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Marketers should start planning to implement automation

Planning and goal-setting prior to implementation is key to success.

The position of marketing automation in martech stacks varies depending on the business. Some marketers are going into their second decade of automation, but they may consider moving to a different solution, in the meantime others involved in digital transformation to get started now. Regardless, of the level of expertise with automation, some universal best practices have to be implemented.

“A lot it has to do with what channels are most important to you and what resources you have available to manage these channels and what technical resources you have to stitch platforms together”, said Justin Sharaf “ You may have your marketing automation, you may have three or four other tolls but it can’t stitch them together you are not taking full advantage”

Groundwork for automation

“Automation can be a core function and be the brains or it can be the arm of a larger brain like a customer data platform” said Sharaf “ Map out the customer experience first and figure out what you need to support that journey “.

Mapping out the customer journey is required before successful implementation of automation.

“ You have to think about the customer experience you want to offer, more than just the tools you can use “ said Helen Abramova, marketing  technology lead at Verizon in the same episode. “ Goal-setting is also necessary in planning.”

The important goal of marketing automation tools based on successes for failures of use by competitors in the same industry, or seen by different divisions of the same corporate enterprise.

Set up of the task

Marketing automation as the foundation for marketing operations includes automation in campaigns, channels, engagement, promotions, sales and awareness outreach. The essential time to implement marketing automation can range from a few weeks to a few months. More complex automation implementations can take from three to six months, while highly complex enterprise-wide automation implementations normally last between six months and one year.

For the process to be more efficient, marketing teams identify power users to help with automation implementation. Power users are stakeholders who understand the implementation from both macro and micro viewpoints, can comprehend data reports and easily identify inefficiencies in the automation process.

Analytics is the answer

The SECRET SAUCE of implementing automation is analytics, and in particular, an Analytic Base Table.

 “An analytic base table is a combination of data attributes aggregated at the customer identity level that enable automated and customizable marketing AI,” said Grover

Analytic Base Table includes : milestones reached, number of conversions, number of visitors in the last three, seven and 14 days, average length of visits, counts of pages per category and search terms used.

“The best analytic results come with machine learning,” said Grover. “You have to keep analytics fresh with automatic [processes] for better automation.”

Combination with other systems

Integration issues have been minimized as major automation providers like marketo and Hubspot have dramatically increased their integration capabilities in recent years.

“They now have new niche tools to build integration themselves, because they have to, they have no choice based on demand,” said Sharaf.“ Integrating marketing automation platforms are easier these days, but it is still all about the architecture, data placement rules and content integration.”

Automation execution as a people-first process. “ You need people, either internally or externally, who have [automation] experience.” she said “ No code or low-code integration really is not possible yet, so you need to rely on people who know what they are doing and have been there before.”