Surveys can provide great insight into marketing impact, but as Mike and Hannah reflect on recent survey findings, correlation does not always mean causation. They also discuss the importance of ensuring the basics of automation are in place and the simple automations’ that can generate significant value.

Marketing automation platforms are often the key to marketing strategies, so keeping them organised is vital; Hannah shares some top tips during the insightful tip of the week.

Listen to the podcast now via the links below:

Transcript: Marketing Automation Moment Episode Eight – Generating Value with Simple Automations

Speakers: Mike Maynard, Hannah Kelly

Hannah: Welcome to the Marketing Automation Moment Podcast. I’m Hannah Kelly.

Mike: And I’m Mike Maynard. This is Napier’s podcast to tell you about the latest news from the world of marketing automation.

Hannah: Welcome to the Marketing Automation Moment the podcast from Napier.

Mike: In this episode, we talk about two reports on surveys that have been conducted recently,

Hannah: six underused market automation emails.

Mike: And then Hannah tries to organise everybody’s marketing automation platform.

Hannah: Well, welcome back to another episode. Mike. It’s great to be here.

Mike: It’s great to talk to you this morning Hannah.

Hannah: Yeah, I think we’ve got some really interesting topics to cover today.

So I’m just going to jump straight in. I think one of the most interesting things we’ve come across in the last month or so actually, was that Salesforce has released a state of marketing report for 2023. Now, it had some good insights. I mean, we even wrote about it on our blog. So we know that there’s been some good insights in there. But I know when we were discussing internally, Mike, you had a few views that Salesforce was perhaps tricking people into view and a certain perception of these results. So for example, often the difference is relatively small between the top and poor performers. So it’s not necessarily the case that if you do something that top performers are doing, that’s going to be successful for your marketing. I mean, you actually picked out an example referring to the analysed marketing performance in real time results. Did you want to share some further insights on this?

Mike: Well, I think it’s really interesting. I mean, these reports are useful. So I don’t want to suggest that I don’t agree that the reports are worthwhile, or that they’re not beneficial. But there’s some things to bear in mind. I mean, you work with me, Hannah, you may have heard me say correlation is not causation before. And of course, none of these reports really establish whether any links that you see, between people being able to do something, and getting better results is actually caused by that, or whether people who get better results are actually just better at doing everything anyway. So it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you do something, it will generate better results. It does mean, on average, people get better results generally do that thing. So there’s a good chance, but it’s not always the case. I mean, the famous example that when I was learning statistics years and years ago, was that you saw that the number of electric power stations electric power capacity in the UK, was growing almost exactly at the same rate as car usage was in the UK, which kind of suggested that cars were running on electricity, which clearly back when I was younger, was not the case. Now that might be changing. But I think there’s a lot of these things where two things correlate, but they’re not necessarily a cause. So being able to analyse marketing performance in real time, I mean, Salesforce push that it’s obviously one of the things that Salesforce helped people to do. But the reality is, is that actually 61% of poor performers can analyse marketing performance in real time. So the fact you’re analysing marketing performance in real time doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be a good performer. And I think people need to read into these reports a little more in depth, I’m pretty sure if you’re a good performer, real time results are going to help. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you do this one thing, analyse in real time, you’ll magically get great performance for your campaigns. And I think that’s what we’ve got to try and get away from. And clearly, you know, what, what companies like Salesforce are doing is they’re creating these surveys to generate interest and demand for their product. So they’re actually going to potentially push these results that sometimes might not be completely accurate.

Hannah: It’s definitely an interesting perspective by them, I agree. I think, you know, one of the key points from this report is that marketers are shifting to maximise value from their existing tools. So basically, Salesforce is trying to create a more demand for them automation systems and everything they can do.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I think some of the things that are in the report are quite clearly data that you can rely on. I mean, they had a good sized sample. And it’s very clear that, you know, one of the key priorities marketers have at the moment is to get more value from existing tools, rather than to necessarily go out and buy more tools. Now, obviously, we’ve had a few years of martech craziness where everyone’s been spending like mad. So probably, is the time to look at are we making best use of our tools, and maybe even to rationalise the tools that people use? So I think that’s, you know, that’s a really useful finding.

