We’ve all heard it: Inbound and content marketing is the next big thing for marketers. You’re thinking to yourself, you have to jump on the wagon or you’ll be left in the dust. So after some consideration and perhaps a quick demo, you’ve decided to invest and implement a marketing automation tool to help bridge the marketing and sales divide and bring some alignment to your teams. The idea sounds great, organizing all of your efforts into a single platform will be cost effective and time saving, right? Not necessarily. Before you begin, here are a few things to consider:
- Take It Slow: Whether you’re starting from scratch or integrating different aspects of your marketing and sales programs, take it slow. There are a lot of moving pieces within these platforms and updates are made on a frequent basis. Allocate dedicated hours to working within the platform daily, so you don’t fall behind when changes happen. Because they do, and you will.
- Align Your Teams: Dedicate or realign a team who is accountable for understanding how the tool works and that is flexible enough to integrate across marketing/sales efforts. This will be a key factor to your success. Here’s an article from Marketing Profs on how to prepare your organization for marketing automation. This is not a one-person role to fill. What’s that popular saying? It takes a village…
- Know Your Audience: Don’t underestimate the importance of personas. They are a critical tool that will help you determine the type of content your team needs to create in order to attract the right audience. Speaking of content, when you have your personas developed, it’s time to create your content strategy. Yes, you need a content strategy. Altimeter's recent report is a great resource when you start to build yours.
- Train Your Brain: There are so many educational tools available right now, from webinars to conferences and even local meet ups on how to implement marketing automation and inbound marketing. Take the time to participate and go through any certifications that are available through your platform. It will help set the frame of mind as you begin to build your foundational elements.
- Set It, Don’t Forget It: Marketing automation platforms are not a turnkey solution or set it and forget it option to fixing your marketing problems or driving sales into your funnel. Once you have your foundational elements aligned, you can begin to execute on your plan. These platforms are great tools that provide a lot of insights and data around your efforts but do require ongoing time, effort and dedication.
At Airfoil, we invested in our marketing platform early on, because we recognized a shift in the way our community was engaging. We believe in the fundamental principles and methodology of inbound and content marketing, with a goal to create educational, informational and useful content to share with our community and to establish and nurture these meaningful relationships.
Are you utilizing a marketing automation platform at your organization? We’d love to hear about your experience!