Marketing Automation EP1

Why Email Nurturing is NOT Marketing Automation


Are you running email nurture flows with Mailchimp?
Well… I hate to break it to you, but that’s not what Mailchimp is for.

Great Marketing Automation can fix a lot of ongoing issues in your client attribution, improve your retention and elevate your revenue generation.

But as you may already suspect.

But first, a quick question: Do you know what endless shampoo options and marketing automation have to do with one another?

I’ll let you know at the end of today’s course.

Before we get started, if you find these insights valuable, the best way to support our work is by inviting your friends to become Dot Connecters and learn more about Connecting The Dots between marketing activities and financial goals.

Topic Of Today

🎙 Episode Highlight: Email Nurture is NOT Marketing Automation

📚 Deep Dive: Implementing real Marketing Automation

📌 Actionable Advice

📚 Homework

💡 Pro Tip

📽️ Business Companion EP 1 📽️

1. 🎙 An Episode Highlight: Email Nurture is NOT Marketing Automation

Ricardo Ghekiere (Founder & Head of Laughs at Saasmic) highlights how many businesses start with tools like MailChimp, often misusing them for tasks they're not designed for, like outbound marketing automation.

This limited view of marketing automation often results in manual processes, disconnected from backend data. The true essence of marketing automation goes beyond sending newsletters; it requires technical knowledge, an understanding of data modelling, and integrating backend data for advanced flows.

Key Takeaways:

Investing in the wrong tools:

Many businesses initiate their marketing automation journey with email inbound tools like MailChimp (which they then use for outbound motions).

While these tools have their merits, they are often misused for tasks they weren't designed for, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities.

They can also give the false impression of Marketing Automation being implemented. When in reality they are merely a shiny addition to an otherwise chaotic setup.

The Disconnect from backend data:

A significant challenge in B2B SaaS marketing automation is the reliance on manual processes with unclear sources of truth (i.e. what data source is considered to be the most accurate).

Instead of real-time, integrated data flows, businesses often resort to manual uploads from several data sources, resulting in outdated or incomplete data driving their automation efforts.

True Marketing Automation:

Beyond sending out emails, genuine marketing automation involves creating an intricate, customer-journey driven ecosystem of data collection, data handling and process automation.

This requires a blend of technical expertise, a deep understanding of data modelling, and the ability to craft meaningful interactions based on real-time insights.

2. 📚 Deep Dive: Implementing real Marketing Automation

  1. A holistic view of Marketing Automation:

What it's not: It's not just about tools like Zapier or MailChimp.

What it is: It's about assessing data needs, integrating tools, and providing valuable insights.

The Impact: A well-designed system not only improves customer experience by delivering personalised content and timely interactions but also streamlines operations by automating repetitive tasks, ensuring consistent messaging, and reducing manual errors.

  1. Revenue Generation & Customer Retention challenges:

The Problem: Many businesses face challenges in generating revenue and retaining customers due to a misunderstanding of data collection and customer journey mapping.

The Solution: Marketing automation can address these challenges by clearing up available data and providing insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and pain points.

The Outcome: By implementing a comprehensive marketing automation strategy and building an ecosystem of clear data collection habits, and opportunity mapping in the customer journey, businesses can enhance customer experience, increase customer lifetime value, and drive stronger revenue growth through tailored messaging and targeted campaigns.

  1. Assessing current data collection & marketing tools:

The Starting Point: Collaborate with developers to map necessary data and understand current collection methods.

The Goal: Ensure data is collected and stored for straightforward handling without constant developer intervention. This involves cleaning up naming conventions and ensuring consistency across data points.

The Benefit: Proper data mapping ensures seamless integration with marketing automation tools, leading to more accurate and effective campaigns. It also helps you free developer time and storage from completely unnecessary data entries.

  1. Achieving Leadership Buy-In:

The Challenge: Convincing leadership of the value of a comprehensive marketing automation strategy.

