The 4 fundamental ingredients in a Marketing Automation project

In my first blog post in Digital Update, I talked about how strategic the emerging figure of the Marketing Technologist was. What are, however, the fundamental ingredients to best approach a marketing automation project?


According to this infographic by, in 2001 there were about 150 marketing tools, in 2016 they were just under 4000. If you have already found the definitive one, you are definitely better (or luckier) than most of your competitors.

Software selection is a fundamental component of a marketing technologist’s job. Are you able to assess the cost of technology in the light of the impact it will have on your business? Are you sure that your chosen technological tool is able to integrate with your website or your CRM? Activating a free trial is very different from integrating a tool into your technology stack. However, the cloud, APIs, communities, and monthly subscription plans have radically changed the scenario and the potential is enormous.

The data

It is not always true that a greater amount of data helps solving a greater amount of problems. Rather, the reality is that – almost three years after this Econsultancy research – one of the most complex challenges for marketers is still to translate data into concrete decisions and actions.

Set measurable objectives and essential reference KPIs (not too many!), but above all do not forget that, whatever the dimension of the context in which you will find yourself operating:

1. A digital marketing project cannot exclude a Google Analytics account;

2. There are dozens of tools that allow you to aggregate (TapAnalytics, Cyfe, Supermetrics) and view (Google Data Studio, PowerBI) data from the most diverse sources;

3. However, your best friend will remain Excel.

The customization

In the Always-On era, being able to automate the supervision of every point of the consumer journey is essential, as is the customisation of the message in relation to a specific context, to guarantee an optimal user experience and increase the possibility that this convert.

When faced with an analytical approach, however, make sure that this does not affect your creativity, because in all this there is an essential emotional component. In this regard, begin to familiarize yourself with A / B testing.

The mental approach

A marketing automation project is a process of continuous improvement.

Planning, execution, evaluation, improvement. Guaranteeing reliable data, optimizing messages, refining the integration between technologies. Forgetting to “switch on” a marketing automation project means waking up the next day with a line of customers at the door (I know, it’s silly but it’s always good to repeat it) . 

Alessandra herself, struggling with MailChimp’s automations, wrote something about it a few days ago, stressing that even though they are automatisms, they must be checked and “registered” on a regular basis.

We work in a world where everything changes at the speed of light. Be curious and don’t be afraid to make mistakes in experimenting.

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This post was published in preparation for the Marketing Automation course held on February 28, 2019 for Digital Update.