3 Reasons Executives Should Invest in Buyer Strategy Before Marketing Automation
Having high-performance marketing automation software is sure to be a priority for any customer-focused business. Therefore, it only makes sense to update or purchase one as soon as possible, right? However, for a CEO and senior executives, there are three reasons why it pays to act on your intuitive sense to slow down the train as a conductor would when approaching a sharp curve. In other words, decide what you truly want out of a marketing automation platform first, before you make a decision when it comes to purchasing one.
If you are overwhelmed thanks to the vast majority of marketing automation vendors out there, here are a few tips to help you narrow down your options.
Gain buyer insight.
"Who do we talk to?"
This seems like an obvious question that should result in an obvious answer - right? Part of the discomfort you've been having is a result of watching your staff struggle to answer this question. You witness the discourse and arguments that are happening during a contentious staff meeting. This begs the question: "how well do we know our buyers?" The reality is that most companies may not know them very well if they have not invested in buyer insight.
Choosing tactical initiatives becomes something of a blind date. You really don't know who you are reaching until you actually reach them. And sometimes, you know you definitely reached the wrong person. Do you know your buyers well enough to define your target buyer personas - an archetypal representation of the buyers you want to market to? Not just made up stuff or profiles but real buyer personas based on qualitative insight from real buyers. If your organization struggles in this area, then investing in buyer insight via cloud-based business intelligence is probably one of the single most important "decisions" you can make.
Adapt strategies to your market.
Pick up any business magazine, newspaper, or go to any business information website right now and the rage is social media, virtual assistants, email marketing, and a gluttony of other hot topics. So, you ask if you should be doing any or all of these. Any one or combination of these tactical approaches can make up the components of an overall marketing strategy. Informed by insight and buyer personas, your organization can adapt market strategies that map to buyer goals and behaviors.
For example, you discover that your buyer personas do not respond well to email campaigns but require in-depth content. Such a discovery helps you and your team to adapt market strategies and become more relevant to your buyers. Assessing and adapting market strategies are critical elements to making the right choices on tactical initiatives – while also determining which components are required in an automated marketing solution that is ideal for your business’s unique requirements.
Avoid implementation woes and poor ROI.
Decisions to implement a form of automation whether it is Salesforce, chatbots, demand generation, etc. can be an expensive proposition fraught with risk. For some senior executives, there may be that queasy feeling in their stomach about the CRM or SFA project that went south - as in way south of the border past Mexico. While the urgency to grow top line revenues is ever present, the last thing needed right now is to see a chunk of dollars dripping out of the bottom line with nothing to show for it. Investing in buyer insights, buyer personas, buyer experience strategy, and building teams who understand buyers at the deepest levels significantly reduces the risk of implementation woes.
Automating bad strategy, bad tactics, and creating a "spinning wheel" of continuous changes only accelerates failure like a runaway train. This is why it is essential to zero in on what your consumers’ preferences are, and create relevant strategies to satisfy those needs. All of this needs to be finalized before you begin your search for the best marketing automation tools for your business. Although your marketing automation software search will call for numerous meetings with vendors as well as demos, reviews and comparisons, knowing what you truly need can help you and your team filter out what is not necessary or valuable for your business.