Marketing automation software can help you thrive in this challenging environment. By automating tasks at every level, the right system can reduce complexity, boost productivity, improve customer interactions, optimize operations and facilitate performance measurement to increase results.
At a high level, you need your marketing automation system to help your organization perform existing tasks faster and better. In addition, it should help your organization grow and better serve your customers' needs into the future. Here is a checklist of functionality your marketing automation software solutions should provide to help your organization today and well into the future.
- The "Marketing System of Record": Your marketing automation solution should be a central repository of marketing assets such as audiences, segments, offers, treatments and exclusion rules that can be used and re-used by your marketing organization. Re-using these common assets ensures that your data will be standardized across your organization.
- Segmentation, Offer and Channel Assignment: Your organization needs to organize your customers into various groups such as audience levels, channels, and audience segments. Ensure that you are able to easily and flexibly associate these to your customers and update them as often as needed.
- Scheduling, List Generation, Output Formatting: Marketing automation solutions provide the ability to generate campaigns and output lists of customers in a variety of formats. For maximum impact, ensure that you select a solution that allows you to create multi-wave (or multi-stage) campaigns that take your customers' individual responses into account, in formats your production and operations teams can easily use.
- Interaction History: Make sure your marketing automation solution captures a complete history of interactions your organization has with customers. This includes a history of contacts made, offers presented, the context these offers were presented in, and the types of responses customers returned. Collecting these interactions in a single location is critical to building an effective, ongoing dialogue with your customers.
- Response attribution: Close the loop of your customer interaction by attributing customer responses to the proper campaigns or channels that generated the response. Attribution can be gathered via direct, indirect, or even inferred methods, and attribution can be given in various ways such as best match, fractional, multiple, or custom amounts. By associating the proper response to the proper channel, your organization can better understand the effectiveness of your various channels.
- Reporting and analysis: All marketing automation solutions should include the ability to analyze data and report on key marketing metrics. Ensure that your solution has an open and flexible data mart that allows the flexibility to present the data that matters to your organization and ensure that information is presented using a standard third-party reporting tool.
Where to start? Run through this list with your organization to determine how important these capabilities are to your future marketing goals. Aligning solutions to your organization's needs will help you quickly and cost-effectively design, execute, and measure communication strategies across all marketing channels within your organization well into the future.