dodontAutomation is already a big issue and yet just in its infancy. The fact is that a clean integrated automation solution brings many advantages, although it can be a long way to reach that goal, and automation can’t get implemented over night.

We show you what to do or you should better drop in the following few tips.

A first step to get closer to automation could be:

• Process analysis comes first: No automation will work without an extremely accurate analysis of the current workflow, therefore, automation does not tolerate words like "around" or "approximately". The process analysis is the first and most crucial step towards a marketing automation. Thus, consider including external experts at this stage as well. You cannot gather enough knowledge about the process before automating it. So take your time and be prepared that you won’t come to a satisfactory result within just a few days.

Automation is a team process: It serves no purpose to introduce automation behind the back of the team, therefore, bring it on board for the integration of marketing automation. That way, you will not only obtain important information about the workflow from your colleagues, you have the chance to bring closer to the team which tasks are automated, and why it is still so important that other tasks are done by human hands. However, the most important reason is that, once applied, the automation must be monitored as well. If problems occur, it has to be possible to intervene quickly. Obviously, those capable to act best are most likely the people, who supervised the scope of duties before.

• Assigning a coordinator: The common prejudice about marketing automation is that once integrated, there is nothing else that has to be taken care of anymore. Of course, that's not true. In most cases, there is still someone needed, who on the one hand keeps an eye on the automated process and on the other hand is not losing sight of the big picture, since a workflow usually consists of many processes that form a whole result. Some of them will be able to run automatically, some do not. In any case, it needs someone to keep track of it. And to emphasize it again: Marketing automation does not mean that there will be less work, but that it can be done more efficiently and on a larger scale.

• Be flexible: Do not rely blindly on automation, as especially in the initial phase you will often be forced to carry out adjustments. In order to stay flexible, you should not neglect the analysis. Once introduced, the automation isn’t a free ticket to leave it on its own, instead you should optimize regularly to achieve an ideal result. Be assured that it will allow you to react quickly to new technological developments.

Marketing automation going into the wrong direction shows the following:

Wanting too much too soon: It may be tempting to automate as much as possible in one shot, but that is in fact the real danger. Just because automation is successful in one area does not necessarily mean that it can be used easily and do well in another area. Especially in automation the rule prevails that slow and steady takes you to your destination. Hence, you should rather integrate a smooth automated process first, before venturing out to another.

Considering only the cheapest options: Of course, the cost factor is critical in marketing automation, but when it comes to reliability, you should not only look at the price. If the budget is not enough, you should wait rather than implementing a half-baked solution.

Working without expertise: Stay away of incorporating marketing automation processes independently. Maybe some really have the relevant expertise, but most likely the majority does not, therefore, better engage an expert who will guide you through the integration, eliminates teething troubles and can quickly provide support in case of problems.

Automating only the simplest tasks: Many tend to automate only the simplest jobs, although marketing automation can already do much more. Do not underestimate the opportunities that arise through marketing automation and consider to put all activities to test after a process analysis.

Greater efficiency and less errors will come as a result and your key benefit of your marketing automation efforts.

By Daniela La Marca