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3 Ways to Simplify and Organize any Marketing Automation Tool

Marketers, we are excitable creatures. It’s so tempting to over stack our marketing automation tools, to turn on all the bells and whistles and to overly complicate things. However, as marketers we should not let these technologies get the better of us but instead, we should work hard to keep things organized and simple. A well-structured marketing tool allows teams to be more agile and see faster results.

It’s easier said than done. Here are 3 ways to simplify and organize any marketing automation tool to ensure your team is ready for anything:

1. Develop a Naming Convention and Stick to it
A good naming convention in your marketing automation tool goes a long way.  It should tell you a lot about the asset and help distinguish the WHO, WHAT and WHEN.

To create a naming convention, first, create an abbreviation for your campaign targets. This could be based on industry, company size, and/or lifecycle stage. For example: HC for Healthcare, ED for Education, SMB for Small Business, ENT for Enterprise, MOFO for Middle of the Funnel or BOFU for Bottom of the Funnel.

Secondly, create an abbreviation for each type of campaign, asset and channel. For example: WP for White Paper, FM for Form, LI for List, FB for Facebook, WB for Webinar etc.

Lastly, combine those abbreviations with the year, month and a short description to create a detailed and informative naming convention: YEAR – MONTH – TARGET – TYPE – DESCRIPTION

Here’s an example: 2020 – 07 – SMB – HC – MOFU – WP – Current State Report

Utilizing this type of naming convention across all of your marketing plans and within your marketing automation tool helps finding, tagging and tracking assets much easier. It also makes training new users and scaling much simpler.

2. Define and Track Campaign Success Steps
Campaign success can look different for each campaign, however, simplifying campaign success into buckets will make tracking progress and attribution less complex. Some marketing automation tools define success steps for you in their campaign reporting, and some empower you to define success steps on your own. It’s important to understand exactly how each campaign step is defined, and then map those to your campaign planning and reporting.

Think about campaign success steps as the different ways your audience interacts with your campaigns. For instance, some common buckets that are used are:  MEMBERS, ENGAGED, INFLUENCED, and CONVERTED.

Your audience can be MEMBERS of a campaign if they are subscribed to your emails or have been invited to your webinar. They can be ENGAGED with a campaign if they click an email or registered for your webinar. They can be INFLUENCED by a campaign if they downloaded your content or attended a webinar. They can be CONVERTED by a campaign if they request a demo. Once you define these buckets, they become your Campaign Success Steps for all of your campaigns. This also gives you a baseline for all of your reporting for campaigns going forward.

By defining Campaign Success Steps into simple buckets, you can easily track and report on campaigns whether you have an enterprise level marketing automation tool, or just a simple email platform. Campaign Success Steps can be updated and tracked with automation and workflows, or by a simple list load and field updates.

Pro Tip – Track Campaign Success Steps in your CRM by matching, updating and tracking campaign statuses in both systems.

3. Keep Forms, Templates and Lists Simple
If marketers are not careful, they can quickly find themselves in a mess of forms, templates and lists. It is so important to always remember less is more with marketing automation. Every time a marketer starts creating a new form, template or list they should ask themselves “is there an existing asset I can use for this?” If the answer is yes, then a new asset should not be created. Most MATs are designed for scalability, allowing assets to be used across multiple landing pages, emails and campaigns. Users should take advantage of this whenever possible.

In order to achieve your marketing goals with the least number of forms, templates and lists, it’s important to first define the different types of each asset that you’ll need. Be sure to build them in your MA tool and apply your naming conventions for ease of use.  Below are a few tips to consider when building them out:

Forms
When dealing with forms, leverage progressive profiling and categorize them by buyer journey so you can use them in multiple places and for multiple things.

Templates
Design your templates to be flexible so you can achieve your goals with as few well-designed and high-performing templates as possible.

Tags
Use tags and dynamic lists to ensure everything is up to date and so that you can use as few lists as possible.

Marketing automation tools are beautiful things that can very easily become complicated and messy. Complexities and lack of organization can make them difficult to use and scale. However, there are things marketers can do to ensure they get the most out of their tools. Marketing teams can significantly improve results and the speed to deliver by creating and sticking to naming conventions, defining and tracking campaign success steps, and limiting their forms, templates and lists.

Amy Hamilton is the Senior Manager of Marketing Operations at Stericycle Communication Solutions. Amy is responsible for marketing automation strategy, campaign management and data stewardship. She has many successful marketing automation implementations under her belt including Pardot, Marketo and Hubspot.

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