Have you ever inherited a marketing automation platform in disarray? Or maybe you’ve been building one up over the years and it feels like it’s always teetering on the brink of chaos. Do you ever feel nervous rolling out new programs, workflows, or integrations because you don’t know what might break?
You’re not alone! I’ve helped countless operations professionals in this situation. In fact, this anxiety isn’t even unique to marketing technology: software product teams worry about whether their services are still working as they roll out changes and improvements too.
Product teams mitigate those anxieties using monitoring.
How Software Teams Do Monitoring
Software Engineers, sometimes in specialized roles like DevOps Engineering or Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), manage risk using a technique called synthetic monitoring. This style of monitoring mimics real user behavior on a regular cadence to make sure common scenarios are working over time.
A common synthetic check in Software Engineering is a “Sign-In Scenario:” engineers write code that controls a browser and instructs it to navigate to the sign-in page, fill in credentials, then perform a basic task like updating user profile details. By running this code on a schedule (say…every 5 minutes), and setting up an alert for when the scenario fails, teams gain confidence in the stability of their product.
Monitoring for Marketing Operations
There are dozens of scenarios in marketing automation that are just as critical. Wouldn’t you feel more confident in your marketing automation platform if you had a synthetic check that made sure your contact us form was qualifying and assigning leads in your CRM correctly? Or what if you had monitoring on your on-boarding program that alerted you when it stopped creating the right campaign memberships or triggering the right emails?
Writing automation code for marketing scenarios like these would be complicated. Just imagine the steps:
- browse to the landing page
- fill out a form
- log in to your automation platform
- check for the right fields
- log in to your CRM and wait for the sync
- check the assignments and tasks
- log in to your email and look for the right message
- click through each of the links and make sure they’re still working
- then delete all of that test data you just created.
You’d need an expert software engineer to automate all of that for you.
Which is why I’m excited about Automaton: now, you can monitor your marketing technology stack end-to-end without any IT or development support. Just connect it to your CRM or automation platform, and define your critical scenarios in plain english.
Our platform runs through these critical scenarios automatically, as frequently as you want, alerting you the minute it detects a problem. Just like a DevOps monitoring solution, look back historically to see how the reliability of your critical scenarios have trended over time.
Taming the Chaos
If your marketing automation platform is a mess, setting up monitoring may seem like a daunting project. The important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to set up monitoring for everything at one time! Start with one critical scenario: maybe that high-value contact us form or top-performing email campaign. Once you’re monitoring that, add another scenario. Then another.
If you chip away at it bit by bit, eventually you’ll have coverage over everything that matters in your stack and have complete confidence as you roll out changes and new initiatives.
The best time to start monitoring your marketing automation is yesterday. The second best time to start is now.