Knowing what's broken is the first step to fixing a marketing automation program that isn't living up to expectations.
A detailed assessment of your marketing automation system — plan, configuration, data health, lead scoring, outbound campaigns, analytics, integrations, results and more — will give you useful insights on your system and actionable recommendations to improve.
Consider partnering with Walker Sands to do a thorough yet efficient analysis of your marketing automation instance. It's quick and easy. Get in touch to get started.
Alignment Versus Execution
A key to our success in marketing automations is our deep focus on understanding our clients' business goals.
While many agencies specializing in marketing automation that conduct audits will focus exclusively on the mechanics of your marketing system, our approach always first checks whether your marketing automation plan is aligned with business goals.
Is there a proper alignment with business objectives? If that's established, then the focus shifts to mechanics and execution. If there isn't alignment and a vision around how marketing automation is expected to advance business goals, we usually like to get that alignment in place first as it informs the thinking on the rest of the assessment exercise.
When done properly, an assessment can unite your team around a common vision for improving your use of marketing automation. It's no surprise that it's the go-to first step for all of us who work in marketing automation consulting. Diagnosis first, prescription second. It makes sense.
How to Conduct a Marketing Automation System Audit
We can help you with your marketing automation system audit or assessment, but you can certainly start one on your own if you have the right expertise on staff and time to spare. There are plenty of Marketing Automation Checklists to work against and you can find them easily online.
To help you get started, here's a sampling of questions we have on our Walker Sands Marketing Automation Checklist that may be worth considering:
- Does the company have the right marketing automation system for their specific needs?
- What is upper management's perspective on ROI for the marketing automation system? Are expectations being met?
- Is there a documented marketing automation strategy or plan?
- Does the marketing automation configuration and customization adhere to Walker Sands best practices?
- Does the company know the top attrition point in its marketing funnel and are they taking steps to correct?
- What's the data health of the marketing automation system?
- Has the company taken the necessary steps to improve email deliverability?
- Is there a duplicate contacts issue?
- Are there any fields (e.g. industry, sales territory, etc.) that should be added to the contact record? Deleted? Updated?
- Are the field values accurate and consistent across all records?
- Is your CRM sync set up properly or can CRM sync configuration be improved?
- Are all relevant online and offline touchpoints being recorded in your marketing automation system and CRM system?
- From each prospective audience's perspective, what is the user experience that is coming from the organization's marketing engine? Any defects to correct?
- Has the company done a content audit to isolate content gaps for key markets, niche audiences, offerings, key messages, delivery formats and channels?
- Does the company know how to do a content audit in a non-manual fashion, taking advantage of their systems and databases?
- Has the company tailored its content marketing assets to cater to buyers at every stage of the customer journey?
- Is the content production plan prioritized to meet the most pressing business goals?
- Do content marketing assets strike the right balance between evergreen and non-evergreen content?
- Does every piece of content have a distribution plan and is the plan effective?
- Do we agree with our client's approach regarding gated and un-gated content? What changes should be considered?
- Does the company know which content assets perform best with respect to specific business goals?
- Are landing pages optimized for conversion?
- Is the company getting double-duty value from landing pages by using them for search engine optimization (SEO) and other digital marketing programs or are they standalone pages?
- Do we have confidence in the Account-Based Marketing (ABM) approach or do we see room for improvement?
- How are you using A/B testing to improve the performance of nurture marketing emails, landing pages and other marketing automation assets?
- Has the company tested sending lead generation emails from individual reps, rather than just sending corporate marketing messages?
- Does a website crawl find any website pages that are missing the marketing automation system tracking code that helps to record activity?
- Are there any forms on the site that are not properly configured to feed lead information into the marketing automation system and CRM?
- Is the marketing team looking at the right reports and KPIs? Do reports accurately provide insights on things like performance by marketing channel?
- From best performing to worst performing, how do your marketing automation assets rank with respect to key metrics?
- What's the full inventory of other martech solutions that have been integrated into the marketing automation system?
- Are there any integrations that have not been configured that should be configured? Can integrations be improved?
- Is social media run independent of marketing automation or are the two functions smartly integrated and connected?
- Has the company correctly and optimally integrated paid online advertising, including nurture remarketing ads, into the marketing automation program?
- What are the documented processes for administering the marketing automation system?
- Has the company addressed potential cybersecurity risks that are relevant to the marketing automation system?
- Does the company comply with GPDR and CAN-SPAM rules?
- Does the company have a good strategy in place to increase the number of opt-in contacts?
- Can the logic and setup for drip campaigns, triggers and automation rules be better optimized for lead generation?
- What's the lead scoring methodology and can it be improved upon?
- Is the hand-off of leads to Sales being appropriately tracked and managed such that there is a strong feedback loop with revenue attribution?
- Who are the internal resources running the marketing automation system and are there any skill or knowledge gaps that should be addressed?
- Does the team have enough people to do the work? Can any marketing automation tasks be made more efficient to free up time?
- How does our client's marketing automation strategy and execution compare to that of their top three competitors? Are we the best and if not how do we leapfrog others?
- Of all the things that need to be fixed or improved, which one's have the best and fastest ROI for the least effort? How are all possible initiatives prioritized against business impact?
Prioritizing Lines of Inquiry in a Marketing Automation System Assessment
The key to running a good marketing automation system audit is to avoid boiling the ocean. As you can discern from the list of audit and assessment questions above, there's quite a bit to investigate.
Accordingly, our marketing automation consultants use a process similar to the triage approach used in emergency rooms. What's critically important to fix in a hurry? Where do we need to stop the bleeding?
At minimum, we need to make sure you can market and are not stuck in a way that prevents any engagement. From there, it's important that you are getting leads in and that Sales is giving them appropriate attention. Without this level of marketing automation health, your entire business may be at risk.
With these basic capabilities in place, we can move on to evaluating stability issues, cleaning up problems, putting together better plans, improving documentation and training, correcting analytics and metrics errors and generally preparing your marketing automation system to be a big contributor to business goals that may be a few years out.
With all of the above in mind, it can often make sense to do a quick initial assessment and then have additional phases in the workplan for more detailed audits and assessments. We are flexible in how we approach our assessment work. First and foremost, the scope and timing must work for you, not for us.
Platform-Specific Audits and Assessments
Our marketing automation audits are performed by experts not only in integrated marketing and marketing automation but also in your specific marketing automation platform. Platform-specific assessments we undertake on behalf of our clients include, among others, these marketing automation system audits:
- Marketo Audit and Assessment - Conducted by our Marketo marketing automation consultants , a Marketo marketing automation audit will clarify what steps you need to take to get more value out of your Marketo investment.
- Pardot Audit and Assessment - If your Pardot system is a mess, our Pardot marketing automation audit will get things cleaned up in no time.
- Hubspot Audit and Assessment - In need of a Hubspot tune-up? Discover how we've helped our clients that use Hubspot to make their system more productive for lead generation and other top-priority business goals.
Let's Get Going, Time Is of the Essence
The faster you improve your marketing automation system, the faster you'll get better results. Those results compound like interest in a high-yield financial account, so delaying an assessment is just undermining the net present value of marketing effort.
If you know, as we're sure you must and as is always the case, that your marketing automation can be improved upon, an assessment by our marketing automation experts is the right first step to take.
A modest high-return investment commitment on your part (less than you might expect), some quick paperwork, including an NDA, and access to your marketing automation instance is all we need to get started.
Reach out to our team, and let's get going.