Darren Wagner, TMMData CMO
If your marketing team is anything like ours at TMMData, marketing automation is a critical element of your martech stack thanks to its ability to eliminate manual and repetitious marketing tasks and processes – from project management and workflow, to sending emails and publishing content, to target audience segmentation and campaign evaluation.
Of course, when it comes to taking advantage of automated marketing tools, clean, connected, and accurate data is a pretty big deal. Whether you’re ensuring the quality of data your software collects, or seeking reliable data outputs to evaluate a campaign, marketing automation is informed by, contributes to, and relies upon rich data being produced and captured throughout the entire customer or user journey.
So how can you be sure you’re getting the most out of automation software, particularly when it comes to utilizing and producing quality data? Here are a few suggestions:
Do have a clear marketing strategy in place.
First things first: Marketing automation software is no replacement for a well-developed marketing strategy. Have a clear vision of your marketing goals and priorities, as well as a precise plan for how the automation tools will enhance strategy implementation and support campaign reporting and evaluation efforts. Know which organizational teams will be involved, how automation will support workflow and communication among participating parties, and which tactics the automation tools will help execute – from sending targeted emails to lead generation.
Do have a plan for managing data.
Similarly, plan your marketing strategy with data at the forefront. When it comes to marketing automation, data flows everywhere, from sales and supply chain elements, to customer engagement with marketing promotions, to interactions with customer service and so much more.
Consider the data you need to implement your marketing strategy before getting started. And have foundational processes already in place to ensure your software can contribute to reliable data and analyses once automation is underway. This includes addressing poor internal processes that could result in content errors, and utilizing data preparation and management tools, like TMMData’s Foundation platform, that can seamlessly integrate data from all channels to inform accurate targeting and segmentation efforts. Also, be sure to have a data governance framework in place that formally outlines the functions and rules your teams will follow to collect, classify, maintain, and access data across your organization.
Do take advantage of marketing automation’s ability to minimize data errors.
Certainly, marketing automation comes with a number of benefits – it saves time, improves efficiency, and can seamlessly implement complex and extensive marketing tactics. Also among these key benefits is the automated functionality’s ability to help minimize process and data errors typically caused by manual work such as typos or missing tags. In addition, these tools can automate the processes for identifying and communicating data errors. As a result, marketers can more quickly improve data quality and ensure clean, reliable, and accurate data informs marketing activities.
Don’t let marketing automation amplify data errors.
While marketing automation tools can greatly reduce data errors, they can also perpetuate and spread data integrity issues that already exist. Be sure the task or process you automate isn’t based in incorrect data to start with, as automated processes will only magnify mistakes and push them through the system faster.
Don’t rely too heavily on marketing automation’s magic.
Like any tool, automation software will only be as strong as the people operating it. While powerful, effectively utilizing marketing automation means being thoughtful and intentional about the content you put in, the strategy you hope to implement, and the outcomes you’d like to produce. So, don’t expect marketing automation to work magic on its own. After all, automation doesn’t engage the customer, marketers do. If a strategy isn’t connecting with the audience as hoped, the software isn’t going to fix it – but a thoughtful marketing team can.
By and large, where there is marketing automation, there should also be rich data. As marketing teams lean on these tools to perform a variety of tasks and track the customer journey, the key role that clean and reliable data plays in marketing automation’s functionality is undeniable. So as you keep marketing automation at your right hand, keep data quality top of mind too.
Interested in learning more about TMMData's Foundation platform and its solutions for helping marketers access and blend rich data from across their organization and from their agencies? Drop us a line, we'd love to tell you more!