12 campaign, content, and CDP tips to make better use of marketing automation

July 13, 2022 | 12 minute read
Michael McNichols
Senior Content Manager
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Find out how to make the best use of your marketing automation software rather than waste time and budget.

  • See why you should embrace marketing automation to scale and deliver on what your customers want
  • Find out how AI, a customer data platform (CDP), an agile strategy, and more make your automation more effective
  • Get tips on email, segmentation, content marketing, cross-channel, and omnichannel marketing to ensure your automation drives the best results

Why marketing automation software?

Today’s customer wants a personalized experience delivered right away and won’t accept anything less.

If you’re looking to scale your marketing and reach more customers, you can’t let repetitive, manual tasks eat up all your time when you could be strategizing, working on content, and analyzing metrics.

Plus, you can’t help human error. None of us are perfect. You and your team will make mistakes, especially if you’re slaving away with manual processes.

So, you turn to marketing automation tools to:

  • Simplify and streamline your marketing
  • Deliver relevant, personalized experiences at speed
  • Reduce time, costs, and human error
  • Increase productivity and efficiency
  • Build and target the right audiences

Ascend2’s State of Marketing Automation 2021 found that:

  • 35% of marketers want automation to streamline their effort
  • 34% want to use it to improve customer engagement
  • 34% also want to use it to enhance their customer experience (CX)

Get up to speed on automation and today's other top marketing technology trends to drive higher performance.

The bottom line, though, is you’re looking for a solution to help you drive more revenue, and automation is it.

According to ResearchGate’s Marketing Automation Report for 2021, marketers stated their top goals:

  • 60% said to generate new leads
  • 47% said to retain customers
  • 46% said to increase sales

Obviously, you, your peers, and competitors are seeking ways to reach more prospects and generate more highly qualified leads to increase engagement and conversions.

Learn how Philips increased its marketing-qualified leads to opportunity rate by 30% with Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation.

However, marketing automation software isn’t a robot. You can’t set it and grab coffee while it takes care of every little thing.

Marketing automation software, however, reduces human error but doesn’t eliminate it. While it can help, it’s only as useful and game-changing as you make it.

Tools often require know-how and finesse. Also, marketing is an art. Art takes time, thoughtfulness, practice, and work.

And you have to know what you’re doing with your paintbrush, chisel, camera, and so on.

Find out the specifics on how automation works with marketing automation 101.

So, having marketing automation isn’t enough. You have to use it the right way, or you could still waste time and money.

Let’s look at some tips from different areas to help you make the most of your marketing automation solution, especially for your campaigns.

Get tips to improve your marketing automation

12 marketing automation tips for campaigns that convert

1. Create a marketing strategy

Automation is only a tool. The success you garner with it depends on how you use it.

However, doing things randomly and merely being reactive won’t produce the best results. Yes, you should adapt and respond to shifts in customer behavior, but that becomes much easier if you already have a plan in place.

Put your marketing strategy together months in advance so you have all your ducks in a row:

  • Define your goals – Everyone should work toward the same goals and know what metrics they’re aiming for.
  • Define roles and responsibilities – Never overlook the importance of everyone fitting into the right role and knowing what the marketing team needs of them. The campaign manager runs the campaigns, the content marketer produces content for them, etc.
  • Set up processes and communication – Who does what and when? Who approves, schedules, and publishes? Get everybody on the same page by setting up processes and putting everything in place to encourage communication and collaboration.

2. Embrace agile marketing

In life, not everything always goes according to plan. Even with the best data, processes, and software in the world, something might go amiss or change.

Customers might embrace new trends. World events might change the game. The global pandemic and inflation fears have thrown off many a marketing campaign. 

Maybe your branding changes, or you have to adjust to an internal change. Your marketing automation can’t just adjust and fix everything. You have to try something different in your marketing.

Try agile.

What is agile, and how does it apply to digital marketing?

Agile marketing means you can create or respond to change without everything crashing down. In simple terms, it comes down to:

  • Identifying a problem, such as a visitor leaving a webpage quickly and clicking anything, customers not signing up for a webinar, email click-through rates (CTR) dropping, etc.
  • Looking at data and analytics to see just what’s going wrong or needs improvement
  • Coming up with a solution that takes care of the issue
  • Testing this solution to see how it goes
  • Evaluating the results to determine if you might need another approach
  • Repeating the solution if it works and tweaking it if needed

Embed agile into your marketing, so you can pivot and adapt more easily without it costing you valuable time, budget, and frustration.