Hannah: And I personally think it’s a great area to be in because, you know, we work with clients and prospects we speak to when we often feel frustrated when they’re not using their tools to their full potential. So if this is the focus, then I’m completely on board of it.

Mike: Yeah, I mean, we’ve all seen the client who’s running email campaigns on Marketo. They’re spending hundreds of 1000s of dollars a year on Marketo and, frankly, getting little more value than they would get if maybe they ran a campaign on MailChimp. So I think actually making use of tools is really important. And people when they buy these tools, they look at all these capabilities. The reality is, is most companies double down on a few capabilities that really make the difference to their campaigns. And I think, you know, really understanding what makes a difference. And then using those capabilities is the most important thing rather than trying to tick all the boxes.

Hannah: Definitely. So we are a bit survey tastic. Today, Mike, but there was another survey that I wanted to talk about with you. And this was actually by Insightly who surveyed nearly 200, B2B marketing leaders. And actually, they found that five out of 10 say that optimization of the overall automation strategy is the most important thing to them, and that they want to improve their customer journey and increase revenue. So similar results to Salesforce is state of marketing report. But it was interesting to see the focus to improve the customer journey, because I feel that a lot of the work for the customer journey actually has to be completed offline, in the more strategy areas before it can be implemented and marked automation platforms, rather than something you can just build from scratch and you can implement straight away. What do you think?

Mike: Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right, Hannah. I mean, to me, this, this comes back to, you know, the finding we talked about from Salesforce, people want to get more value from the tools. And actually, if you’re using a market automation tool, to build clear customer journeys, and to focus on measurable results, and in particular revenue, are both going to help you get more value out of your tools. So I think it ties in very closely. But I totally agree, it shouldn’t just be something you think about. From a marketing automation point of view, you should actually be thinking holistically across all your activities.

Hannah: Absolutely. And I think there’s some great opportunities to increase the revenue with your opportunities within Marketo Meishan platforms like lead nurturing, is such a simple yet effective tactic to really increase the speed through the funnel.

Mike: Oh, yeah, I mean, I think looking at where people are falling off on a customer journey, so you build your customer journey model, you see how people progress through. And you’ll very often see points where people just disappear, they don’t continue the journey. We’ve talked about this in previous episodes. And doing that analysis is really important, because identifying where people leave the journey gives you the opportunity to fix that problem. The people that leave and don’t continue the customer journey, they’re never going to buy anything, they’re not going to get to the end of the journey. So really looking at that and optimising the journey is going to make a huge difference. It’s one of the most basic and straightforward things you need to be doing with marketing automation.

Hannah: Definitely. And I think that relates really nicely to Article I saw a martec Recently, and they were talking about the top six automation workflows that need to be used within market automation systems. It was quite consumer ecommerce focused. But I think they made a good point that it’s obvious that people are still forgetting the basics, and that there are some workflows that need to be implemented to be successful. What do you think?

Mike: Yeah, I mean, I think you’re right, when you say that people miss the basics, quite often, there’s some very simple automations you can do, that are gonna, you know, really generate a lot of value. So you know, some of the things that the article talked about. And this is, as you say, it’s more consumer in E commerce is, you know, sending post purchase emails, or sending account creation and welcome emails, sending abandoned cart emails, I mean, everybody knows that these are the basic things you should be doing. But not everybody is doing them. And they’re not very sexy. I mean, they’re not very exciting. I think a lot of this does relate to B2B. So even where B2B companies are not doing e commerce and not selling off their website, there are still opportunities to do these kinds of simple, straightforward emails, you know, you’ve probably got a newsletter, and you probably should send a welcome email when people sign up for the newsletter. And in fact, I think probably if we look at Napier, we’re maybe not actually the best at doing that as well. So perhaps that’s something we should do too.

Hannah: Absolutely. I think there’s always areas to improve. And that’s how you always get better.

