Finding marketing automation’s promised land

The CXM team at Proximity New Zealand answer the big questions they hear most often from marketers who are kicking marketing automation’s tires.

For years, marketing automation has been promising marketers and C-Suite its potential to drive more marketing efficiencies, generate better leads, increase conversion rates, personalise the customer journey, better align sales and marketing… It’s like the Holy Grail of marketing. But is it right for every business? And how do marketers make it sure it delivers? 

How do I determine a marketing automation platform’s overall ROI and project impact?

Chris Pescott, CEO

Chris Pescott.

On the surface, marketing automation provides the obvious benefit of speeding up manual activity. Sure this saves time and head count, but this is by no means the number one ROI deliverable of MA tools. 

One of the most powerful functionalities of good marketing automation platforms is their innate ability to capture integrated, accurate attribution and performance information. When you have all of your marketing technology connected via one central source (like a CDP) you are able to effectively capture all of the information that exists around your customer (regardless of channel), what information or experience you delivered to that customer, how they react to that specific experience and even the representative value generated from that experience. Using this data, marketers are able to clearly see which messages and channels are effective in driving ROI, and which customer audiences are most receptive to these experiences. 

Another core functionality of marketing automation platforms is their ability to not only automate but test, measure and ultimately improve marketers efforts to deliver ROI for the business. This is why they are so successful, and so popular with modern marketers, especially those grappling with personalisation at scale. 

How should I prepare for a marketing automation project?

Romit Sinha, Director of Technology

Romit Sinha.

Successful implementation and operation will be determined by these sound foundations:

Have all the key stakeholders involved for success of the project i.e. execs, IT, analysts, sales, marketing etc. Without buy-in from across the business, all the benefits of the investment can be compromised.

Set and agree on business objectives and goals and socialise these with key stakeholders alignment. Once the train is moving, derailing it due to misalignment is costly.

Develop KPIs for each goal and objective. Measurability keeps everyone accountable and everything on track.

Create a clear investment roadmap for next three  to five years. Factor in vendor selection and integrations as these will impact the overall investment cost.

Come up with an operating model that clearly defines the approach, processes, resources, and capability. 

Ensure the whole team involved in the implementation of MA clearly understands the process for smooth running of day-to-day operations. Consciously build a strong team culture to avoid single points of failure.

Starting from your first campaign, don’t forget to share your learnings with the wider group and incorporate actions into future campaigns.

What role does creativity play in a successful marketing automation project?

Nathalie Phillipsen, Director of CXM

Nathalie Phillipsen.

The role of creativity goes beyond execution, it drives innovation and differentiation at every stage of the project. It’s the secret sauce in delivering a successful programme. 

With many brands now leveraging marketing automation technology to understand and respond to customer needs, we have seen a convergence in the types of experiences delivered to customers. Customer engagement programmes can all feel a bit the same, with seamless customer experiences fast becoming a commodity. As an IBM leader recently observed, the last best experience that anyone has anywhere, becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere. It takes creativity to find ways to exceed customer expectations and create meaningful brand experiences. 

We apply our creativity throughout the whole of a marketing automation project, be that in digging deep in the data to find new customer needs, designing unique customer experiences, or finding ways to redefine how the brand shows up in the 1:1 space to personally resonate with customers.

How do I catalogue and map my current CX programme?

Kate De Marco, Director of CXM Strategy

Kate De Marco.

It’s crucial for marketers to have a long-term system in place for creating, managing and elevating the customer experiences delivered through their marketing automation platform. 

Automation programmes running as a ‘black box’ for marketers run the risk of out-of-date or conflicting messaging hitting customers. Significant business resources are also wasted due to a lack of visibility and difficulty accessing customer communications once loaded into MA systems. 

A CLM Architecture maps customer communications, contact strategies and customer journeys across the customer lifecycle to provide visibility at every altitude and contextualise all activity against key business metrics and customer needs. This gives marketers a clear line of sight over their entire CLM ecosystem so they know exactly what experiences are being delivered to customers, the impact of these and can prioritise new opportunities, and levers to unlock greater customer and business value.  

Proximity New Zealand is an integrated creative services agency that believes getting closer to customers is the key to growth. The agency has a highly experienced specialist CXM and Marketing Automation team who partner with Spark, Tourism NZ and ANZ to deliver incredible customer experiences. In 2021 the agency successfully designed, implemented and operationalised New Zealand’s largest and most complex Adobe Campaign to date. 

To find out how Marketing Automation can get you closer to your customers and transform your sales and marketing, contact [email protected] or [email protected]

This article was originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of NZ Marketing.

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