Macbook laptop computer, marketing automation, upskilling

Article by Diana Rowatt, operations director at Leeds-based marketing automation platform Force24

For business leaders and their workforces, there are always opportunities to learn new tech skills – not least because of how rapidly it evolves.

And for brands that are keen to simplify a customer’s purchasing experience, complete conversions quicker and free up employee time – to focus on innovation – marketing automation could be the answer.

Why? Because the statistics evidence how this advanced technology can empower organisations. Customer optimisation specialist invesp reports how automation can drive up to a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overheads. Furthermore, 80% of marketing automation users saw an increase in the number of leads, and 77% experienced an uplift in conversions.

What’s stopping the adoption of marketing automation?

So, why might some leaders still be slow to learn and adopt this technology? Maybe it’s because they don’t know enough about it? If that’s the case, now is the time to develop critical skills that could transform their firm’s commercial activity and customer loyalty, when they need it most.

By its very definition, marketing automation should make life simple. It should liberate marketing campaigns, not restrict them, and make strategies agile, rather than sluggish. It’s technology that is super-personalised and delivers humanised communications to recipients via email, SMS, direct mail, social and more – in only a couple of simple clicks.

But with an extensive portfolio of channels to leverage and greater opportunities to target through data, understanding a new platform to deliver the insight an enterprise needs, might seem like a scary, time-consuming prospect.

In fact, it’s anything but! However, for an organisation to start maximising its customer opportunities and making things slicker, quicker, smarter and easier for their workforces as a whole, learning how it works is the first step towards potentially exploring a ‘new way of working’.

Where to begin with marketing automation

A great starting point on the learning journey is to look at the current systems in place within the organisation – and to understand where automation can both help achieve better results, save time and provide customer value.

Upon identifying that more needs to be done in terms of interacting with a target audience, leaders should want to develop the knowledge in how marketing automation can provide the effective touch points that will maintain – if not improve – online engagement. Learning about how a simple click can deliver crucial comms – that are sent to the right people, at the right time and when they’re most digitally active – can prove to be critical to the bottom line.

And as relationships become deeper between an organisation and a consumer, the data gleaned from automation needs to be interrogated and communicated to other parts of the organisation – such as sales and marketing – so that more conversions can then be made.

Always think about the end user

It’s also vital for leaders and their workforces to continue putting the customer first – ensuring that each recipient is enjoying a personalised experience via their chosen method of comms. Knowing how time-consuming this can be when done manually may appear to be a stumbling block for many, but those wanting to learn the ropes with marketing automation can actually tailor each piece of content in a matter of minutes. These time burdens are exactly the type of thing that automation technology should alleviate.

For the individuals keen to upskill themselves, a critical attribute is having the tenacity and eagerness to understand a new way of delivering comms and making the tech work in a seamless way that takes on the strain of laborious jobs and engages customers throughout.

Managers can utilise tech effectively to lead by example

Additionally, for automation to effectively operate – and produce positive results on the business’s bottom line – there needs to be a strong leader and engaged workforce that knows exactly what value such technology is bringing to the company. Being able to communicate how it can personalise customer emails, increase conversion rates and engage audiences are all as critical as upskilling in the platform itself.

In truth, when it comes to marketing automation it’s more about developing an understanding in how to adapt to a different way of working. Of course, there needs to be training in how the platform works and the process of creating customer email journeys, landing pages and more, but above all else, it’s about evolving with an agile mindset when embracing change.

To learn something new, leaders must embrace fresh technology and build a team that wants to develop its skillsets. A willingness to ignite key attributes that empower innovative thinking, reduce overheads and reinvigorate teams can help enterprises to work faster, smarter and harder. And that recipe is more crucial now than ever.

About the author

Di RowattDiana Rowatt is a highly driven and experienced operations director with key responsibilities throughout the running of marketing automation platform Force24. Having been part of the team’s journey for nearly a decade, Diana is known as the company’s ‘go to’ person when any advice or support is required. Leading and nurturing the services team – and ensuring operations are of premium quality throughout – Diana ensures the Yorkshire firm provides the highest levels of support and achieves the best possible results for B2B and B2C brands and their customers.

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