The chemistry of marketing automation
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we've all come to appreciate digital — we can still do our jobs, connect with loved ones, and engage customers. But most of us are dealing with some level of digital fatigue. This can put a damper on creativity and planning efforts, not to mention the ability to remain focused on the task at hand. When these tasks are repetitive and mundane, it's even worse.
This is a perfect setting for marketing automation. Designing and implementing automated marketing actions can alleviate stress, save time, and drastically increase impact.
While often simple to start, marketing automation can become complex quickly — deviating into confusing flows and loops. A great way to reduce complexity is to think about the marketing automation options in Sitecore as elements, with each one having a function and a purpose.
Science teaches us that, at one scale, matter-energy is composed of atomic elements — the different combinations of which comprise everything in our world. Likewise, Sitecore’s Marketing Automation tool features a toolbox with a set of basic building blocks that are also called elements.
Using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, marketers can place these elements onto the canvas and build their automated campaigns. And like the atomic elements that make up the diverse world we know and love, these marketing-automation elements can be combined into endless variations to create custom automated marketing campaigns for your brand.
Sitecore’s marketing automation elements
As an introduction to marketing automation chemistry in Sitecore, let’s consider the basics of each element in Sitecore’s Marketing Automation Periodic Table. We’ll then consider some simple ways to start using the capabilities today with the easy to use drag-and-drop user interface.
Each action (or “periodic element”) used is designed to help deliver quality automated marketing experiences to your customer.
Tips on getting started with marketing automation
When it comes to marketing automation, the goal is two-fold — you want to generate new customers, of course, but ultimately the goal is nurturing long-term loyalty. So, where do you start?
We suggest keeping it simple. Find inspiration in your own experiences with brands and how they have engaged with you. By starting with a simple foundation, you can build up to more complex loops. As a first-time user, the temptation to create a more intricate campaign may be strong, but remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Though it’s exciting to think about launching a marketing automation campaign, you should have a plan in place to ensure success. A couple of questions to think about as you’re planning to use marketing automation:
- Do you have a content strategy?
Planning, creation, and channel distribution (web, email, kiosk, social media, digital billboards, etc.) should be in place.
- What is your typical customer journey?
Think about how consumers engage with your brand; what are their typical touchpoints?
- Do you have a memorable CX & UX design?
Having a quality website and engaging experience for customers is extremely important and influential for achieving your goals when it comes to marketing automation. Before kicking off and developing a marketing automation strategic plan, consider what you should have in place to achieve the desired results?
Determine how contacts (users) interact with your brand, then nurture their experience by sending the right content delivered at the right time through the right channel.
If you’re having a hard time determining what you want from your marketing automation plan, flip your scenario around and start with what you want as a result, then work your way back.
In Sitecore, the marketing automation campaign is built with drag-and-drop capabilities, which will make the setup easy to implement as well as edit. Building and saving these campaigns as templates to reuse can mean more time for you to focus on other projects and less development time to setup. Templates can then be organized categorically into these Sitecore pre-built themes (available in 10.1):
- Account development
- Service campaigns
- Win back
Like in chemistry, experimentation and patience are a huge part of automation.
Learning the basics is necessary to build a solid foundation for you to grow. Once you’ve mastered basic tactics within Sitecore for marketing automation, you can begin to implement omnichannel campaigns with advanced capabilities.
Now is a perfect time to start adding marketing automation to your overall strategy! Learn more about Sitecore Marketing Automation.