Automating Marketing isn't difficult
Enterprise automation platforms come in many flavours and it is important to be able to identify the particular features you require to achieve your definition of success.
Automating marketing as a function is important because it means that you or your marketers can benefit from increased ‘contact time’ with existing customers and prospects.
Automating the ‘boring stuff’ is a central concept for most technologies and marketing is no different. If you are curious about discussions and playbooks on this from a software perspective we highly recommend you read Automate The Boring Stuff.
Being function specific is important because this enables you to identify and deliver activities which help the marketing function rather than enabling a single individual.
Depending on the nature of your work, for example the sensitivity of your data, you may need to use tools specific to your industry. For example if you run a law firm or legal practice you will likely want to use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) specific to the legal sector, such as the cloud-based Practice Management and CRM provided by Clio.
Aside from this there are diverse options available depending on your size, scale and preference on how you run your marketing function. Automating marketing is primarily about what you wish to get out of it.
This piece will be more general, providing a list of tools for further inquiry by you and your team; we are of course available to assist with specifics if you would like to contact Hayachi Services directly but ultimately you are in the driver’s seat.
SuiteCRM – an all in one Customer Relationship Management platform, built from the ground-up to be open and accessible. The Open Source GPL license on this toolset means it will forever be open to the public (copyleft), much like the specialised CiviCRM which is used by advocacy and charitable organisations.
Most of the worlds’ websites use WordPress and there are range of modules for internal or externally-facing WordPress websites. A stand-out tool is from the developer of WordPress themselves called JetPack which has powerful tools for billing and email-marketing, much akin to WooCommerce.
Socioboard is the leading Social Media marketing platform, it caters well for those who wish to automate marketing on social media and integrates well into other toolsets.
Knowing what, knowing how
Knowing that there are tools available for your use is one thing, being able to implement the platform is another.
If you wish to host your own platform, if for example you are a software developer or have access to one, you will want to run on a stable system which requires minimal maintenance while remaining secure. We recommend Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on a purpose-built server (virtual or physical) for this.
For those functions who want to benefit from automating marketing without having to fuss about set-up, we recommend using tools such as JetPack and SocioBoard. These tools are easy to ‘spin-up’ and JetPack in particular runs of a WordPress website which are famously easy to set-up and maintain.
Knowing how to set up an automated marketing platform is often not what marketers and sellers are interested in.
It pays to be results-driven when it comes to automation and those who implement the solution do not necessarily have to be internal to your firm.
Knowing developers who can spin up systems such as those above so you can continue to focus on automating marketing is critical – if you don’t have the skills, build them or find them.
All of the platforms explored above are either Open Source or Enterprise Open Source, much like with Red Hat Enterprise Linux this facilitates for truly flexible systems with significant longevity for your firm.
Planning ahead is critical
Most Software As a Service platforms are easy to sign-up to but when you are building your own workflows things can messy if you do not plan ahead. This is why it is critical to review the capability you actually want, identify a range of potential suppliers who can provide this and only then move to buy (or implement) the technology.
For platforms such as JetPack you can easily install the WordPress plugin and get a feel for the tool, for the others listed above it is a little more intensive and so we would recommend watching videos and tutorials prior to implementing the system yourself.