I was inspired to write this post today after reading Marketo’s lastest piece, The Dos and Don’ts of Marketing Automation. One of the sections is called, Do Understand That You Can’t “Set It and Forget It” and that applies to so many aspects of today’s marketing, especially when it comes to marketing automation and lead data. Everything is always in flux for modern marketers (and sales professionals), and if we forget that, we may send out poorly targeted emails to inaccurate prospects based on stale data, at the very least. Bigger issues arise when we don’t constantly monitor, analyze and optimize our content, processes and results.
The whole “Set It and Forget It” phase needs to be wiped out. Where can this concept really be used in today’s agile marketing and sales environment? It certainly can’t be used in any sentence that includes marketing automation. According to the Marketo piece and quote from industry guru, Ardath Albee, “Given the functionality that marketing automation makes available, it’s also critically important to determine goals and how you’ll measure them to set up appropriate lead-scoring scenarios and progression planning…”
Marketers cannot create an amazing, engaging new content piece and launch it to a list of prospects and wait for the leads to pour in. We have to measure results against our goals or key performance indicators (KPIs), we might need to optimize the campaign in some way (tweak the subject line…did we even do A/B testing?) or even modify the landing page if we see conversions are not happening the way we anticipated. It’s about measurement, analysis and optimization in all we do as marketers and sales professionals. You can’t leave one brilliant, compelling voice mail to a prospect and then never send a follow-up email or call, can you? No way.
The Marketo blog reminds me that nothing is ever “done” in marketing. Ardath’s quote references progression planning and that is important to remember. We need to think about the next steps, the next point of contact with our buyer and how we can better connect and help them. Unless you have a very transactional business, we need to always think progression. A sale doesn’t end with a purchase. We need to ensure our customers are happy, that they see value, that they become advocates and that keep buying from us. We can always do better, build a more robust database, generate more qualified leads, increase conversion rates or drive more pipeline. So don’t ever think “Set It and Forget It”. Our job begins with the send of an email campaign…it doesn’t end there.