Before an organization can implement any kind of useful automation strategy there are some key components digital marketers must consider to ensure a successful automation journey.
In part one of our series, we explained why the automation of marketing processes has become a competitive imperative for all brands and businesses. In this post, we’ll discuss the key components digital marketers must consider in order to embark on a successful marketing automation journey.
The Importance of Creating a Future State
This future state vision is vital for creating sustainable automation practices--without it, only short-term pains can be solved if anything at all.
This is particularly critical for direct marketing organizations, data base marketers, and traditional agencies, as the majority tend to be stifled by legacy. Disrupting existing processes will inevitably cause contention and create pushback, especially if they’re working well in the here and now.
You will be met with resistance and it will be a challenge to arbitrage, which is why it’s impossible to pivot overnight.
But if you know these changes are necessary for your business to scale when looking at it from a future state, the challenge must be faced and taken head-on.
Looking at the Automation Journey Holistically
One type of automation will not work for each and every process, so comprehensive tech stacks must be developed across the entire organization. A mix of technologies, packaged software, machine learning, and infrastructure will be necessary to deliver the work.
Marketing organizations are not alone in this need. In fact, in some industries the necessity has been much more obvious.
Now, the majority have created workflows that can recognize the human voice associated with a specific account, enabling calls to bypass human interaction entirely.
Human resource departments serve as a good example. Both recruitment and employee onboarding are process-driven tasks with many manual components.
From posting job descriptions and mining for resumes, to handing out and filing benefit forms, automation simplifies and scales these processes so that large volumes can be handled faster, more efficiently, and with less error.
Comprised of key stakeholders across all areas of an organization, a center of excellence (CoE) works across business units to provide leadership, share best practices, and improve overall efficiency. Establishing a strong CoE is a critical precursor to the automation journey, as this team is responsible for developing and driving the business’s all-important future state.
Making the Journey Real for Teams:
Building Your Center of Excellence
Expectations of Success & Organizational Adaptation
Success metrics for implemented automation processes can be measured in two phases--internal, then external.
It’s also important to make sure individuals across the organization are aligned with the automation journey.
This is critical, as there is always resistance – especially in the case of employees who fear losing their jobs. Properly educating the workforce is essential for encouraging this mindset change, as is investing in career pathing, re-skilling, and other professional development rewards.
When embarking on an automation journey, you should never lead with technology.
Instead, focus on creating a solid CoE that provides a framework for implementation and evaluation. Doing so will greatly improve your automation success.