Mike: Absolutely. I mean, you know that there are other things as well, you know, the the article talks about when people are browsing and abandoned before you get to a goal in terms of a journey through the website. And that can be really important. I mean, interestingly, though, I think the one thing you shouldn’t do is to really try and compensate for poor customer journey or poor customer experience, by then sending emails. I mean, I recently tried to buy something online. And I received four follow up emails that were asking me about, you know, how can we help you complete your purchase because I abandoned the cart. The reason I abandoned the cart was the whole user experience was terrible. The amount of data they needed was awful. And I went elsewhere because it was just easy. And so I think again, as marketers, we shouldn’t look at one solution, and think that one solution is the only way to fix problems. So you shouldn’t just look at marketing automation as a magic solution to fix issues when people drop off the customer journey, you should also look at the reasons why they’re dropping off. And whether that’s caused by, you know, bad user experience lack of information.

Hannah: Definitely and could you give an example, maybe Mike about how your journey could have been improved in that example, that’d be really interesting to hear for our listeners.

Mike: I mean, this one was really simple, you know, what I was trying to check out, you know, if you’re trying to buy something online, as a consumer, you probably just want to give your address, your email and your name. And that’s it. And there was this massive, long form, they wanted to know, loads of information. And it was just too painful. To be quite honest. There was also a lot of upsell there as well, in terms of, you know, would you like to buy this? Like, he’s like, No, I just want to buy this. And it’s difficult enough as it is. So I think, nobody, it almost felt like nobody at that company, had been through the process of like buying on the website for the first time. And they hadn’t realised what a pain it was, it may be a fantastic experience once you’re signed up. But unfortunately, as a consumer, I’ll never know, because I actually went to one of their competitors.

Hannah: I think the key thing you just said there, Mike is a customer buying the first time. And I think that’s such a crucial thing to think about, because there are customers who be in different stages. And so their journey does need to reflect that.

Mike: Absolutely. And we see it in B2B as well, it’s, you know, how are you giving, looking at the experience for someone who’s new to a website, or is not very familiar with your brand, versus someone who’s, you know, really experienced, and there’s different things you can do, you can on one hand, not really promotes registration, or newsletters and gathering data. And that’s not great, because it’s not really very effective. But on the other hand, if you over promote to people who already registered, that’s going to become annoying. And so you need to really think about the journeys. And you think about the journeys in the context of the individual personas that you’ve got.

Hannah: Absolutely. Now, I’m just going to take us off to our insightful Tip of the Week, Mike. And this week, I really wanted to talk about what is the one thing you wish you had known when setting up a market automation platform. So for me, my thing is that organisation is key. So you will thank yourself later, if you spend the time setting up the formats and the processes or folders that are easy to read emails that are easy to find. What are your views?

Mike: I’m shocked that someone like you is keen on organisation, you are the most organised person I know. But you’re absolutely right. We quite often see clients who have put campaigns into marketing automation system, they’ve had no naming convention, there’s all sorts of names, then you try and find a particular campaign. And it’s not too difficult when you’ve got maybe five campaigns. But when you’ve been running for a while you’ve got 50, it becomes almost impossible. And so quite often we see clients having to go back and implement a folder structure or implement naming conventions. And I totally agree that actually thinking about how you’re going to structure things, how you’re going to name things, that is probably one of the most important things to make your system easy to use in the future.

Hannah: Absolutely. I mean, I have become a bit of a terror, if you like poor Natasha and Holly who I work with, but our SharpSpring platform is set to all our folders, it’s all organised as key. And I think that what clients need to remember is, sometimes they don’t account for growth. So they start off with four email campaigns. And that could be like that way for six months. But eventually they are going to grow them out automation platform, the business is going to grow. And so they’ve got to account for that time in the future, and make sure that they’re set up properly to be efficient.

Mike: Yeah, and I think understanding you know, what determines a folder structure versus what determines the name. So quite often you might have in a large organisation, you might have folders structured around different divisions that’s very common, or indeed different geographies and then different divisions. Whereas the naming convention might do things like identify the date of the campaign, and allow you to sort an order of date. So I think it’s important to think about that. And I mean, anyone who’s, who’s interested in that I’m sure, they can send you an email after listening to the show, and you’re helping them out with your opinions.

Hannah: Absolutely. I’m always happy to share an opinion. Well, it’s been another great conversation. Mike, thanks so much for joining me today.

Mike: Well, thanks so much, Hannah. It’s been really interesting, and I look forward to talking to you again.

Hannah: Thanks for listening to the Marketing Automation Moment podcast.

Mike: Don’t forget to subscribe in your favourite podcast application, and we’ll see you next time.