Marketing automation is a process that needs embedding into your business, especially if your organisation wishes to grow it’s online presence.  As your traffic grows and prospects start engaging with you online you will want to ensure you have a nurture campaign that moves visitors along the marketing funnel.  Understanding what a good automated marketing system like Hubspot can do for you means following nurture campaign best practices.  You’ll be amazed how many business don’t even get this process off the ground.

In a recent survey about marketing automation by Ascend2 you can see that many organisations are far from using nurture campaign best practices but are struggling to adopt marketing automation as a process in the business.

nurture campaign best practices chart 1

More than 60% of organisations are struggling to make marketing automation work.  However, the following chart shows 76% of organisations say that marketing automation is very important to the effectiveness of their overall marketing efforts.

nurture campaign best practices chart2

The main advantage of deploying effective marketing automation is to drive sales revenue and this is recognised by the organisations in the survey with 47% stating that driving sales revenue is one of the key strategic goals for their marketing automation.  It’s no surprise that lead nurturing and lead generation feature at the top of the list of strategic goals.

nurture campaigns best practices chart 3

So why do many organisations struggle to deploy marketing automation successfully?  The main barriers stated by those in the survey include:

  • Lack of an effective strategy
  • Complexity of the marketing system
  • Inadequate contact data quality
  • Lack of employee skills
  • Lack of relevant content
  • Marketing and sales alignment

It’s an honest list and reflective of what I see when working with organisations to deploy solutions like Hubspot. Let’s look at each of the points above in more detail.

Nurture Campaign Best Practises

Lack of an effective strategy

As a Hubspot partner in the UK we work with organisations that are trying to adopt an Inbound Marketing solution or set-up a marketing automation system –  the main challenge is always knowing who they are wanting to reach.  Many businesses have a number of customer profiles and are unwilling to limit marketing material to one of these – fearing they will suffer a loss of sales from the remaining personas.

Developing a strong persona profile is vital when trying to determine the prospect journey towards a contact with sales.  You will be surprised at how much of your marketing materials can be deployed across different personas – maybe at different stages in the funnel or simply framed differently.

nurture campaign best practices chart 4

You can see from the Inbound Marketing Methodology chart above that there are 5 distinct contact stages – you will need to map out the activity and content you want to deploy for each of the contact stages and by persona.  That may sound like a significant effort on your part and there’s no quick fix – it is an effort and to ensure everything that comes after this point works well – you will need to invest the time to get it right.  If you lack the in-house skills to get this done then get a consultant to help you through the process.

Complexity of the marketing system

Complexity of systems used by your business is nothing new for business owners struggling with various tech solutions.  The main reason that users find these systems a challenge to use is that they are different systems trying to work together and it’s the cross management that drives the complexity.  Organisations use one system for email, another for social media management, another to manage their website and yet another for their blog and content delivery – it’s no wonder that organisations are struggling to manage this level of complexity.  Hubspot is an example of an all inclusive inbound marketing system that makes life easier for marketers and does not require them to be API experts to deploy their marketing plan.  Find out more by checking out how Hubspot could simply your marketing efforts.

Inadequate data contact quality

Buy a list I hear you cry!  Now thats how we got into this mess.  Building your contact database takes care and buying lists is never a shortcut to building a quality contact database.  Use your persona work at the beginning of the process to map out the key indictors that a contact is a relevant contact for your business and use these factors in your form questions when people download your content to profile your prospects better.  This is nurture campaign best practices.

Lack of employee skills

If you organisations requires your marketing department to be experts in API’s and cross platform coding then it’s no surprise that your main challenge is lack of internal skill.  The best solution is to simplify your systems and then work with a consultant to get the system working correctly and at the same time make sure your staff are trained and confident to use it going forward.  Pick a consultancy that offer coaching and deliverables to ensure you can step away when you can handle the work internally.

Lack of relevant content

Again, go back to your persona work and find out what interests your ideal customers – and make it specific.  Creating content for all possible customer types will not resonate with anyone.

Start by creating content that helps prospects research or solve their problem (even if they don’t buy from you!!).  Yes that’s right – be helpful.  Those who want to learn and do it themselves will never buy from you.  Those who want to be reassured that you are the go-to company for this area will be impressed by the skill you demonstrate and it will count towards you during the decision phase.

Marketing and Sales Alignment

This can be a little like managing a feud in a nursery sometimes and you’ll never solve it completely – despite what you read online.  But if you can get both departments to agree on a single language and goal – you’ll be a step closer to making them work together more effectively.  Check out our sales and marketing alignment advice pages for more information.


The last chart in the survey tells the story – Nearly two thirds of companies surveyed (63%) expect to realise the benefits of their marketing automation system within six months of implementation.

So you can be confident that once you embark upon the journey of nature campaign best practices you’ll see a return within the financial year.

To see the full survey – download a copy yourself below in pdf format.

Free Resource


[Survey] Nurture Campaign Best Practices (Marketing Automation)

Marketing Automation systems manage processes and data across channels to streamline complex marketing programs.

How are companies using this technology to achieve success?

To find out, Ascend2 completed interviews with 239 marketing influencers. We thank them for sharing their valuable insights.

The charts in this report represent the average of all market segments responding to the survey.

This research has been produced for your use. Put it to work in your own marketing strategy. Use the charts and data to help sell your requirement for better marketing automation within your organisation.

nurture camping best practices ecover

Enter your details below to download