Get the lowdown on how to create an agile marketing strategy that makes you more adaptable and able to shift when needed.

3. Train your team up (and encourage them to keep learning)

You’ve invested in marketing automation software. To make the most of it, you and your team have to use it properly.

So, make sure everyone who touches it receives proper training in its use.

Training doesn’t end there, however. Further education always helps.

Your team might discover tips to run the software better in the course of their day-to-day responsibilities. They should share them.

Also, keep up marketing automation itself. Experts make valuable content available, hold events, and answer questions that might help you address a problem.

Your software will likely be updated as well. New features, capabilities, and integrations will become available. Make sure to stay on top of it.

Sign up for our feature kits that keep you updated on new features and capabilities for Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation, Responsys Campaign Management, and other marketing solutions.

4. Work with a better quality of data

Without the right data, your campaigns and marketing automation won’t amount to much.

The better your data, the more relevant and personalized your marketing can get. Then your automation can really crank out results.

A marketing automation tool can track campaign results, but it can’t handle the vast amounts of data from multiple sources that you might need.

All is not lost, though.

You can integrate your automation software with other tools, such as a customer data platform (CDP) and AI.

Customer data matters to marketing

5. CDP + AI + marketing automation = highly personalized and optimized campaigns

A customer data platform (CDP) takes in data from a number of sources, such as your CRM, data management platform (DMP), data lake, data warehouse, marketing automation, and analytics.

From there, it cleanses, links, and stores those mountains of data to make it all more manageable and easier to use. For what uses exactly?

  • Create a complete customer profile to anticipate their needs
  • Identify your customers despite the dizzying myriad of online and offline actions they take (i.e., purchasing something in store, clicking through on a link in an email on their phone, making a purchase as a guest rather than being signed into their account)
  • Improve your segmentation and targeting by digging deeper into the data and their wants/needs
  • Make your marketing more personalized, relevant, and likely to engage and convert

Now AI comes in. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can analyze the heaps of data your CDP stores. It then creates insights that can help you decide the next best action to take and how to personalize further.

AI can:

  • Suggest subject lines, content, the channel, and the type of campaign a customer would most likely prefer
  • Optimize email send time (and even the right day to send) and gauge whether or not you’re fatiguing a customer with too many marketing messages
  • Create content and copy you can use in your campaigns (though you’d better check it over and make it sound as natural as possible)

In short, a CDP and AI can help you set up and analyze more touchpoints. The results then can help you use your automation better and craft higher-performing campaigns.

Find out more about anticipating customer needs with a CDP.

Also, check out this infographic, “3 reasons marketing leaders rely on AI.”

6. Resist the temptation—don’t buy your list; build your own

It might sound easy to just buy a list and work off of it, but it’s better to build your own organically over time. That way, you know your contacts better, and you ensure what you send to them is relevant.

If you buy a list, you run the risk of sending something to someone they don’t care about. Will they open another email you send their way if you do that?

7. Get your segmentation right

Segmentation makes your lists of contacts and campaigns more manageable. Breaking up your audience into groups( segments) makes it easier to focus on their preferences and needs.

But if your segmentation isn’t any good, you might just waste time.

A higher quality of data helps you segment people into the right groups. But how many segments do you want?

You don’t want too many or not enough. You want just the right number to put enough emphasis on a specific audience.

Aim for five to eight segments. That keeps the number of segments manageable but gives you enough of them to work with and analyze the results.

Then make sure you use the right segment for the right campaign. And that this segment and campaign are different than the others. Otherwise, what would be the point?

Also, segmentation doesn’t exist in isolation. How you divvy up your audience should affect how you craft your personas and do the rest of your marketing, be it content, blogging, social, or advertising.

It should impact your products and services. After all, segmentation tells you what your audiences want and need. Shouldn’t that help tweak not just your messaging but also what you offer as well?

8. Go mobile, cross-channel, and omnichannel

The number of smartphone subscriptions globally now surpasses six billion and will probably climb higher and higher over the next several years.  Approximately 52% of adults in the US own a tablet, and roughly the same percentage own an e-reader.

61% of Google searches now come from mobile.

More than 50% of all online traffic also comes from the mobile channel.

A good marketer connects with customers on the channels they frequent. And people have definitely embraced mobile.

