So you have decided that you should look at marketing automation and as explained in our last article, it is a complex subject with lots to discuss. As it requires agreement between many parties, it is best done in a workshop format. So what could this workshop entail and how could it be structured?
In this paper we would like to provide a blueprint that could be used as a potential framework for a marketing automation workshop.
Before commencing the workshop, preparation is the key. It is worth thinking about and clarifying a few items at a high level such as:
- What does our current data look like?
- How do we currently store, access and enhance our data?
- Should it be enhanced with additional information?
- What are the drivers for change?
- What are the overall marketing challenges facing the organisation?
From this you can decide whether additional preparation is required. One thing that is essential in this process is to undertake a data audit prior to the workshop. An understanding of how the data is currently populated, what data you have, how it can be updated, where the data is stored etc is fundamental information. This will show you what marketing could be done with the data in its current form and what will potentially need to be done prior to the introduction of marketing automation.
A typical workshop agenda should cover the following areas.
Session 1: Data and systems
As many potential programme components will rely on data being fit for purpose it would be key to have a better understanding of several aspects of the existing data and the systems that are in place.
- Data will need to be able to cater for trigger and targeting fields
- What fields can be used as thresholds for moving contacts to a different type of marketing programme?
- What fields can be used to indicate messaging content?
- What fields can be used to highlight up-sell / cross-sell opportunities?
- Status indicator for companies/contacts?
- What combination of fields could be desirable?
- Business demographics/attributes
- Invoiced amount/spend
- Decision maker type
- Account/contact status
- Product use
- Language preference
- Area of interest
- Analyse suitability of existing data and systems to move forward with marketing automation.
- Identify any areas that would need improvement for successful implementation.
- Any system or process limitations to be aware of?
This would be in addition to the standard fields required to ensure that your marketing is compliant across all marketing channels and territories.
Session 2: Marketing overview
This session would need to accurately and honestly reflect the current state of play of the company’s marketing and the challenges ahead. Such as revenue performance per territory, where are main opportunities coming from, what types of activities are gaining traction and types of audiences are engaging the most.
The drivers for the change will also need to be covered, which could be things such as revenue generation, lead follow-up, brand awareness and so on.
- Growth strategy /targets for sales and marketing
- Identified the addressable market
- How to improve the focus and effectiveness of both Sales and Marketing efforts
- How to allow Sales management to more easily create and measure sales plans
- The measurement of lead generation within the addressable market
- Increase inbound marketing and lead nurturing activity
- Departmental alignment
- Any lead scoring being done currently
- Does communication between the teams needs to be improved
- Joint engagements requirements
- Regional considerations
- Some regions use English content more than others, but is there a requirement for multilingual marketing
Session 3: Examples
In this section it is worth going through some practical examples highlighting how possible marketing programmes can make up the overall prospect strategy.
- Engagement journey linked with programme
- Messaging content for each programme
- Programmes vs touch-points
- Programme triggers
- Engagement vs programmes
- Messaging by programmes
- What could a Welcome programme look like?
- What could a Nurturing programme look like?
- What could a Re-activation programme look like?
- How do you do the lead scoring?
- Programmes vs touch-points
Session 4: Brainstorm/Discussion
This is where the difficult conversations start. By brainstorming and discussing all aspects of what could become the overall marketing automation strategy, you will need to define programmes, the messaging per programme, the touch-points and flows involved, the specific triggers that instigate a different stream or flow as well as what lead scoring is to be used against each and every action or non-action.
Session 5: Process and programme definitions / practical implementation
After openly discussing all the different options, opinions and alternatives for the approach, it is now time to agree mapping of campaigns flows against programmes, define programmes / campaign types and overall requirements for content as well as physically map the process flows. Once this is done, you have established the foundation for what will constitute the essence of your marketing automation set up and strategy.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to formally summarise the day along with agreed next steps, next actions and confirm who will be responsible for them; all set against a timeframe for completion.
Now that the plan for the strategy is set, it is time to start thinking about the content required to execute on all facets of the road map.