Rajkumar Ramaswamy, cua

Digital - Strategy, Communication, Marketing | Branding | UX | CX | Design Thinking

5:35 PM, 15th Mar 2018

Stop Selling! - it is the right time to invest in marketing automation.

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:

  • A central marketing database: Essentially, an almanac for all your marketing data, with meticulous prospects, customer interactions and behaviours, to be able to classify and direct the right message to each of your customer. Simply put, this is a “system of records” of sorts for your marketing data.
  • An engagement marketing engine: This milieu handles the creation, management and automation of marketing processes and conversions across online and offline channels. More like the “orchestra conductor” for customer interactions.
  • An analytics engine: This is more or less like a laboratory, where you test drive marketing ROI and revenue impact. Here, you figure out what runs, what doesn’t and what you can do to change the latter into the former.

Who is marketing automation for?

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.

Some common features and functions:

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.

Common misinterpretations of marketing automation

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.

Is it the right time to invest in marketing automation?

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?

  • Are you generating a steady flow of new and qualified leads?
  • Have both marketing and sales come to a conclusion on what conversations each one should have?
  • Are the number of incoming quality leads swamping your sales team?
  • Are you tracking your leads’ digital body language across every touch point and marketing channel, not just email?
  • Do you have a proven lead nurturing strategy that you plan on pursuing?

If your answers are a yes, then there’s your auspice telling you that marketing automation will work for your business!

What is the ROI of marketing automation?

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.

How to successfully employ marketing automation?

Putting together an effective marketing automation strategy requires many pieces, but the two central puzzle pieces come from comprehending the following two principles:

  1. Acknowledging that marketing automation doesn’t do your work for you, but it assists you in doing your work a hundred times better.
  2. Devising your marketing messages by ensuring they revolve around your customer,that is, being able to envision the receiving end of your message and building the marketing message accordingly.
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.
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