The Approach: Demonstrate the time and resource-saving benefits, potential cost savings, and long-term benefits with small-scale initial implementation or historical results with similar businesses.

The Result: By framing marketing automation as an investment with significant ROI instead of a fancy cost element, you can secure the support needed for successful implementation.

Getting Started with Marketing Automation:

  1. Assessment: Begin by evaluating your current marketing tools and data collection methods. Identify gaps, overlaps, and inefficiencies.

  1. Define Challenges: Understand the primary challenges your business faces, whether it's revenue generation, customer retention, or both.

  1. Data Mapping: Collaborate with your IT or developer team to ensure data is being collected efficiently and stored invariably. Help them with drawing up what you need in the 1st place (think through what data is important for you to create a more accurate, more engaging and more segmented customer journey). Clean up any discrepancies or inconsistencies.

  1. Tool Selection: Based on your assessment, choose the right marketing automation tools that align with your business needs. Ensure they can integrate seamlessly with your existing tools and processes. Perhaps ask for professional help if you have 0 experience with this.

  1. Strategy Development: Design a comprehensive marketing automation strategy that addresses your identified challenges. This should include tailored messaging, personalized content, and targeted campaigns.

  1. Leadership Buy-In: Present the benefits of your proposed strategy to leadership, highlighting potential ROI, cost savings, and long-term benefits.

  1. Implementation: Begin the process of setting up your chosen tools, integrating them with your existing systems, and rolling out your new marketing automation strategy.

  1. Continuous Review: Regularly assess the effectiveness of your strategy, making adjustments as needed based on feedback and results.

3. 📌 Actionable Advice:

Embrace a holistic view: Don't limit your understanding of marketing automation to just the tools. Think about the entire customer journey, from the first touchpoint to post-purchase interactions. Ensure that every step is optimised for a seamless and personalised experience.

Address core challenges: Identify the primary challenges your business faces in terms of revenue generation and customer retention. Use automation to tailor messaging and campaigns that directly address these challenges.

Prioritise Data Integrity: Regularly audit your data collection methods. Ensure that the data you're collecting is accurate, consistent, and relevant. Inaccurate data can lead to misguided strategies.

Engage leadership: When proposing new automation strategies or tools, present them in terms of ROI. Highlight the long-term benefits and potential cost savings to gain leadership buy-in.

4. 📚 Homework

1. Tool audit: List down all the marketing tools you currently use. Identify overlaps, gaps, and any tools that no longer serve your needs. This will give you a clearer picture of your current tech stack and where improvements can be made.

2. Challenge identification: Conduct a survey or brainstorming session with your marketing, sales & customer success teams (if you don’t have those, anyone who has anything significant to do with the customer journey).

Identify the top three challenges you face in terms of revenue generation and customer retention.

3. Data mapping exercise: Collaborate with your IT or developer team for a day. Understand how data is currently being collected and stored. Identify any inconsistencies or gaps in your data collection methods. Make sure data naming is consistent across all sources.

4. ROI calculation: For a proposed marketing automation strategy or tool, calculate the potential ROI. Consider factors like time saved, potential revenue generation, and cost savings from reduced tool subscriptions.

5. Strategy Blueprint: Draft a basic blueprint of your proposed marketing automation strategy. This should include the tools you plan to use, the campaigns you plan to run, and the metrics you'll track to measure success.

💡 Pro Tip:

Marketing automation is as much about the human touch as it is about technology. While tools and data play a crucial role, never forget the end goal: enhancing the human experience.

As you dive into automation, always ask yourself, 'How does this strategy or tool make my customer's journey more personalized and meaningful?' Remember, automation should feel seamless and natural to the end user, not robotic.

Fun fact answer:

Did you know that having too many choices can paralyze decision-making? Psychologist Barry Schwartz coined the term "The Paradox of Choice" to describe how an overload of options can lead to anxiety and dissatisfaction.

This is why effective marketing automation often involves segmenting and personalising content to present users with the most relevant options, rather than overwhelming them with everything available.

Isn't that just fun?

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