What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is the process of leveraging software to automate repetitive marketing tasks. Marketers use this software in order to help nurture leads, often through integrations with customer relationship management (CRM) and customer data platform (CDP) software.
Through marketing automation businesses can respond better to both potential and current customers providing them a better user experience with personalized treatment that leads to a long-term relationship.
Marketing Automation is the answer to marketers’ pleas for a method that efficiently allows continuous business growth without additional workload or the need to allocate extra resources.
All businesses, whether big or small, are constantly trying to increase productivity and improve processes. With the surge of so many new platforms and channels, it is very difficult to reach target audiences at the right time with the right message to cause an impact that leads them to conversion.
Leaving aside these external factors, in many cases the business own growth can become a problem. Let’s say your business has scaled a lot very quickly and you are receiving an overwhelming amount of queries daily but you haven’t optimized your processes. This causes you to neglect a lot of messages and leave hundreds of customers hanging without ever getting a reply.
What does this say about you and your business?
It doesn’t look good and all of those customers are surely going to go for the business that did reply to them in a timely manner, even if your solution or product is much better than your competitors.
So, what’s the answer to this issue? How can you ensure your business grows while maintaining excellent customer experience with the same resources and less time? The answer is marketing automation.
There are different types of Marketing Automation you can apply to your business:
- Customer relationship management automation software (CRM)
This makes reference to CRM platforms that allow businesses to automate and manage all communications between them and their customers. Companies that have a very high number of clients need to work with CRMs as effective tools to manage their data. Otherwise, as the company keeps growing, it will be much and much harder to keep track of all queries and offer personalized and proper support to all clients.
With CRMs businesses can make sure they don’t miss any message from customers, maintain a communication flow and answer any query on time, regardless of the amount of clients they have. Workflows are also optimized since every team member can access the CRM and get all the information needed from one place without having to ask or wait for another person to help.
- Marketing campaigns automation
Digital marketing automation platforms allow businesses to automate messages they send to their subscribers. These messages are usually triggered by events defined on site that, once completed, activate a sequence to be delivered in specific time to the users that completed the action.
This technology tracks user behaviour in order to automatically send personalized messages depending on the actions they took while browsing. It can be applied to email marketing, SMS marketing and web push notifications campaigns.
- Workflow automation
This might be the most common type of automation we are all familiar with. Workflow automation includes all softwares that allow you to manage other platforms and channels, such as social media.
Later is a great example of a workflow automation tool. Is a social media marketing management platform that allows you to create, design, schedule, post and analyze your social media content all in one place.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
When done properly, marketing automation can have a huge positive impact on any business:
- Increased efficiency: automation of certain tasks can help you and your team dedicate more time to issues and projects that are more deserving of your attention. For example, instead of manually posting on every social media channel you have, you can automate this task and let your team focus more on creativity and content production.
- Better user experience: automation platforms usually gather user data that allows you to offer them a more personalized customer experience.The more relevant the message is, the higher the chances of an interaction and conversion. Keep in mind that these days, users are demanding more personalized experiences and will engage more with brands that offer them what they are looking for.
- More qualified leads: marketing automation helps marketers reduce the guesswork when it comes to approaching prospects. If a business uses an automation platform to send messages to leads, and to promote said content on other platforms, sales and marketing teams can work hand in hand to analyze results and optimize the automated sequences of messages to connect with the right prospects at the right time.
- Higher conversion rates: a personalized experience and better quality leads translates into higher conversions rates. Automation allows you to reach users that are more likely to engage with your business with messages that resonate better with them, increasing the chances of interaction.
According to Adestra’s Marketer vs. Machine report, “Marketers say the biggest benefits of automation are saving time (74%), increased customer engagement (68%), more timely communications (58%), and increased opportunities, including up-selling (58%).”
Marketing Automation is a Win for Everyone
The thing about marketing automation is that everyone wins: you, your team and your customers. You will save time and money, improve the inner workings of your business, your team will have more time to dedicate to more important projects and tasks and your customers will be receiving a much more personalized experience, and that’s exactly what they are looking for.
You just have to do your homework and decide in which areas of your business you want to start implementing which type of automation. Remember that, even if it sounds like a big and fancy word, automation doesn’t have to be expensive or mean a huge investment for your business.
Marketing automation is available and accessible for companies of all sizes. It’s even safe to say that small and new businesses can benefit even more from it, since automation is equal to doing more with less.
All photo credit Fritz