Marketing Automation: What Is It and How Does It Help Your Business?
Marketing automation refers to using software to resolve the challenge of completing specific repetitive marketing tasks manually. For example, email marketing, launching ad campaigns, and posting to social media can be tasking and time-consuming. This reduces the efficiency of the processes and makes them impersonal, based on a one-size-fits-all approach. Overall, they lower your marketing ROI and also decrease customer engagement.
By utilizing technology, you can effectively streamline these marketing efforts to increase their effectiveness. Marketing automation uses a single automation platform to take care of every aspect of your marketing campaign from the same place. This includes ad management, mobile messaging, email, and social media marketing.
The best marketing automation software also allows your team to provide a unified experience for your customers. This is possible by creating 1-to-1 cross-channel journeys to improve the efficiency of your sales funnel. You quickly turn a broad base of leads into happy customers using various marketing tactics in the long run.
How Marketing Automation Works
Marketing automation allows businesses to execute a digital marketing strategy without implementing each step manually. Apart from saving you time, the process provides an avenue for you to extract value from your customer data by giving you data-driven insights into your customers’ needs. Based on these insights, you can seamlessly build and launch targeted and personalized marketing campaigns.
Ideally, marketing automation is a combination of software and strategy. The effectiveness of marketing automation closely compares to growing a garden. You need to plant your seeds in fertile soil, but your efforts don’t end there. The seeds need water and light to nurture them into a blooming plant.
In marketing automation, you can nurture your leads (the seedlings) using the rights tools and strategy (water and light) to produce paying customers (a full-grown, yielding plant). However, it there is more to it, as you must continue to use marketing automation in every stage of your relationship with these prospects.
This is why successful marketing automation doesn’t consider customers as an afterthought at the end of the funnel. Instead, they are at the center of the flywheel, a factor that makes you work to reduce customer friction points at each stage. Your marketing automation strategies should, hence, incorporate functions like:
- Audience identification: the automation tool you choose should help you find the right audience for each of your campaigns. This is the starting point of having an effective campaign.
- Content design: your marketing efforts are as effective as the content you create for your target audience. Remember to keep your branding consistent across multiple campaign channels, with pre-built and customizable templates. Automation software makes this seamless for you.
- Demand generation: choose a tool that helps you create, cultivate, and manage a prospect’s interests based on its data management capabilities across various channels.
- Lead generation and qualification: your marketing automation tool should help you personalize content to match what your target audience is looking for to help you generate more leads. Through lead scoring, your sales team can prioritize the most promising opportunities by first determining the prospects who are most likely to buy.
- Campaign delivery: once you launch your marketing campaigns, it’s also necessary to adjust and manage them for detailed metrics into what is working and what is not for better performance.
- Event management: your tools should enable you to plan, manage, and coordinate your online and offline events for a wider reach and more impact on your marketing efforts.
For marketing automation to work, you must understand all its components and nuances. Remember that it is all about nurturing and less about selling. As such, each element should be characterized by personalized and relevant content that aligns with what prospects need.
How Marketing Automation Helps Your Business
Marketing automation supplies your customers with helpful content that creates trust in and respect for your brand. Through the process, you get to educate potential customers about your services, helping to qualify their interests. Further along the funnel, as prospects narrow down on the services and products they are interested in, you can reach out to them with targeted messaging using automation. Finally, as your marketing team tracks activity through your marketing automation system, they will identify more focused and comprehensive interests, which they automatically hand over to the sales team.
With such a streamlined process in place, your business will be able to achieve the following:
- Free up time for more detailed focus on strategy: marketing teams are constantly under pressure to come up with campaigns that will help them win the attention of their prospects in a competitive market. With marketing software at their disposal, they can eliminate the manual work on repetitive tasks and have more time for creative thinking for the bigger picture.
- Get more insights into the potential customers: through marketing automation, you get richer insights into the behavior of potential customers. The data is more reliable than you would get using manual methods. By monitoring how prospects interact with content, email, advertising, and messaging, teams can better understand a buyer’s position in the marketing funnel.
- Customize the follow-up strategy: marketing automation enables you to customize follow-up to warm leads according to the observed behavior. For example, if tracking shows that a particular prospect is reading widely about your products, they could be at the beginning of the purchasing process. They are probably researching and comparing while making a list of what to buy. If they download content for a specific product, it indicates they are ready to be contacted by the sales team.
- Prioritize leads: besides helping you automate the lead-nurturing process; automation tools can also help you establish clear objectives through the prospect’s lifecycle. You can now use pre-determined and measured outcomes to determine a prospect’s readiness for sales.
- Improve your returns on investment: when you link your marketing automation software to your CRM, you effectively remove the guesswork from the process of determining your ROI.
- Predict future investment with accuracy: marketing automation allows for closed-loop reporting to enable you to calculate the cost per opportunity and ROI of all your marketing efforts with more precision. This is crucial for the planning of future investment.
Using technology to streamline your marketing activities is advantageous to your company. It takes the manual work of sending emails, posting content, and doing follow-ups from the process. This leaves your team with more time for productivity, and to convert leads into customers.
However, choosing a reliable marketing automation tool for your business may not be a straightforward process. Many factors come into play, mainly because you want a tool that easily integrates with your other business tools. Experts at Pure IT, Canada can help you make the right choice when putting up your business technology stack. Reach out to us today, and let us talk about this and more of your business IT needs.