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Winning at Marketing Automation

Lessons from Sport

It’s a huge weekend of sport with the Masters Golf, a heavyweight boxing fight and the Grand National horse race.   As a marketer we are always looking to back a winner.  Be that a knockout campaign, or a marketing campaign that wins our business success.

I thought it might be interesting to look at each of the sports, I’ve been enjoying this weekend and pick out what we can learn (if anything) to increase our chances of winning at using marketing automation or marketing generally.


Creating a knockout marketing campaign

When compared to preparation, boxers have been known to describe the night of a fight as irrelevant.  It’s the work done before the fight that dictates the result.

marketing automation knockout


The same is true with marketing automation.  Success is not dictated when you hit the ‘live’ button.  Success is dictated by the effort that you’ve put into defining your objectives, setting the marketing plan and the strategy, and then finally the data.

Getting the data right is the hard yards of marketing automation success.  Get the data wrong and chances are you won’t get the best results.  Get the data right, and aligned to your marketing plan and you are 100% ready to make that marketing automation campaign live.

And the chances are it will be a knockout.

Becoming a Master Marketer

Golf is hard.  It takes a lot of planning and application to get the ball from the tee and into the hole.  To make life more difficult, golf holes tend to have bunkers, long grass and even lakes in the way to make life even harder.

For the Masters, they make it even more challenging.  Turning the greens into glass and apparently even have ‘under-course’ heating to make life as easy or difficult as they want for the golfers.

When we are helping Websand users to implement their customer journeys, I often think about it in golfing terms (bear with me).  In that we are the caddy, helping them to bring their marketing plan to life through marketing automation.

Marketing automation planning is a lot like playing a golf hole.  You’ll rarely get a hole in one, it usually takes a few shots before you get a successful outcome, and you’ll be at a different position and need a different club for each shot.

A customer journey in marketing automation terms is a series of marketing messages in a sequence driving towards a positive conclusion, be that acquiring a new customer, customer retention or even gathering customer feedback.

The sequence of events is usually defined by the history you already hold between the business (you) and the audience member.

In golfing terms are you on the tee, in the fairway, or on the green – we want to avoid bunkers and rough!

planning your customer journey

The power of marketing automation is once you’ve had your practice round for each strategy, your marketing plan will behave a bit like a golf tournament.  Lots of people working their way around the (marketing) course you’ve designed to meet your marketing objectives.

Get it right and like the best golfers on the planet, you’ll be victorious and very very well rewarded.

Increasing your chances of backing a winner.

Micheal O’Leary is the CEO of RyanAir.  He also loves horses.  He has won the Grand National twice, he’s also won the Gold Cup.  He described the difference between the two.

For the Gold Cup – the best horse usually wins so you know you have a chance.  For the Grand National you need luck with the handicap, luck with the weather, and luck during the race.

I’m paraphrasing as he was being interviewed on the TV after the race.  But it caught my attention.



The Grand National is horse race over 4 mile +, over huge hurdles with 38-40 runners and riders.  The race is chaos, and you need luck to win.

The Gold Cup is a horse race over 3 miles, over fences, with 8-10 of the best horses around.  It’s elite and controlled.  The best horse usually wins.

This blog post is not really about sport, it’s about marketing automation and email marketing and how you can improve.

If you compare the races above, batch email marketing is The Grand National, in that you need a bit of luck that the people in your list are looking for your product at the time you’ve sent the email.

Targeted email marketing would be the The Gold Cup, you’ve been more targeted in your approach and as a result you’ve got a better chance of success.


Winning at marketing automation

Like sport, marketing automation needs effort to get right.  But once you get it right it can be incredibly rewarding, both personally and to your business.

If you are looking to win your marketing battles and need some marketing automation coaching, we’ve got the experience and some of the best tools in the business.  Sign up below.[vc_single_image image=”3678″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=””]