Automation. It’s a word that denotes simplifying repetitive tasks. Marketing Automation refers to a software your marketing department is probably already using to automate many repetitive tasks related to email marketing and website actions. It’s certainly very powerful and something that you, as the owner of your online community, want to explore in connecting to your activities.
Now, I should caution you, there are some online community platforms out there which will try to sell you on “community automation” add-ons for a pretty penny, but resist the allure of their slick marketing. Here are a few reasons why it’s not a good idea to silo your automation to your community platform:
Don’t Pay Twice
It’s very likely that your company has already allocated a significant amount of money for a marketing automation tool. Don’t explode your online community budget on things you don’t need. Save your money for events, promotions and other community-related expenses. Why add unnecessary overhead to your team?
Avoid Annoying Your Customers
In its simplest form, one of the main goals of automation is increasing engagement with minimal effort. Your marketing team is already targeting prospects and customers with email marketing and messages. It doesn’t make sense for your community platform to have it’s own siloed solution. Imagine how annoying it will be for community members to have their inboxes flooded by marketing messages and community messages at the same time.
Make Your Community a Source of Indispensable Data
Your community has lots of great insights and data that could be isolated within your community platform. Integrating your marketing automation solution will allow this information flow into the marketing department. With the right process and steps, this information can be turned into actionable intelligence for your whole company. For example, your marketing team may see patterns related to marketing funnel and community content consumption. Tying your community action to business goals, KPIs and outcomes makes your community indispensable. You will find you are doing less to fight for the existence of your community and more managing requests for you to be more involved.
Build Internal Departmental Connections
Tied the point above, you make your community position stronger by leveraging the marketing teams influence. You now have an ally for your community goals, because now it’s tied to measurable and quantifiable results of marketing touches and actions. You are also not alone to figure out how to use the marketing automation, as the team likely already has the knowledge of the system to help you also achieve your goals.
Better Insights into Your Member Behaviour
No matter the company, your management will appreciate data that shows you are contributing to company goals and objectives. How compelling will it be to your management to say your community had impact on sales or reduced churn by tying actual member activity to other goals? Within the marketing automation tool, you can create lists and reports tying to actions, such as purchases or downloads.
By now, you may be thinking this all sounds great, and you are sold on connecting your company’s marketing automation to your community platform, but you’re left with determining the practical step to do it. If you’re like me, it’s always about that. For this reason, we are hosting an 1-hour webinar training on June 26th at 12 PM (EDT) on exactly how and what you can do with marketing automation.
I have been using HubSpot for more than 5 years and I will take you through the process and show you how you too can get started. And while we are using HubSpot as an example, the same concepts will apply to Marketo, Pardot, Act-on, or any other quality marketing automation solution. (Oh and don’t worry if the time doesn’t work, all registrants will get a video link after)
I hope you will join us. RSVP now!