What is marketing automation? Fundamentally, it’s the process of using technology to streamline, automate and measure marketing tasks. 

Deployed right it takes care of repetitive tasks so that marketers can focus on more strategic activities. More, marketing automation enables targeting and personalisation at speed and scale, so boosting marketing efficiency and revenue growth.

Sounds fantastic! But in practice, many companies find deploying it right is not easy.

A bit of history

Marketing automation technology grew out of customer relationship management software. It began life as email marketing add-ons but really came into its own in the 2010s. Advanced features were increasingly integrated allowing marketers to manage social media, landing pages, mobile messaging, ads and more. As a hot new area of marketing technology, it rose up the tech hype curve attracting the attention of the big brands. And, subsequently, a series of big ticket buyouts.

As is the way with such market consolidation, what started out as great point solutions, evolved into large multi-functional platforms. Fantastic utility when used and managed right. But often complex and costly to integrate and operate.

Making the most of  it

If you’ve invested in a big marketing automation platform, are you wringing every last drop of value out of it? If you’ve yet to try automation, where do you start? And if, like most, you’ve a hybrid blend of tools and systems, how do you find a path to rooting out inefficiencies and unnecessary costs, and focus in on what drives growth? 

Getting your plan together

To find out, you need to go back to the beginning and review your funnel. Or, more specifically, map your existing customer journey. What are the key performance indicators you use now to measure that journey from awareness to revenue and referral? What data can you access along that journey? What is the tech architecture supporting the funnel?

From this position of clarity you can see what’s working, plus you can spot gaps and issues. This will help you to identify the right KPIs to track. And to determine exactly which technology platforms and tools you need to optimise, to drive growth. 

It might be that an all singing all dancing platform is just what your business needs. Or it could be that a simple optimisation is all you need for now to fuel your next phase of growth.

Starting with the customer and building tech-agnostic evidence will show you the way.