Marketing Automation is the future of digital marketing. Although it doesn’t take the work out of marketing (far from it), it does make more valuable processes a lot less time consuming, and much more effective. So, the question is: Should your business be using marketing automation?
Yes Marketing Automation is kind of a big deal in the world of business sales and marketing. There is so much involved in it, First of all, let’s talk about what Marketing Automation is, and what it isn’t.
What it is
As Hubspot so often correctly points out; marketing automation has become somewhat of a buzz feature in business; people are talking about it and saying they are getting on board with it, but they don’t really understand it. It reminds us of the way a lot of businesses will want to be on Facebook, without knowing why they want to be there, or how they can use it to their benefit. Now, business people, and even experienced marketers, are saying that they need to get involved in marketing automation, without really knowing what it does, or why their business needs it.
Marketing Automation is software that, you guessed it, automates certain processes within the marketing strategy of a company. These processes include customer segmentation, lead nurturing, customer data integration and campaign management.
What it isn’t
What it isn’t is a tool that analyses customer data for you, a content creator, a device used for creating strategies, or software which will tell you the next course of action after a campaign. These activities still require experienced, knowledgeable marketers and sales people; however the data and information provided by the software certainly gives these professionals more to go on.
There is so much that Marketing Automation software can do, but in order to answer the question, let’s look at the four key benefits of introducing Marketing Automation to your business.
We’ve said this in a number of guidebooks, blog posts and social media messages; marketing in modern day business should feel personal. It doesn’t get much more personal than with marketing automation.
Personalising your marketing will make potential leads feel as though they are more than just a number on your contact list. It identifies them as a person with specific needs, wants and questions, allowing businesses to customise their prospective and current customer’s experience of the brand.
In order to personalise campaigns without automation software, it would take either hours or an unrealistically large team. Marketing Automation, if used correctly, can cut a lot of time in doing this.
2. Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing is an essential element of Inbound Marketing. We’ve spoken before about The Buyer’s Journey, and how potential customers need to be guided through to eventually making the decision to buy from your company or use your service.
Marketing Automation makes lead nurturing more effective and efficient. The content is created in advance, and when a potential lead completes an action, they begin receiving emails that contain the kind of information that will help them to make the decision to buy from you. This has been proven to be one of the most effective methods of Inbound Marketing.
3. Email Triggers
Marketing Automation can allow your company to send a potential lead an email based on an action they performed on your site. Say, for example, a current customer is browsing your car parts website. They add three items to the shopping cart, but the abandon it without actually purchasing the item. Your marketing automation system will be triggered, and will send them an email your team created saying that they can have an exclusive discount if they purchase from your website within the next 7 days. Cool, eh?
The insights Marketing Automation can give you on your customers is almost hard to believe. Data is one of the most valuable assets in any business, and marketing automation is an excellent way of mining information that can’t get anywhere else.
When one of your contacts visits your site, you are given an exact timeline of what they did when they were on your website. It also tells you which emails they’ve opened, what links they clicked and if they have downloaded any material from your site. In business-to-business commerce this kind of information is completely invaluable; it can be used to bring up discussions in meetings and phone calls (“You saw our article on marketing automation, right? Point four is very relevant to your business…”), which will keep the conversation going around topics that have somewhat unknowingly expressed an interested. Yes, it’s
very ever so slightly creepy, but it can also be the very thing that nabs that deal!
For Business-to-consumer companies, it can tell you all you need to know about your customer’s behaviour; how many times they go on your site and look at a particular item before they make a purchase. This information will prove incredibly valuable when it comes to creating future triggers and overall marketing campaigns.
So, does your business need Marketing Automation? The fact is, it’s not suited to every business, however the majority of businesses can reap almost unimaginable benefits from Marketing Automation software. There are some things that need to be considered before making the decision to invest in marketing automation:
- It will only work if the content being sent is well written, looks good, and is relevant to your customer.
- Metrics need to be measured in an agreed timeframe in order to understand the success rate of the campaigns, and the software.
- Organisation is paramount!
- Expertise in marketing and knowledge of the software is absolutely essential.
- It can’t fix bad marketing processes. Expertly created marketing processes will improved by marketing automation, but ammaturish campaigns will only appear weaker.
Marketing Automation can help your business generate leads, increase sales and build better relationships with your current clients and customers. It’s not something you want to rule out without knowing all the facts and information. Contact us by clicking the image below, filling in the form with a mention of this blog post and someone will be in touch soon for a consulation.