A New Year’s Resolution for your Marketing Automation system

December 31, 2023
November 9, 2023
Marketing Operations Optimization
"Marketing Automation System Audit"

4 easy steps to auditing your marketing automation tools

When was the last time you evaluated your email and marketing automation tools?  “Well, Sheena, I look at them regularly to check performance,” states the client. Of course you do. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you are looking to see if they are working the way you need them to be. This calls for a marketing automation audit!

Since it’s the beginning of a new year, what better time?

Auditing your email and marketing automation tools is a very important process to go through annually. Clearing out dormant campaigns, workflows, fields, lists, etc. can not only be therapeutic, but can also bring to light any issues you may be having with performance. An audit also will serve as a great marker in the sand to start benchmarking performance. As an added bonus, they can even be used to onboard new staff or train existing team members.

As you carry on with your workload throughout the year, running campaigns, writing content, it can often be forgotten that you deprecate certain fields, or create new ones, or change workflows on forms. This is all part of the trial and error nature of marketing. Which is why auditing your processes is invaluable, especially before it becomes a major project, years down the road, when the architect of your marketing program is long since gone and no one knows how to update it. Trust me, I have lived this! When someone asks you to update the sales territory assignment, and all you want to do is go and hide under a rock and hope they forget they asked! At which point, it’s honestly better to blow up your whole system then spend hours and multiple dollars on consultants trying to unpick it. 

To avoid getting to that point, regular maintenance is required. Just like with your car.

A process audit can also be a great learning opportunity for new staff and serve as a great reminder for older staff as to what is going on with your system. It can also serve as a reminder to de-dup your data which is another important area of marketing automation workflow health.

Where to start with a Marketing Automation Audit?

1. Show me the data.

The first place to start is to do a deep dive into your data. Look for duplicate records, look for wonky lead sources, stalls in your lead conversion process, leads who fell through the cracks. Obviously, in a dream world, you would have a person on top of this on a much more regular basis, but, most SMEs do not have this resource. I know that in my past life in corporate marketing, I would pull these reports together on a monthly basis and review the data but often did not have enough bandwidth to look into the issues, but I knew they were there.

2. Align key metrics with C suite.

When developing your marketing workflow, you need to start with what you need to report up. I know this sounds counterproductive, but this helps you to keep your eyes on the prize. If you report up to you C-suite about lead sources, it may fall on deaf ears. Sure, they care about it, but at the end of the day, they actually have another metric in mind that means a lot more to them. That doesn’t mean you don’t track the lead source metric! Au contraire! That is a super important metric for your demand generation team, but that’s not what you need to report up. That being said, you lead sources are directly related to your marketing budgeting. So finding a way to communicate that metric so your budgeting isn’t called into a question is another thing! 

3. Begin your deep-dive.

Now that you have a roadmap from your data and have determined what to report up, you need an impartial look into your unique process and workflows. 

Looking at each element of your demand generation marketing program, you need to evaluate the performance of:

  • Data
  • Email Campaigns
  • Landing pages 
  • Forms 
  • Smart lists
  • Lead flows 
  • Social media 
  • Website content
  • Workflows
  • Integrations
  • Reporting

When you evaluate each item, you need to review your KPIs for each item and answer questions such as:

  • How do emails perform for Opens, Clickthroughs, Conversions? 
  • How do leads get added to these campaigns? 
  • How is your lead scoring working? 
  • What is the conversion rate from MQL to SAL? 
  • Where did leads drop off? 
  • Which content pieces performed poorly? 

These, amongst others, are the questions that need to be answered. I suggest this be done by an impartial person so that you don’t glaze over what you think might be an insignificant detail. Because that small item could lead you down a path and uncover a potentially larger issue. 

4. Develop an action list.

The results of an audit can be overwhelming. Throughout the course of your campaigns, many changes are made, loopholes created, and there are always opportunities to use the product better. Marketing automation tools are phenomenal tools, but often we don’t have the resources or knowledge of all of the system intricacies to know if we are using them to the best potential. Most software products have a regular release schedule which adds functionality constantly. It’s impossible to keep on top of things.

A domain expert will add this value to your organization. By creating a manageable action item list, prioritized based on what will have the biggest impact on your business, making it easy to action the items identified for improvement during the audit.

Don’t have the resources to do your own Marketing Automation audit or looking for an impartial review? We’ve got you covered! Get in touch now!

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