In the first part of my blog series on how to bridge the gap between marketers and developers, I spoke about the importance of discussing the pros and cons of each development model, so both parties are happy with the outcome. Defining upfront what online marketing data marketers actually need saves a lot of headaches on both sides and lead to more effective contact segmentation. But what now?
In this second and final part of my blog post, I will complete the list by discussing these three topics:
- Utilizing automated lead nurturing
- Creating powerful marketing emails
- Understanding integrations with other systems
Utilizing Automated Lead Nurturing
Marketing Automation is one of the most important and powerful features in Kentico EMS. If you have a small marketing team, imagine how much time you could save by transforming most of the manual processes (e.g., sending emails to leads) into an automated one.
To utilize the marketing automation in Kentico to its maximum potential, marketers should first answer these important questions:
- What are the typical steps and actions you take when handling lead nurturing manually? For example, do you make calls or send emails to potential customers?
- How often and at which point do you follow the leads up?
- For how long do you follow them up before you give up?
- Which triggers should start the process? Is it submitting an online form submission, registering for an event, downloading a whitepaper, or something else?
- Should the automation process cover more scenarios and, therefore, contain conditions?
- Will there be notifications or data pushed to other systems?
Once marketers have their answers, draw everything out as a flow chart, then start the conversation with developers. Developers are important to help marketers understand which functions are possible out of the box and which need to be custom created.
It’s important to ensure all necessary online marketing activities are tracked by Kentico, so the marketing automation process can really be triggered by them and decided upon them. I have seen cases where marketers have assumed something might happen (that some activity or other would be logged), but there were no such activities tracked by Kentico, so the automation process was neither started nor processed.
The key takeaway here is to always keep an eye on the online marketing data generated by your website’s visitors, and adjust your automation processes when necessary. It’s not a set and done process. Also, I would recommend starting with a simple process to gain experience first before creating a larger one.
Creating Powerful Marketing Emails
When we talk about marketing emails, there are mainly two types of them: newsletter or campaign emails for creating awareness and generate interests, and follow-up emails for lead nurturing.
Most marketers have used dedicated services like Constant Contact, MailChimp, HubSpot, etc., to create and manage emails. However, with Kentico’s Online Marketing features, it’s easy to collect Online Marketing data about your website visitors, create, personalize, and send them emails, while collecting the results at the same time. All of this in one place, and without worrying about integration with a third-party system or relying on developers to assist you all the time.
With features like Macro Expressions, Page-based Newsletters combined with Widgets, creating attractive and personalized emails is easy and can lead to higher open and click through rates.
Marketers and developers should have conversations about these topics:
- How many newsletters do you plan to have?
- How often do you plan to send the emails?
- How many recipients do you expect to have?
- How fast do you want all the emails to be sent? This is going to help determine if additional SMTP servers are needed.
- What kind of email template/layout do you want to have?
- What kind of dynamic components do you want to have? E.g., emails targeting a certain segment of contacts, displaying personalized data, etc.
- Is there the need to pull data from other systems?
The key takeaway here is to not just send the cookie cutter message to everyone. Instead, try to utilize the data you have collected from the contacts to send highly personalized marketing emails.
Understanding Integration with Third-party Systems
Although you can do a lot in Kentico EMS, for some website projects, there is still the need to integrate Kentico with other CRM or PIM systems.
For marketers, the most common integration would be a CRM system like SalesForce or MS Dynamics. In which case, Kentico is used as a marketing tool to generate and nurture leads. Once the qualified leads are generated, the sales team can manage the clients throughout the sales process in the CRM system.
Of course, a lot of time, marketing and sales would also like to bring clients’ data from CRM systems back to website for up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.
With these ideas in mind, the conversation between marketers and developers should involve these discussions:
- Which CRM system needs to be integrated?
- What kind of data should be synced to and from the CRM?
- When and how often should the data be synced?
The answers to those questions can help developers make better decision on whether:
- the data should be pushed from Kentico or pulled from the CRM when data needs to be synced with the CRM.
- the data should be synced on demand (ad-hoc) or regularly, based on a schedule.
- the sync should be task driven to prevent a data loss due to an unavailable connection.
The key takeaway here is for developers to educate marketers on the efforts needed to access data across the systems, so that marketers can use it effectively and understand the basic processes behind the integrations.
I hope that the six topics I’ve discussed in this two-part blog post can help marketers and developers have more engaging conversations at the beginning of a project. The conversation should lead to more detailed and effective plans on what a Kentico website can do as the online marketing tool for your organization.
Have you had any other discussions between your developers and marketers that have helped you refine the important online marketing aspects of a website project? Let us know in the comments!