For starters, marketing automation refers to the brand of technology that enables companies to streamline, automate and measure marketing tasks and workflows, in order to improve operational efficiency and multiply revenue. Marketing automation simplifies recurrent tasks like automating emails, social media and other web actions that marketing departments have to tackle on a daily basis.
Several marketing processes are currently employing this software, for both B2B and B2C businesses.
Marketing automation can also assist marketers in streamlining their lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing, lead scoring, customer lifecycle marketing, cross-selling, up-selling, customer retention and marketing ROI measurement. A few of these practices are feasible without this technology but, this only holds true at small volumes. As the scale expands and the numbers of channel marketers grow, technology becomes indispensable, especially when considering that these processes entail the following:
In a nutshell, for everyone! It is commonly assumed that only the big names in the business world use marketing automation. In reality, Small and Mid-Sized Businesses (SMBs) contribute to the most growth in the field. Additionally, a variety of industries are resorting to this technology, whether it be a B2B industry dealing in high-tech / software, manufacturing and business services, or B2C industries like healthcare, financial services, media & entertainment and retail.
This can be attributed to its real-time, engagement-oriented approach to preserving and extending customer relationship for the entire duration of the customer relationship / lifecycle.
A plethora of features include campaign management, email marketing, CRM integration, engagement marketing, prediction and scoring, customer lifecycle management, social marketing capabilities, mobile marketing capabilities and deep marketing analytics.
A swanky epithet for email marketing: They are NOT synonymous. Marketing automation incorporates not just email marketing but also phone campaigns and online, social and mobile initiatives. Moreover, it has the capacity to blend insight-focused capabilities from systems like your CRM, lead management system, web analytics platforms, etc. for industrious results.
Just a marketing solution: Self-evidently, marketing automation aids the marketing department. But it also indirectly influences and increases revenue, given the improvement in marketing and sales alignment.
A way to send spam: As with everything, it all depends on proper usage. It can be misused for spamming if precautions aren’t taken. Use it well and you will find yourself in an atmosphere of remarkable marketing that is sensitive to customer preferences.
An easy and effortless solution: It isn’t as simple as buying the technology and then expecting it do everything for you by itself while you laze around. For best results, it calls for thorough strategising that assimilates the right processes, people, content, data, etc.
Ponder over the following questions to know if you’re ready to utilise marketing automation for your business:
Is your content strategy conducive to your potential buyer’s journey?
If your answers are a yes, then there’s your auspice telling you that marketing automation will work for your business!
Of course, before taking a plunge into a whole new system, contemplating the ROI beforehand makes sense. The three core ROI benefits are - more pipeline, more productive Sales reps, and higher revenue. Research indicates that B2C marketers operating with automation - including everything from anniversary wishes, birthday emails to cart abandonment programs - have seen conversion rates as high as 50%! These statistics have also showed an increase in marketing staff’s productivity between 1.5% & 6.9% and an increase in sales productivity by about 4%.
You can definitely expect a good ROI from your marketing efforts as long as you can amalgamate the right platform for marketing automation with intelligent organisational and process alignment. Very soon, you will be able to make out similarities and patterns between the email marketing campaign you did last month or the webinar you hosted last year and the revenue your CXO sees this week.
Putting together an effective marketing automation strategy requires many pieces, but the two central puzzle pieces come from comprehending the following two principles:
There isn’t any right Zen period to start using marketing automation. To sum it up, begin with whatever you have and then gradually but steadily make your way to the zenith.