Marketing automation involves reaching your clients online and making use of carefully implemented automation to target individual consumers with result-oriented sales efforts. The content of the target messages is often derived from automated analysis of consumer browsing and buying patterns.

Drupal integrates extremely well with reputable marketing automation tools such as Marketo, Eloqua and Genius. Selecting an experienced Drupal developer who is capable of complicated integration, while vital, is just not enough. This post talks about why it is of paramount importance that you and your development team / provider need to discuss and meticulously plan such integration to ensure your marketing automation efforts actually translate to increased sales.

Marketing automation, like cake-baking, needs the right ingredients and the right recipe to produce the right results - Rakhee.S

The best development efforts, even if wildly successful, will not translate to increased sales if you do prioritise the following:

Make your marketing automation effort an opportunity to review your sales and marketing processes.

Marketing automation is a very powerful way of both saving money by automating marketing, as well as increasing revenue due to increased sales. However, these benefits occur only when the customer feels benefitted by your marketing efforts. Highly targeted automated marketing is possible only if the processes of analysing consumer preferences are bug-free, logical and practicable. So revise your processes to make maximal use of your automated marketing facilities to increase revenue. This will ensure you don’t end up selling ice to eskimos or sea water to Tahiti.

Plan meticulously, plan jointly and plan expertly.

You need to plan extremely well how to derive the content that goes into the sales messages with which you inform your customer. Hire marketing experts who’ve succeeded in increasing online sales and social shopping. Ensure that your design and development team sits down with you at every juncture, for it is they who will have a direct effect on:

  1. How well your ecommerce platform supports the dedicated marketing automation apps
  2. Getting you the maximum revenue benefit with the leanest and most functional integration (think ease of workflow planning and implementation)
  3. How the process of customer interaction that follows the targeted marketing effort is made smooth, empowering, transparent and enjoyable.

Create workflows for your CMS platform facilitating customer purchases after targeted marketing.

What happens after the marketing effort is the biggest factor that will make or break your marketing automation initiative. It is a complicated procedure to plan facilitation of consumer activity post targeted automated marketing even at the planning stage of your integration. If you botch this up, creating such processes after your marketing automation applications are integrated will be a patch up job at the best and a failure at the worst. Verify the credentials of the developer you hire, ensure they’re great strategists and consultants, too. Talk to their clients, especially those for whom intricate integrations have been successful.

Plan for the simple, the intricate, the futuristic.

Use your own expertise, industry insights, and expert analysis of trends to judge what efforts will get you dividends. Simple batch messages might be required on special occasions along with more narrowcasting efforts. Plan for both kinds. Nascent trends can become tomorrow’s must-haves, think relatively small sites driving disproportionate amounts of social shopping. Plan for all, especially if accommodating such possibilities is not prohibitively expensive and time consuming.

Consider what might go wrong, plan to prevent it.

Keep in mind there is a busy human being at the other end of your automated marketing. They think, and act, and most importantly feel. Use your marketing automation to make them feel nice, and you build your reputation which will ultimately lead to recommendations, site visits, great reviews and of course increased market share in the cutthroat ecommerce world. But misdirected, bug-ridden messages or simply a failure to read your customer’s pulse, or to ensure a great UX and customer service as well will cause even the most skilfully planned marketing automation to collapse. Play your own devil’s advocate; do not hire yes-men. Ensure you get expert planners and developers who are concerned enough for you to speak their minds on how to prevent strategy errors.

A mere decade ago, e commerce was a scary word for many customers. Today, even in developing countries, a huge number of consumers prefer online purchases for the discounts and time-saving. Yet, at a brick and mortar shop, it is much, much easier for the consumer to follow caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). Ecommerce stores have unique difficulties as a direct result of not being able to deal with customers face-to-face. For instance, a single unforeseeable error on your part, such as the inadvertent shipping of a defective product, launches your consumer on a tedious and expensive journey of phone calls and lost time. The very policies you create with ethical intentions to protect your consumer, cause them to spend time and money and lead to dissatisfaction.

It is important, therefore, to make up for these unavoidable difficulties with very, very strong efforts of enhancing customer experiences wherever possible. This is why it is vital to plan out your marketing automation efforts to be the very best in enhancing a helpful, desirable, smooth and pleasurable experience for your consumer. You must seriously consider what might go wrong and prevent it from happening. With the challenges specific to your being an online seller, ensuring a proper marketing automation will go a long way in mitigating your future anxieties.

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