I recently came across a valuable piece of advice that related to investing. The article basically said that even if you’re a long-term, buy-and-hold investor, a “set it and forget it” strategy can get you in trouble. A financial portfolio needs to be regularly monitored and tweaked, and even if you don’t need do to this on a daily basis, certainly a brief quarterly review is always a good idea, and an annual rebalancing a must if you want to stick with your long-term goals.
I suppose I can’t read anything anymore without thinking about marketing automation, because as I was reading the article, nodding in agreement, I immediately thought to myself that this applies to marketing automation too. As tempting as it is to market our own software as a magic solution, a “set it and forget it” type of tool that would enable you to sit back and relax as the system segments leads, nurtures them and readies them for a sale, it’s important that we tell you, upfront, that this is not the case.
Marketing automation, when done right, *will* simplify your life as a marketer. It will help with the above tasks of identifying leads and becoming better, more efficient, at closing sales and accelerating those sales. Marketing automation can and will do lots of great things for you and, like so many of our customers, I suspect you will one day say that you can’t believe you used to manage (poorly, I assume!) without it.
But just like your stocks and bonds portfolio, marketing automation requires attention, monitoring and tweaking. Your needs will change over time, your prospects’ needs will change and evolve, and you’ll need to adapt your campaigns as they mature. Just like in investing, regular monitoring of your results and remaining flexible would enable you to fine-tune and evolve your processes so that you can maximize your success. “Set it and forget it” can be done, but you just won’t get the same results. It’s a far better strategy to constantly monitor your results, to find what works and what doesn’t and to create new content to feed into the system.
Which brings me to my final point: Make sure you get a system that would not just be easy and quick to set up, but would also be user-friendly and intuitive (eTrigue is a great example, of course). Since marketing automation needs regular attention and monitoring, you want it to be easy to set up, easy to deploy, and easy to use. “User-friendly” is a top priority when selecting a marketing automation system.
Marketing automation may not be as easy as “set it and forget it,” but it can help you achieve a high, measurable marketing ROI and a very real revenue impact. Just make sure you pick the right system, and give it the attention it needs.Google+