Top 5 considerations when thinking about marketing automation

When you’re considering marketing automation there are 5 points that need to sit at the top of your decision making priorities. Although marketing automation has clear benefits for many organisations, the key factors for its success are the same.

1. Data you can use for marketing automation

Organisations that have plenty of data are the ones that will benefit most from marketing automation. The reasons are quite simple, without data, it’s going to be an uphill challenge from the off. The kind of data we are talking about begins with basic contact details. Email, mobile and address details are core to communicating with people.

2. Processes that would benefit from marketing automation

Sales processes and buying patterns need to be mapped out comprehensively to gain the most advantage from automation. By mapping processes it not only makes it simpler for setting up your marketing automation, it also helps identifying where there are weaknesses or opportunities to improve and streamline sales processes. You’ll also need to be considerate of the areas where your sales and marketing processes interface with other business systems as these areas can affect the ease of implementation.

3. Commitment to marketing automation

Before you make the decision to go forward with marketing automation, you need to evaluate your level of commitment. There’s plenty of evidence that marketing automation works but overnight success is unlikely. The setting up process can be time and labour intensive so it’s important to be realistic about the time and budget you’re prepared to commit to setting up and evaluating your marketing automation project.

4. Metrics you can apply to marketing automation

How you measure the success of marketing automation is a principle consideration from the outset. It’s important to be very clear and concise about what your marketing automation investment needs to achieve to make it worthwhile. For many, the metrics are sales related, for others, retention is a principle factor. Whatever it is that your business needs, scoping your success metrics are vital to the longevity of your plans.

5. Budget you’ll invest in marketing automation

Moving to marketing automation from campaign driven communication is a major change in the way you operate. Although you can stage budgets, your overall budget needs to be considerably more than your normal campaign type spends. It is possible to gain quick wins and start to benefit from your investment early but you’ll need to be realistic about the size and scope of your marketing automation project and the subsequent budget needs of such an undertaking.


Marketing automation is not a quick or simple task. The benefits are increases in sales, reductions in administration, improvements in retention and much more. Before you set about implementation of marketing automation in your business, you should speak with a professional who will be able to assess the ease, cost and benefits to you.

By Ryan Mullins

Pointers for choosing the right marketing agency

Some pointers for choosing the right marketing agency

The secret of our success? We’re old school![hr]

Why being old fashioned is harming our competitors while being ‘old school’ is bringing business to our door

I never cease to be amazed by things I see on the Internet! Not so much the dancing rabbits and gurning goats—but what companies describing themselves as the right marketing agency are doing to attract business. Take this morning. I went online early to tie up a few loose ends before going on holiday. I contacted a number of people regarding working together in the future and then I had a quick flick through LinkedIn to see what my connections have been up to.

And I was amazed!

The first thing that caught my eye was the number of people looking for freelance designers and copywriters. As far as I’m concerned, this is great—it indicates growth in the industry, and shows that business are seeing more value in these essential skills. This is certainly in line with our own experience—this year we’re already looking at significant growth in both turnover and profit.

But the other thing that drew my attention was how out of date some of our “right marketing agency” competitors’ offerings appeared, particularly from the more established companies. For example, I saw a post from a marketing and advertising agency on whether your business card is eye-catching enough. It may depend on your business, but I actually don’t remember the last time I swapped business cards with anybody. And surely you don’t pick your agency on the strength of their business card designs? Well, I certainly wouldn’t! But good luck to them with that.

Another example—a small, local marketing agency put out a post about using short video in social networking. It may seem perfectly reasonable on the surface but think about it a bit more deeply. In my opinion, if you have to teach your clients something this basic, then you’ll find it challenging to make money out of them. Why? In my experience, if you need to explain basic principles to your clients, you’re already on the back foot with them. If they know so little about marketing, I’m afraid they’re probably the type of clients who don’t appreciate consultancy being a billable service.

You’re probably wondering why I’m launching this barrage of criticism. I’ll tell you—the fact is that I’m concerned that this is a standard that many companies view as acceptable. In my opinion, this sort of sloppy marketing effort devalues the expertise and knowledge of the individuals who work for these companies. I’ve worked with one of them and know that their team is incredibly talented and hard-working—and they can certainly deliver brilliant campaigns with quantifiable results.

I don’t think I missed anything radical or new in their posts such as business cards includig wearable technology or short films going holographic! No, these posts were old hat! Why would they do that? Have they misunderstood the purpose of blogging on social networks?

So what about us? Presumably we’re not using such old-fashioned articles to pitch our business to potential clients? Correct—we do things differently. I’ve pitched for new business many times and I’ve won many times. But not by suggesting business cards or short videos. In fact, our pitching is even more old school than that!

