• Heather

The 411 on Marketing Automation

It’s no surprise that 77% of CMOs at top-performing companies indicate their most compelling reason for implementing marketing automation is to increase revenue. Marketing automation drives an average of a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead.


Businesses large and small have experienced massive success when implementing a Marketing CRM/Automation platform because it allows them to:


  • Centralize customer data for improved end-to-end customer experiences across multiple channels and

  • Equip marketing and sales teams with valuable automation capabilities.

Plus, the average average return on investment (ROI) on Automation/CRM software is $8.71 for every dollar spent.


So the secret's out but there are several reasons why companies are hesitant to move forward, least of all is the complexity of selecting a tool and implementing it effectively.


CRM Basics

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is most impactful when all departments in an organization that interact with customers (and prospective customers) use an integrated system. Since many companies still operate Marketing and Sales as separate departments, it’s common for Marketing to have its CRM (i.e. HubSpot) and sales to use another (e.g., Salesforce). This approach works as long as the two technologies are compatible and can connect valuable customer data (contact information, channel interactions, purchase history, etc.).


What CRM + Automation Platform Can Do

There are upwards of 300+ CRM technologies in the market today but few that combine advanced automation capabilities and plug-and-play integrations with an intuitive user interface. If you’re in the market for a CRM/Automation platform, be sure to look for the following features (at minimum):

  • Contact management with interaction and conversation history

  • List management with automated segmentation and persona-building

  • Lead collection, scoring, nurturing and qualification

  • Campaign management across channels (web, email, direct mail, digital advertising, social media, and more)

  • Pipeline management with visibility into sales funnel (integrates with Sales CRM)

  • Meaningful analytics, reporting and data visualization

The Benefits of a CRM/Automation Platform

In addition to the team efficiencies and financial benefits mentioned above, the implementation of a marketing CRM/Automation platform will:

  • Enable you to create seamless customer experiences instead of singular interactions

  • Improve the overall effectiveness of your marketing team

  • Increase your pipeline of qualified leads being passed to the sales team

  • Nurture customers based on their place in the customer journey or familiarity with your business

  • Save a ton of time and frustration by eliminating the need for constant list exports, imports, and data cleanup

  • Accelerate your business’ digital transformation, allowing you to scale outreach, communication, marketing and sales interactionsProvide deeper insights into customer behaviors, allowing you to deepen your relationships and build raving fans

How It Works


It’s freaking magical. ;)


All joking aside, implementing an automation platform (like HubSpot) is a critical step towards digital transformation. The infrastructure was built to collect important information along the customer journey, store it in a safe and accessible way, and provide sales and marketing teams with features and functionality to scale interactions and campaigns.


Where to Start


You generally have two choices.

  1. You can assign the responsibility to someone in-house — and hope they have the knowledge to make it a smart investment, or

  2. You can hire an expert. It's worth noting that most platform implementations do come with a "success manager" to help make the implementation go smoothly, but don't be fooled. This still means someone ON YOUR TEAM needs to do the heavy lifting to make everything work.

Fun Fact: The latter reason is why I teamed up with two women to form Full Circle Lead. Together we work in HubSpot across the marketing and sales experience so we can assist our clients with the evaluation, selection, and setup of a marketing CRM/Automation platform.


Timeline & Investment


If you're considering implementing a marketing CRM/Automation platform, this information may be helpful. As an independent consultant and with my extended team at Full Circle Lead, we do our best work when we're considered an extension of your existing team, and we will work with you for as long or as little as you want. We think automation is pretty amazing when it's done right, and it pains us to see teams invest in a tool and fail to make it effective.


While every business is different, especially in terms of technology and integration support, a typical marketing automation implementation can take as little as 30 days. Here’s how that usually works for our clients:


0-30 Days - Technology Selection and Setup

  • Evaluate and select CRM technology

  • Outline buyer personas

  • Establish lead scoring methodology

  • Identify sales pass criteria

  • Customer data cleanup

  • Audit existing evergreen* campaigns

  • Initiate Marketing CRM setup (timeline depends on system selection)

Days 31-60 - Campaign Setup and Launch

  • Setup Marketing CRM to brand standards (logo, colors, images, legal unsubscribe, etc.)

  • Connect Marketing CRM to Google Analytics (GA) for conversion tracking

  • Automate existing, eligible batch campaigns (timelines vary based on quantity and quality of assets); This includes: list setup, creative, copy, and programmingProgram lead scoring and qualification criteria (MQL) for passing to salesSetup pipeline dashboardSetup campaign dashboardsDeliver impact report

Days 61+ - Program Expansion

  • Implement new marketing strategies for customer acquisition

  • Assess performance of existing evergreen campaigns, and optimize

*An evergreen campaign is anything that is intended to run based on a behavioral trigger and not time-sensitive. Examples include abandoned cart, new to database, product upsell, customer onboarding, etc.


Ready to Start?


If you have any questions or just don't know where to go next, connect with me and I'll talk you through it.


~H