Marketers and salespeople are no longer the dashboard-busy, reports-holder, behind the curtain Lillies that no one notices; they are the wizards of the muggle world, who sometimes work under the stairs and but never locked in the cupboard. They are active on social media, have detailed profiles on LinkedIn, and have taken more certifications than anyone else today. They are the brand of the company and the face of the success.
And that also makes them busier than ever! Having a social account these days is a full-time job in itself. Imagine all the other stuff they are constantly running, apart from making sure they are not losing their mind with the influx of information they have to swallow each day. So, how do they make sure they are on top of their tasks and spending more time thinking, strategising, and creating?
Marketing automation is the answer.
You must have heard of this term on multiple occasions and almost everyone seems to have their own definitions of it. But let us clarify all of that for you once and for all.
According to Marketo, “Beyond the time-saving and efficiency benefits, marketing automation enables business processes that are essential to any modern marketing department. For B2B companies, this includes lead nurturing, lead scoring, and lead lifecycle management. For B2C companies, it includes cross-sell, up-sell, and customer loyalty. And for all companies, it includes marketing ROI analytics.”
Why don’t we keep it simple, yea? Let’s do that. The meaning of marketing automation can be derived from its very name itself - automate your marketing efforts. Earlier marketers had to do a lot of these tasks manually and it was even more with outbound marketing. But over a period of time, someone realised that there are a lot of tasks that are repetitive and if there was a way to automate them, it could save a lot of their time. Hence, marketing automation! Of course, it involves technology and that makes it the key part in the whole process.
There is a lot more than automation, streamlining, and measuring that a marketing automation platform does for your business. There are humungous marketing automation benefits, and 91% of users agree that it contributes to their overall success.
With marketing automation, you no longer need to wait to get to work and perform marketing tasks such as scheduling social posts, email marketing, campaigns, etc manually every day; you can do these in advance. At the same time, you can get in-depth information on your marketing funnel, thereby helping you optimise your CRM. With CRM integration, you can also send closely target emails to your buyer personas. But that’s not all. There are many more reasons why your business needs automation. Let’s list them below.
1. Get a bigger picture of your campaigns and analyse all the traffic, conversion rates, leads, etc all in one place.
2. According to studies, personalised emails have 6X higher transaction rates, however, 70% of businesses don’t use them. Conquer personalisation with marketing automation.
3. Better visibility of leads right from the brand the new ones, all the way to the funnel.
4. Smart segmentation of contacts and there, smarter and more effective campaigns on the basis of fully, semi, least engaged contacts.
5. According to Marketing Land, more than 75% of email revenue is generated by campaigns that are automated. Better email marketing where you can monitor the clicks and engagement.
6. According to a report by Freely, the objective of 82% of marketers is engagement, not lead generation. Marketing automation helps you understand your target audience’s behaviour and how you can target them better.
7. With marketing automation, you can reply to your potential leads within 20 minutes.
8. You can post consistently on social media by scheduling the posts in advance and literally forget about them. Since it takes a lot of time every day to post manually on different social accounts, marketing automation comes to the rescue.
9. With the help of web-based triggers and personalisation, marketing automation helps you constantly engage B2C leads as well.
10. Marketing automation’s A/B testing helps you optimise different audiences and campaigns.
While many might know and agree with the fact that marketing automation is one of the most critical tools for businesses today, many businesses, in fact, struggle with the implementation. There is a lot of hype around this buzzword of the decade and overestimating or underestimating the way it needs to be implemented in your business could undermine it. Whether you are new to the marketing automation software or have implemented it before but couldn’t take full advantage of it, here’s the step-by-step process that would help you reap the full benefits of the tool.
1. What is marketing automation success according to you? - According to Target Marketing, 77% of CMOs at top-performing companies indicate their most compelling reason for implementing marketing automation is to grow revenue. While the software does help you with generating revenue among other things, it is important to understand what exactly you are hoping to accomplish through the tool.
2. Business strategy alignment - Apart from aligning the sales and marketing teams, it is equally important to align your business strategy with the tool to be able to optimise your business processes.
3. What about content? - Content audit and analysis are the foundations for using a marketing tool successfully. After all, if you can’t have the right content at the right time reaching your audience, you would be under-utilising the tool.
4. Set your lead scoring criteria - Understand what’s more important to your business - having more leads or having sales-ready and qualified leads. Once you agree on these criteria, and the ones that don’t meet these can be set aside and the sales team can focus on more qualified ones.
5. Set up your CRM - To maintain data hygiene in your CRM, it’s important to set it up right and keep checking the processes. So, take steps to ensure compliance with these processes and attract the right revenue opportunities.
6. Review and Reset - Unfortunately, automation software can’t automate reviewing and resetting on its own. Since automation and marketing are changing on an ongoing basis, you need to review the learnings and reset the processes to gain maximum benefit out of it.
Marketing automation is the new world marketing technology and one that puts many marketing tactics into the traditional or old category. Having said that, it is important to understand that it is at the end of the day an “intelligent system”, which has the capability of shooting your business growth through the roof if used correctly and the opposite if not. Where traditional marketing methods and systems didn’t allow (given that they are mostly dead now) personalised interaction with your target audience, with marketing automation, it is literally a cake walk. Apart from being cost-efficient, time-bound, and highly interactive among other things, marketing automation brings all aspects of sales and marketing into perspective so businesses can make the most of the new age processes and don’t get lost in the whirlpool of technology.