So, for your marketing automation to do you much good, you have to incorporate mobile marketing into your campaigns and customer outreach.

How will an email, blog post, ads, social media post, landing page, etc., look on a smaller screen and different devices?

Consider that people cross from channel to channel. They might click a link in an email or ad that brings them to a landing page. On that landing page, they download a whitepaper.

Or a social media post takes them to a blog that takes them to a demo.

The possibilities might be endless.

And then there’s omnichannel. 

Cross-channel marketing involves just going from one channel to another. On the other hand, omnichannel marketing has multiple channels working together simultaneously.

For example, if you’re shopping in a store, you might receive a text or email on your phone about a discount or promotion.

That’s right. Your channels can work together.

It doesn’t have to be just email, text messages, or ads.

You can mix and match them according to your customer data to find the right journey for each.

It keeps things engaging and interesting for both you, the marketer, and your audience. 

Learn best practices for SMS marketing and how to combine it with email.

9. Use personalized and engaging content in your campaigns

Marketing automation and campaigns won’t do much for you if you’re not offering anything of value.

Your offers, products, and services have to be good and help customers solve problems.

And your content has to show people how and why your brand can help.

What is good content? It’s:

  • Engaging and educational
  • Helpful and not just trying to do a hard sell
  • Clear and concise

Content marketing comes in many forms: how-to guides, infographics, blog posts, video content, podcasts, tip sheets, and so on.

If you send out boring content that’s hard to understand and offers little value, you’re wasting your campaign and automation software.

As stated above, interactive content has come on. Polls, surveys, and games entertain and engage customers. Sometimes, (again as noted above), visuals tell the story better than words.

Many people are more visual learners anyway.

Always consider who your audience is and the content they like.

For instance, younger generations look for shorter, mainly visual, and interactive content, such as videos, and comes from TikTok, Instagram, or Snapchat.

Also, pay attention to where someone is on their customer journey. If they’re at the beginning of the sales funnel, they’ll want content that gives advice and tips, such as blogs and guides.

Aim for good content marketing

10. Track your success: Keep testing and measuring

The more and more campaigns you send out, the more and more content you publish, the more numbers you have to work with.

Your metrics can point you in the direction of what’s working and what’s not. Furthermore, A/B testing and multivariate testing can also key you into what copy, content, and offers get the best responses.

And have you heard of content analysis? It’s exactly what it sounds like.

You select a few metrics to judge how well your content (or a competitor’s doing).

Numbers matter.

The more metrics and data, the better you can refine your strategy and personalization, so our marketing automation gets the best results.

Learn how Mazda Motor Europe boosted email open rates to car owners to about 50% and 90% for campaigns about new car launches with Oracle Maxymiser Testing and Optimization.

11. Start small and grow over time

You don’t have to take over the world in one night. If you take on too much at a time, things get complicated fast.

It’s the same with marketing automation.

Start small and build up your campaigns, lists, content, touchpoints, and data over time. Carefully review metrics and analytics. Get to really know your audience.

Anything worth doing takes time, right?

12. Don’t sound automated and forget a human touch

Never forget that marketing is human beings connecting with human beings. Even if you’re using automation and AI, you still have to sound human and natural in your marketing.

It shows that you care and understand. What would personalization be without that?

A hard sell, the wrong type of content, hard-to-read copy, and a generic headline show that you don’t think of your customer as a person. You don’t know how to help them, which certainly doesn’t make out to be much of an expert in your field.

And you might come across as only wanting to sell them on something rather than offer a helping hand, which people dislike. No one likes being sold to.

They might not trust you or your brand and certainly will think twice before doing business with you.

Plus, jargon doesn’t help.

Words and phrases like “leverage,” “learnings,” and “future-proof” don’t actually mean anything. The more you understand your product and your customer, the more direct, specific, and natural you’ll come across to them.

Marketing automation helps you get more done and reach more people. It also allows you to use a scalpel and not a hammer. After all, if you only use hammers, everything looks like a nail.


Check out these additional resources for help with campaigns and martech:

For the latest on automation, AI, CDPs, and other important martech:

Scale and drive ROI with automation, email, and data-driven marketing across channels. Get the details on Oracle Marketing solutions:

 

 

 

 

 

Michael McNichols

Senior Content Manager

Michael McNichols is a Senior Content Manager for Oracle Digital Marketing. He has over ten years of experience in professional writing and has been widely published.


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