How do you know which marketing agency to choose?

What we do is begin by asking questions.

  • What are your goals?
  • What are you already doing?
  • What works for your business?
  • What doesn’t?
  • And many more…

Our questioning process lasts for a considerable time and allows us to get to know our clients’ businesses inside out. It gives us the information we need to make the marketing decisions required. It means our proposals are based on evidence and fact, with outcomes that can be measured.

Additionally, we don’t do all the pitch work involved for free.

Traditionally, many companies do but we favour a different approach. If clients have faith in our process and our strategy, they will be willing to pay for the work involved in creating a bespoke proposal. This gives us the reassurance that our time and effort is justified. In turn our clients can feel reassured that we are providing an individualized service rather than just passing them a standard proposal. Our initial investigation provides an evidential report that will determine a measurable forward strategy.

Old school hard graft beats old-fashioned marketing flannel every time!

Get in touch now.We'll even give you 30 minutes advice completely free[hr]

3 tips to choosing the right film production company

Choosing the right film production company can be challenging.

With film now being so popular as a marketing resource, there’s a mass influx of professional film production companies. Determining which film production companies are professionals and which ones simply call themselves professionals may not be the easiest so here are some tips to help you avoid costly lessons.

Film is one of those areas of marketing, even more so if you are new to it, that it is essential to choose the right company to work with. Professional filming doesn’t come cheap and the last thing you would want is buyer’s remorse from simply not going through the correct selection criteria.

When choosing any new supplier, you want to ensure that their criteria matches yours. It’s important for a number of reasons, probably the greatest being the synergy of expectations and results as you move forward.

Let’s face it, if you’ve decided film is the way forward for you, you want to make every penny count! That’s why all of the top brands of the world invest so much into it. When executed well, it just works.

Here are 3 things to evaluate when you’re choosing your film production company.

1. Heritage

You need to know that the supplier you choose can (and more importantly will) deliver. It would be wise to look for a company / team who have invested the man hours to have all the necessary experience. Malcolm Gladwell cites 10,000 hours as being the yard stick by which to measure peoples’ level of expertise. Once past 10,000 hrs they can be categorised as ‘expert’.

2. Value

Ensuring that you gain value from your production company means that they should be taking a very keen interest in your needs. It may be that your budget and expectations are mis-aligned but a brilliant production company will not only talk you through this but they’ll also discuss with you how you will be able to make your budget work all be it if it’s not the Spielbergesque feature film you had first imagined.

3. Professionalism

Before you’ve worked with a company, you may think it difficult to measure their professionalism but there are a number of ways you can check their credentials in this vital aspect of your decision making process. The first thing you can do is speak with their existing customers. A good company will always have happy customers who are pleased to speak with you. You should perhaps think about asking them about things that have gone wrong and how they’ve been resolved. Accidents do happen and in actual fact, how a company deals with these mini crises is a very good measure of their overall professionalism. You should also ask to see risk assessments and method statements. If these aren’t present, this is a very clear warning signal. Finally, how comprehensive is their insurance? You need to know that all the liabilities are covered and no-one, particularly you, will end up out of pocket as a result of some unforeseen circumstance.

In summary

The hand held domestic video footage of baby biting other baby’s fingers is not the future of video on-line.

Many of the top brands have come to the realisation that if they have a clear enough “call to action” to drive enough traffic to their web-site, those brands are now able to consider themselves in the same way as a genuine TV channel. But this position carries responsibility. Your “viewers” have expectations about the quality of the video they watch on-line, and if other competitors have video on their site at genuine TV quality, they will expect the same from you.

With the BBC’s iPlayer and other on-demand broadcast domains, the consumer can now watch the same TV quality via a digital source as they expect via their satellite dish or digital aerial. So your on-line offering needs to be produced at that TV standard, and the quality must be conveyed through to the viewer by maximising playback and data rates, which are still considered a “black-art” by some, but not by our chosen partner.

The camera’s, lights and all the other kit plus operators MUST be the best, not kids just out of film school with a handy-cam coupled with a cheap piece of plastic on the front masquerading as a lens and then some basic software to edit on. The director needs to be able to write a script, if called for, so the edit has depth and tells a story. That’s how you elevate a basic edit into a short film. The producer and the director need a proper TV background and plenty of practical familiarity and experience, not just cutting the family’s holiday video’s. And for those clients who do not have any professional TV or video production experience it can be extremely hard to ascertain who out there is experienced and will bring gold standards to the table, and those that have only the basis of an understanding of how to make a strong, striking and effective film.

Choosing the right film production company is imperative to maintain control over your costs and satisfy the quality needs of your company.

By Ryan Mullins