What is Marketing Automation and why must it be a part of your Marketing Strategy?
You may have heard that Marketing Automation is fast becoming an industry norm, with many companies increasing their overall marketing technology budget in order to jump onto the automation bandwagon.
But you may be wondering, what exactly is Marketing Automation, and why is it so important? And most pressingly, does automating the marketing process make your job irrelevant? The good news is that no, it doesn’t. In fact, it makes you more effective and efficient.
We break down the Marketing Automation process for you and outline why this new trend is here to stay, and how to make it work for your business.
So, what is it exactly?
Have you ever bought something online and subscribed to the site only to receive an engaging welcome email with an immediate special offer that you feel compelled to click on? Or special reminder emails on your birthday or anniversary, or even emails informing you of new products, deals, and other ‘insider’ tips that actually feel relevant to you? This is all part of a company’s Marketing Automation strategy.
In a nutshell, Marketing Automation is all about using technology to streamline marketing activities and make them more efficient and effective. This can be done through a single automation platform, which can manage marketing campaign activities such as email marketing, social media posting, mobile messaging, and even ad campaigns, all from one place. Not only does this helps you save time, it also allows you to reach the right customers, and provide a more personalized experience for them.
By tracking and analyzing consumer behavior, Marketing Automation software allows you to develop a unified experience for customers through highly personalized, useful content, thus improving the efficiency of your sales funnel and, ultimately, leading to happye customers.
In other words, unlike other automation processes, a marketing automation system does not actually make a marketer’s job obsolete, but rather enhances it by helping you reach your goals faster.
Can a Marketing Automation process help me achieve my marketing goals?
Definitely! Consider what your objectives are as a marketer:
The main one is to generate high-quality leads to pass on to the sales team for converting to customers. Marketing automation grants you greater visibility into what your visitors and leads are actually doing, how they are responding to your emails, and what content they are downloading. You can monitor and measure this activity, and tweak your strategy in order to get better results. And better results means better quality leads.
Once you have your customer, you’ll want to keep them. These are the customers who already have an affinity with your business, and are more likely to become repeat customers. Increasing customer retention requires nurturing of those relationships through customized, engaging content that will educate and encourage them to return time and time again for your insights, your products, and your tailored offers.
And how do you engage? Through highly-targeted and specific content that can be easily customized according to your pre-defined audience segments. Examples of this include emails about product updates and launches, or follow-ups after a customer has interacted with your business, asking them for a review or a testimonial. The possibilities are truly endless.
In a nutshell: supplying useful, relevant content to your customers by customizing what they see, allows you to engage with them in a meaningful way and gain their trust for your brand. This boosts your customer retention rate, while at the same time educates potential customers and makes them more likely to show an interest in your company.
Why Marketing Automation is essential for any business today
Still wondering if Marketing Automation is the right path for you? Let’s look at some of the benefits.
Free up your time. Effective automation software streamlines processes and makes them more efficient. This helps you save time to focus on things that truly matter: creative thinking, strategizing, and working on the bigger picture instead of drowning in the minutiae of day-to-day activity.
Be more productive. Marketing Automation can help you track your customer interactions and gain a more detailed picture of their behavior. This data allows you to customize your follow-up and prioritize leads, all based on pre-defined and measured outcomes.
Scale and foster growth: Marketing Automation allows you to reach more customers and potential customers, over a shorter period of time, thus growing your customer base quickly and more efficiently. By creating and automatically distributing messages that resonate with your customers’ unique needs – rather than reaching out to each one individually - you also increase the chances of faster conversion.
Incorporating Marketing Automation solutions into your Marketing/Communications plan
You may be thinking ‘this sounds great, let’s do it!’ But before you dive headfirst and simply automate your existing process, it’s worth revisiting your marketing strategy prior to implementing an automation solution. After all, marketing automation should enhance your communication, not replace it. This means focusing on your customer target group, narrowing down customer groups and delivering highly-targeted and specific content that will engage them, keep them happy, and nurture long-term relationships.
In order to do this, you must first take into account 4 key points:
The Final Word
The reasons for welcoming Marketing Automation into your marketing strategy goes far beyond simply simplifying your marketing process. Rather, it is all about optimization. Optimizing the customer experience, the efficiency of your campaigns, and, essentially, your job as a marketer.
As marketing channels evolve and becoming all the more complex, a robust and efficient Marketing Automation system will help you stay ahead of the curve and effectively connect with your customers, no matter the channel.