When I started as a Demand Generation Specialist at Skyword four months ago, I knew I had a lot to learn. My first, major task: Learn Marketo.
Learning how to use a marketing automation platform is beneficial not only for you, but for your company: According to Position2, 63 percent of companies that use marketing automation are outgrowing their competitors. Similarly, 78 percent of marketers say that using automation platforms is responsible for the improvement of their revenue contribution. And as Iconsive reported via LinkedIn, implementing a platform can give your company 53 percent more marketing qualified leads than your competitor. All of this (hopefully) will lead to a higher lead to sale ratio.
I’m not going to lie: Learning how to use Marketo is overwhelming. The functionality is extremely complex because it is capable of so much. Having now used it daily for almost four months, here are my top five marketing automation strategies that beginners can take advantage of today:
On the Marketo homepage, there is the Community tab where users can interact with each other. This involves anything from asking questions on problems people are having, to sharing new ideas about the platform. The community is also where the support team lives, so if you can’t find a solution in one of the discussion boards, the professionals are ready to help. Included in the Community is Marketo University where there are videos and step-by-step guides on how to complete different tasks. This was extremely beneficial to me at first as I spent many hours watching videos on how to make smart campaigns, import lists, and create emails. This is also the best resource to use to prepare for your Marketo Certification.
Part of using any marketing automation platform is importing leads into your database. When we have leads to import, they are first put into an Excel sheet. Some of these lists have hundreds or thousands of names. In order to best target and personalize future emails, it is important to make sure all the information is correct. This involves ensuring the right letters in names and titles are capitalized, have the right company type and industry, and that there are no duplicate names in the list. This is not a fast task.
To save time, watch tutorial videos on Lynda.com, an online learning company. I have started watching videos on Excel tips and hacks that have made sorting through the names on the lists faster. Some of these tips include: learning how to freeze panes to keep category names at the top, how to make different formulas for columns, and reformatting names to the same style. Although some of these videos may seem long, they are very much worth it in the end, saving you time in the long run.
Coming into a company that already had a fully established marketing automation platform, I noticed that we had a certain way of organizing our programs. I was shown how to keep programs organized, how to label different kinds of campaigns, and how important it is to use dates to keep the emails organized. Staying organized may seem like an obvious hack, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to improve your email marketing strategy. For example, my Excel sheets—before I import them—have the date saved in the title, as does the list I upload it to, along with the smart campaign used to import it. This way, if you ever need to make changes to an email or campaign sent on a certain day, you can easily find it.
When it comes to creating emails, landing pages, forms, or smart campaigns, cloning old ones from previous programs is the way to go. Using ones that were created correctly guarantees that you won’t make a mistake. Marketo makes it easy to clone anything you’ve created. By right-clicking, you are able to clone anything and put it into the folder or program that you’re working on. Once this is done, all you have to do is insert the new text and it’s good to go. Instead of creating new forms or pages every time, cloning saves you time and frustration, simplifying your email marketing strategy.
Most importantly, having someone who has in-depth knowledge of the platform you are using is key to quickly mastering marketing automation. There are many steps to sending each email, many filters to go through to get your email to the right audience, and many smaller details that a beginner may overlook that only true experts know. If I find myself unsure if I’m doing something right (which is more often than not), it is great to know that someone has an answer (thanks, Adam!). This person is your greatest asset.
What better way to learn about marketing automation than from an expert?
This year, 70 percent of companies are using marketing automation or are implementing it in their email marketing strategy, and according to a Forrester Research report, 58 percent of top-performing companies—where marketing contributes more than half of the sales pipeline—have adopted marketing automation. If you’ve been tasked with learning a marketing automation platform like Marketo, worry not. Start with these hacks and you’ll be well on your way to learning a technology that will enable your company to more effectively and efficiently market. And, you’ll be in the driver’s seat.
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