How to Start a Marketing Automation Strategy with @todcordill #vcbuzz

Marketing automation helps scale your digital marketing and focus on more complex and creative tasks.

But there’s more: Marketing automation comes with more in-depth analytics and personalization capabilities allowing you to reach your customers at the time when they are more inclined to buy.

However setting up a marketing automation campaign takes time and patience, so let’s discuss how to start.

About Tod Cordill @todcordill

Tod Cordill @todcordill is the owner of Moderno Strategies.

Tod helps small and midsize companies integrate digital marketing channels into existing sales and marketing efforts to more effectively drive business growth.

Tod combines his P&L perspective with an engineering problem-solving structure to help clients grow their business.

Connect to Todd on Linkedin

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

I became a marketer when digital marketing made logic and analytics marketing imperatives. My progression:

  • Engineering degree
  • Design Engineer
  • MBA
  • Mfg leader
  • S/W product manager I got deep into marketing when leading a small eCommerce mfg company.

I’ve been consulting/freelancing for longer than I held any “real” job. I like to keep learning and mixing things up.

Q2 What is marketing automation and how can it help a small or medium-sized business?

Marketing Automation is automating personalized communications to individual people based on their actions and data you know about them. Communication channels include:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • SMS (texting)
  • Direct mail

Automated, personalized messaging can be a mix of behavior-based and calendar-based messaging. Communication channels need to work together. You can also integrate with sales processes by adding leads, tasks, and opportunities into the CRM system.

The thing about marketing automation is that it automates marketing communications and processes, but it doesn’t automate the art of marketing.

Marketing automation drives the need for more design and copy creative.

Q3 What is the best way to start with marketing automation?

Keep it as simple as possible when starting a marketing automation program. First look at the autoresponder emails you’re sending from the form software on your website. You can customize the notification email based on selections made in the form.

Then integrate the form with your CRM system and automatically add leads. Clean CRM data is critical – review new leads daily. Next, integrate a marketing automation platform with your CRM. Start sending a “drip series” of emails after a form fill.

More importantly, keep your customers’ data secure. Marketing automation includes a lot of data management and storage, so you need to make sure your process is perfectly secure. Hari Ravichandran explains cybersecurity in much detail.

Q4 What is the end goal of a marketing automation campaign? In other words, when do you know that you are done fine-tuning your tools?

There is no end goal. It’s a journey. You know you are on the right track when you’re spending more time on A/B testing and refining messaging to improve results than you are spending setting up new workflows.

Organizing and maintaining data is key. You need to have your CRM data in good shape before you can get sophisticated in marketing automation. Do you have a contact form on your website that sends an automated email? Do you schedule social media posts?

Q5 What are your favorite marketing automation tools?

There are many great marketing automation tools out there. My main advice is to start small and don’t blow the budget on s/w. My current go-to tools are: Form s/w: @gravityforms Integration s/w: @zapier, @Cazoomi MA: @ActiveCampaign

Don’t forget about CRM!

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