Angela Goodridge Group Marketing Manager,
Modern marketers are fast learning that a marketing automation platform is a must have tool to survive, but after the platform’s sales teams have left your office with their shiny pitches and endless promises – are marketing automation platform’s all they’re hyped up to be?
Heading up Marketing at ASX listed Eclipx Group and managing a portfolio of brands across various industries, this is what I learnt in the first 90 days of implementing HubSpot across one of our direct to consumer brands.
One of the biggest draw cards to implementing marketing automation was the ability to execute, test and report on campaigns in one platform and this is something that didn't disappoint.
Assembling a multi-faceted, personalised digital campaign including social media, EDMs, blogs, landing pages, SEM and reporting along with the option to utilise workflows all in one place has been fantastic.Whilst there are still limitations, such as not having the ability to include paid social targeting directly from HubSpot, I’m sure this functionality won’t be far away.
This is something some marketers have dreamt of having their entire careers. Yes, with one simple click of a button you can replicate an entire campaign and all of its assets enabling you to take a similar campaign to market in a fraction of the time. This functionality alone has saved my team hours of work, but be sure to have clear naming conventions and folder structures to save you from confusion later down the track.
Tech Support - do you need it?
Not sure if you’ll need internal tech support or on-boarding from the platform provider? Its simple - you’ll need both!
With what seems like endless features and functions in marketing automation platforms, having access to support on both sides was crucial to success. At different stages of our implementation journey both teams were called upon to help explain how and why certain tools should be utilised and it would be fair to say a few more bad habits would have been picked up without them.
HubSpot's Content Management System
Having used most open source and proprietary content management systems (or CMS’s) across my career, I was skeptical of migrating our website into the CMS that came as an optional inclusion of HubSpot. But in my first 90 days, it's proven to be simple to use and no more restrictive than other off the shelf platforms for content creation and editing.
The only issues we've experienced so far is the inability to pull in external database or feed driven content – in our case for the building of financial repayment calculators and dynamically displaying complex content structures. If this functionality was included moving forward, it could allow teams to leverage HubSpot’s platform to build more complex and interactive websites.
Having used platforms to facilitate A/B testing in the past, this feature wasn’t new, but having it sit in one place alongside your content and campaigns is a welcome feature. Albeit basic, it has still allowed us to double the conversion rate of a key lead generation form in the first 90 days.
Delivering personalised content to customers at the right time in their buying journey is a key goal of any automation platform. So when embarking on your marketing automation journey, don’t under estimate how important it is to have a clear content marketing strategy and an efficient content production team in place.
A marketing automation platform is worse than an overzealous Executive, it's a beast that you have to continue to feed with content, traffic and testing to draw meaningful conclusions.
What’s important to remember when assessing the success of your first 90 days is your platform doesn’t automate your marketing, in effect it streamlines and automates certain processes and provides you with the ability to scale your output without additional headcount.
So whilst our new marketing automation platform wasn't the silver bullet to hitting our targets in the first 90 days, time previously spent on the production of assets and execution across multiple platforms was replaced with crafting more personalised delightful content, strategic thinking and developing more complex and automated customer journeys.
And as we continue to develop and fine tune our approach, I look forward to seeing the shift in our CPA as we deliver more personalised and meaningful experiences with our brand.