If you are a marketer, you have probably heard about marketing automation or used it in some form. While you may have come across marketing automation, many marketers still struggle to understand how dehumanizing marketing is beneficial to a business. In this post, we will get to the basics so that you know how to take advantage of the technology. But, before we get into the nitty-gritty of marketing automation, let’s first look at these hard facts.
According to a report from Aberdeen Group, 87% top performing firms are already using marketing automation. The report also revealed that top digital marketers are 67% more likely to use this technology to improve marketing outcome.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a set of software or technology that helps to automate marketing processes across multiple channels. By taking away repetitive tasks, you will stay connected with your prospects, generate more leads, and better measure marketing efforts. It also frees up your staff to take on higher-order business challenges.
With marketing mechanization, you can target prospects with automated messages across web, email, social, and text. These messages are dispatched automatically according to set instructions. Here are some business tasks you can make them more efficient through automation.
- Email marketing
- Lead generation
- Landing page creation
- Lead targeting and nurturing
- Measuring ROI
- Up-sell and cross-sell
- Website personalization
- Customer retention
In an ideal setting, automation combines customer acquisition and retention in a way that conforms to your marketing funnel. However, this approach to automation is difficult to execute. That is why some marketers continue to implement marketing solutions that don’t provide excellent ROI.
In recent times, the term marketing automation has almost become a cliché. Marketers look for automation software with a misconception that all digital marketing tools fall into marketing automation. This misconception has left many marketers with incomplete solutions that can only automate the task in the middle of the marketing funnel.
With no way of generating leads, marketers look for quick fixes such as buying emails. The consequence of this action is poor business-customer relations, thus hurting long-term success.
Separating Facts from Myths
It is not surprising to find marketers using marketing automation and email automation interchangeably. The fact is email automation is part of marketing mechanization. Besides this, there are many myths concerning automation. Take a look at these common ones.
Myth 1: Marketing automation is robotic and impersonal
Fact: Ironically, business automation simplifies how you personalize messages. It makes communication much stronger. By collecting useful information about the prospect such as goals and interests, automation makes it easier for your team to focus on adding personal touches to the campaign. They can achieve this through the following ways:
- Categorizing prospects based on common interests, behaviors, and demographics.
- Adding dynamic content as informed by an individual’s user profile. For instance, sending offers based on website behavior.
- Through automation, your team can test different aspects such as subject headings, email send times, and other ideas for personalization.
- Integrating multiple channels and touch points to create a comprehensive omni-channel user experience.
Myth 2: Automation involves spamming people
Fact: Marketing mechanization is user-friendly since it is tailored around personalized experience. Using an automation program doesn’t mean you are going to blast audiences with ads. As a matter of fact, one of the tenets of automation is nurturing leads for the long-term. This means the focus is beyond immediate sales. Moreover, automation isn’t just about email. It spans multiple channels and touchpoints ranging from social media to email marketing.
Grow Business with Automation
Smart companies and marketers use automation tools to make their campaign more effective. In the current environment, it is essential to have tools that will give you insights of the entire sales funnel and let you determine when prospects are ready to buy. From here, what you achieve is limited by your business needs and creativity. Marketing automation can help you do the following.
Studies have shown that a half of prospects you get are targeted, but they are not ready to purchase. The main challenge is how to help them make the decision without spending much of your time. In this case, you can set-up useful, personalized automated engagements. Marketing software will help you generate prospects, nurture them using helpful content, then convert them to customers. It also helps you to turn the converted customer to a delighted one.
Connect with new prospects
You can use your marketing tools to create a positive first impression. Show your subscribers you care about them by extending a warm welcome. A majority of these visitors don’t buy from you yet. However, since they have shown interest in your products, you can have them subscribe to your list so you can nurture them. How to grow your email list.
Nurturing long lasting relationship is good for your growth. Show your prospects and customers you appreciate their support. Automation can help you connect with your first-time customers to appreciate them for their patronage.
Before prospects convert to customers, they need to know the value of the product. You can help them realize this by automating your email promotions. If you own an e-commerce store, use automation tools to recover abandoned carts by encouraging customers to complete their purchase. You can also design a customized order notification and personalized product recommendations.
Key to Successful Marketing Automation
Here some of the best practices to consider when devising your marketing mechanization strategy.
- Identify your goals: It is easy to convince your stakeholders to invest in a marketing system if you use real numbers to justify it.
- Work together with other teams: Automation goes beyond marketing. It affects different departments. Get internal buy-in before you start automation.
- Visualize the process: Help your team understand how automation will improve efficiency through pictorial illustration of automation workflow.
- Have your content strategy at hand: Create useful, engaging messages designed for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Another strategy you can employ to make automation more effective is to stagger your rollout. In the early stages, test various elements then optimize as you go.
Personal relationships are key to successful marketing. However, meaningful relationships are impossible to sustain at scale. Marketing automation can bridge this gap by helping you drive results without spending much time on repetitive tasks.