A common thread across all of the sessions emphasised that “data” and “process” were pivotal for successful marketing automation.
Underpinning all marketing automation efforts, irrespective of the sector, are robust CRM systems where customer data is housed, used, nurtured and updated. Unfortunately many organisations do not have the data quality they need to be effective. In my presentation I tackled this subject head-on, focusing on:
- Best practices for data and processes
- Time intensive tasks
- Using marketing intelligence and analytics
No longer just a nice to have, good internal data ownership – encompassing best practices, structures, specific responsibilities and compliance - is now a business requirement. The position of Chief Data Officer is becoming more prevalent.
Microsoft CRM workflows can be set up to automate tasks, making those time intensive repeatable activities run automatically.
I took some time to outline that communication is very important when implementing marketing campaigns, all role players need to understand their responsibilities especially where many people are involved in the process. The campaign module of Microsoft CRM is an ideal place for recording important items and communications that all members of the team may need to access.
I always like to make reference to case studies when I give a talk in this format, and I shared some details about a large retail organisation that had used their customers e-mail address as the primary key on their data. They now have lots of duplicates in CRM mainly due to many people using different e-mail addresses when they visited the store each time. A mobile phone number may have been a better option.
Another case study I mentioned involved a business where the switchboard operator turned away potential customers as she was not really aware of the full product offering, No one had shared the details of the marketing campaign with her about the new product range.
We are all very much aware of that the subject of data science is growing within a number of industries, where the role of the data scientist is no longer a luxury it is now becoming a necessity.
Your CRM system may well have a mine of very useful information that can be harnessed by a data scientist to give insights into your marketing automation efforts.
The truth about dashboards
I shared a picture of a flight deck on a commercial airliner which is probably the ultimate in engagement models. Any red light showing on this dashboard gets immediate and focussed attention.
I asked the question, how many managers are trained to work with existing company dashboards? Are there check lists available to identify what constitutes a red light in the business? And are your managers trained to react appropriately. (As is the case in the airline industry).
So when considering setting up a marketing automation system get your data in order, manage your processes and above all listen to the market. Be flexible and be prepared to make changes to your campaigns on the fly as you keep looking at everything.
And…..“keep your eye on those red lights”.