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Beyond the Marketing Department: Making a Case for Expanding Marketing Automation

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by: Ellen Valentine (@EllenValentine)
17 July 2012

It’s no surprise that the marketing department is the main user of marketing automation technology. Marketers use the platform’s automation capabilities to perform a wide array of marketing tasks, including nurturing prospects and marketing additional products and services to existing customers.

But did you know that marketing automation can be super helpful to other departments as well? If you already have a marketing automation system, consider briefing other departments on the capabilities of the system. If you haven’t yet purchased marketing automation, you may want to include these other examples in your justification process, making the procurement about more than just marketing. Consider the following use cases:

1) Onboarding New Employees: When a new employee begins working for your company, there are many things that need to be communicated to the new hire. To “fire hose” new staffers with all the information at once would be such overload that they would be overwhelmed, forget what they have done or read, or fail to follow through on key action items. You can easily use a marketing automation system to send onboarding action items over time, deploying the same capabilities as a drip nurture program. Plus, the decision logic of the automation system can send the appropriate follow-up based on the new employee’s behavior.

For example, let’s say you collect emergency contact information as part of the new hire onboarding process. You could configure your system to send reminders only to those who didn’t complete submit this information and not resend this request to everyone in the distribution list. Better still, the automation program could be set so that new employees move through the onboarding steps at their own pace.

In addition to collecting information from new employees, marketing automation can also drip nurture department training videos or other company educational information. Beyond onboarding, consider all the opportunities you have to use marketing automation technology to support a variety of internal communications needs.

2) Customer Service and Billing: A marketing automation platform can also play a key role in customer service and billing. All a company has to do is integrate payment status information into a relational table or attached database, and it could easily design an automated program to assist with collections.

Sitting on top of the automation system could be a rule that would continuously look for payment status. If, upon checking this rule, the bill wasn’t yet paid, the system could automatically send out reminders and requests for payment. The tone of each email could get progressively more urgent as time went on.

Additionally, marketing automation can be used to send warranty notices and product recalls. By redirecting product recall recipients to a landing page, you can collect repair intent. Open and click data could provide valuable metrics on the recall notification process.

These are just a few use cases for how marketing automation can provide valuable capabilities to groups outside the marketing department. Once you expand the use to these new departments, they’ll be able to easily come up with even more ideas for how automation can improve the efficiency of many organizations within the company.

Related Resources:
1) Blog: “Marketing Automation:  A Deeper Dive into Use Cases
2) White Paper: “How Marketing Automation Improves Efficiency and the Buyer Experience
3) Blog: “Marketing Automation Baby Steps to Get You Started – and Yield Immediate Returns


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