If you’re like most business owners, you’re always looking for ways to improve your marketing ROI. One great way to do that is through marketing automation. However, it’s important to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.
First, a good audit will take a look at all aspects of your automation implementation and make recommendations for improvement. This might include things like:
- Creating more targeted email campaigns
- Adjusting your lead scoring process to better identify qualified leads
- Enhancing your website’s landing pages to increase conversion rates
- Automating more processes to save time and money
By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear plan for how to get the most out of your marketing automation investment. Let’s get started!
Why are you running an audit?
When conducting a marketing automation audit, one of the first questions you need to answer is “why?” Why are you running an audit? What are your specific goals and objectives? Without a clear understanding of your goals, it won’t be easy to measure the success of your audit.
- Are you looking to improve your marketing ROI?
- Are you trying to increase leads and conversions?
- Are you looking to improve your customer retention rate?
…Or are you trying to achieve all of the above?
Once you know why you’re running an audit, you can start to put together a plan of action. This plan should include who will be conducting the audit, what data will be collected, and how the results will be analyzed. To get the most out of your marketing automation audit, it’s important to have a clear and concise plan.
Format your “why” the same way you would format any other goal internally to ensure it’s understood by all parties involved.
For a complete audit, you may be looking at something like:
We want to get the most out of our marketing automation software by exploring every function available at our plan.
For a smaller audit, you may be looking at something like:
We want to optimize our lead scoring by making our MQL parameters stricter so our sales team only reaches out to the most relevant leads.
As you can see, the two scopes are vastly different. The first could take months to explore and years to implement, while the second could be done in a week with enough data.
After your why, let’s look into the how, who, and when
Now that you know why you want to run a marketing automation audit, it’s time to look into the how, the who, and the when.
The “how” of marketing automation audits is actually pretty straightforward: you’ll want to assess your marketing automation platform (MAP) and compare it against your marketing goals. This will help you understand how well your MAP performs and where there might be room for improvement.
To do this, you’ll need to gather data from a variety of sources, including your marketing team, sales team, customer relationship manager (CRM), and web analytics platform. Once you have this data, you’ll want to analyze how your marketing automation is performing.
There are a few different ways to do this, but one approach is to look at marketing-generated leads and track how they move through the sales funnel. This will help you understand how well your marketing automation is working to generate and nurture leads.
Another approach is to look at marketing-generated revenue. This will help you understand how effective your marketing automation is at driving sales.
Once you understand how your marketing automation is performing, you can start to look into the “who” and the “when.” Who should be using marketing automation, and when should they use it?
Generally speaking, marketing automation should be used by marketing teams to generate and nurture leads. Sales teams can also use marketing automation to stay up-to-date on leads that have been generated by marketing. And finally, customer service teams can use marketing automation to track customer interactions and provide timely follow-up.
As for the “when,” marketing automation should be used throughout the customer lifecycle, from lead generation all the way through to customer retention. Is it being used that way? If not, why?
A full audit rundown
While talking in hypotheticals is excellent, getting down to the nitty-gritty is where the real magic happens. Let’s take a look at what a real, full marketing automation audit might look like.
Managing your database
One of, if not the, most important aspects of marketing automation is database management. After all, your marketing automation is only as good as the data you put into it.
Do you have static or dynamic lists that are no longer used, like from that one-off webinar you put out two years ago? Why is it still cluttering up your CRM? Time to delete it.
Are there contacts that are just taking up space that haven’t been talked to in years? What are they doing? Beat it, creeps from ’17.
Do you have duplicate leads in your system from when a lead-filled out two different forms on your website? That will cause issues down the road, so make sure you deduplicate those leads as soon as possible.
Are all your custom fields being used, and if so, are they being used correctly? If when a company is founded doesn’t come into play for your marketing or sales teams, what’s the point of including it?
Do you have hundreds of emails that haven’t been sent out to anyone in over two years? Bye-bye.
But it’s not all about removing the old; it’s also about adding new. Could you create dynamically created lists because your new prospecting tool can pull company revenue so you can offer bigger ticket services? Prospecting to a $1MM a year company is so much different than a $100MM a year company.
How is your internal automation?
Your internal automation is set up to help your marketing, sales, and customer service teams. But are they helping? If you’re not sure, it might be time to take a closer look.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your internal automation is working as intended:
- Check-in with your team regularly to see how they’re using the automation tools and whether or not they find them helpful.
- Evaluate the data to see if the automation is saving time or causing more work in the long run.
If you find that your internal automation isn’t working as well as it could be, don’t be afraid to make changes.
For example, when your pipeline is relatively empty, it could be beneficial for sales members to see when one of their prospects visited a page on your website. However, when they’re getting pinged every 30 seconds because the 1,500 prospects under their belt just got sent an email about your live webinar, it can be not very pleasant.
Check your automated emails
Now that you’ve cleaned up your database, it’s time to take a look at the emails your marketing automation system is sending out.
- Do they align with your buyer personas?
- Do they address the specific needs and pain points of each persona?
- Have you been A/B testing different subject lines, calls to action, or email content?
If not, now is the time to start.
If you don’t like what you see as far as open rates, responses rates, click-throughs, meetings booked, or whatever purpose a given email is meant to serve…
It’s time to make some changes.
It’s time to start testing.
It’s time to see what works and what doesn’t.
How’s your lead scoring working out
Ah, lead scoring—the bane of many a marketing automation user’s existence.
Lead scoring can be incredibly helpful when used correctly, but it can also be a huge pain to set up*, maintain, and fine-tune.
If you’re not using lead scoring or using it but not seeing the results you want, it may be time to revisit your lead scoring strategy. Maybe you’re being too strict identifying MQLs. Perhaps you’re sending people to sales that aren’t entirely where they need to be in the buyer’s journey.
*Finding what to measure and how to measure it, not the actual process of lead scoring. That’s easy.
The software you’re integrating with
Do you have all the necessary integrations in place?
Are they working the best they possibly can be?
When you introduce new software to your martech stack, it can interact with other software and tools in ways you may not have thought about.
That’s where a lot of creativity and fun comes into play.
Can your contact finding software automatically pull 1000 names per day, put them into your sales outreach tool, and send an introductory email on behalf of your sales team first at 8 AM every morning?
Maybe. Find out.
How are your reports doing?
Are you happy with the way your marketing system’s reports are set up?
Do they give you the information you need to make decisions?
Do they show you what’s working and what’s not?
If not, it may be time to revisit your reporting strategy.
Decide what information you need to track. This will vary depending on your business goals. Next, think about how often you need to see this information. Do you need real-time data? Or can you get by with weekly or monthly reports? Lastly, consider who needs to see the reports.
Don’t let bad reports hold you back from making great decisions for your business.
Taking the time for a marketing automation audit can help you get more out of your investment and improve your ROI. If you’re interested in working with a really cool guy who’s good at this kind of thing, reach out. Let’s talk about it.
(now that’s a real compelling call to action 👀)