevant information that you would typically segment on.  Like windows, contacts have a lifespan, so it may also be a good opportunity to run a re-engagement campaign to see if the records are salvageable or need to be replaced.
  • Data Variances: Sometimes when you buy an old house, you find that some electrical elements have been upgraded while others haven’t.  Having this mishmash can often create inefficiencies and problems when it comes to keeping the lights on.  The same can be said when you have multiple data sources coming into your database (web forms, CRM, list uploads).  Setting up automated data normalization/standardization processes can help ensure that your data is consistent, which means you can segment, score, nurture and report much more accurately.
  • Lead Disposition: We all love walking into a house that has immaculate design, but sometimes those beautiful fixtures could be hiding some major issues.  One of our goals as marketers is to fill the top of the funnel with qualified leads for our sales team to follow up on.  Measuring your impact to the top of the funnel is important, but more importantly we should understand what happens to these leads once they are passed to sales.  Standardizing the way you track the disposition of lead can provide the level of measurement required to ensure your definition of qualified lines up to what is actually happening.  This can help ensure your lead scoring/prioritization processes are as efficient as possible.

Every few months, take the time to review how your operational processes are functioning in your marketing automation platform.  This can save you both time and money in the long term so that you don’t end up having to do a total gut job.