Marketing managers already have a huge list of tasks cut out for them. Therefore, it is vital to free themselves from repetitive tasks and focus on tasks that help their organisations pump up profits. Most importantly, the focus should be on automating the tasks to their advantage. That’s precisely where marketing automation comes to the rescue. In this guide, we will discuss everything about marketing automation and understand why it is imperative for companies to leverage this technological advancement. Let’s get started!
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is essentially the use of software to automate certain marketing-related tasks that are repetitive in nature. These are monotonous tasks that, if not automated, take up the time that could have otherwise been spent on other productive tasks. That’s right, marketing teams across industries can use marketing automation to automate tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, paid campaigns, and more. The technology that runs such software helps achieve higher work efficiency and productivity without compromising the organisation’s ability to deliver a personalised experience for its customers.
What are the benefits of marketing automation?
How does marketing automation help brands make more money? The most resounding benefit of marketing automation is efficiency. It helps make the entire marketing and sales department more efficient — significantly reducing the staffing costs and time required to get the job done. This results in a major boost in productivity as the team can now focus on more strategic projects. Besides this, marketing managers should consider the following advantages of marketing automation and convince their organisation to invest in marketing automation software.
Increased conversion rate
Can marketing automation boost conversion rates? The software helps manage the leads efficiently — allowing marketing managers to track them and use the data to develop effective retargeting campaigns. Your marketing team will have enough time to collect and analyze the data to develop the marketing strategy and improve your CRO.
Personalise online marketing
Personalisation is a successful marketing tactic that almost all major organisations use for business growth. Before the advent of marketing automation, marketing and sales teams used to spend a big chunk of their time doing manual entries in their quest to develop more personalised content and strategies. Today, marketing automation can single-handedly do that job while targeting your persona on multiple channels — making sure the entire lead nurturing process remains personalised.
Effective data management
Data management is a huge task in marketing and sales. The success of most marketing strategies is predicated on the quality of data you can fetch and use. Manual handling of such data gives room to human error, which ultimately makes your marketing strategies incompetent. To keep up with the market and gain an edge over the competition, you need marketing automation software that helps manage your data more effectively than ever. Not just that, such software is programmed to keep the data set up to date automatically.
Improved lead nurturing
Can software help with lead nurturing? It sure does. After all, you can create all kinds of drip email campaigns and track them to completion. Most leading online marketing companies find it easier to track the activities of their potential customers and leads, which gives them an excellent opportunity to carve a strategy that reduces the time it takes for the leads to become sales prospects. You may use marketing automation to engage with the leads throughout their buyer journey.
Helps with lead scoring
Another way marketing automation helps achieve better sales and marketing sync is by setting up lead scoring. What is lead scoring? It is a way marketing automation software notify the sales team when a marketing-qualified lead turns into a sales-qualified lead. This provides better alignment between the two departments and promotes real-time lead assessment. In other words, your teams will never waste time and reach out to leads while they are ‘hot.’
Delivers accurate reporting
Reporting is a piece of cake with marketing automation since the software does an excellent job of generating automated reports. Collecting and analysing data is quite a daunting task regardless of who performs the job. Marketing automation simplifies this cumbersome task and provides a high-level overview of the overall process. This way, marketing managers can magnify the loopholes in their marketing strategies and address the complications and friction points. In simple terms, marketing automation platforms help verify where things are going wrong.
Allows marketing and sales alignment
The sales and marketing departments in any modern-day company need to perform in sync to produce tangible results. Combining the sales and marketing automation efforts expedites the process of achieving the set goals and objectives. Put simply, marketing automation makes it easier to go through marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads. This automation-driven alignment can boost sales productivity by 14.5 percent and reduce the marketing overhead by 12.2 percent!
Marketing automation best practices to follow in 2022
Now that you know what marketing automation brings to the table, you must focus on deploying it to generate maximum results. Here are the best practices we recommend you follow in 2022 to make the best out of marketing automation.
Learn more about your target audience
Marketing automation isn’t synonymous with campaigns churned out en masse. One can prepare highly personalised campaigns by ensuring all the tasks involved target the right audience. The fundamental marketing automation best practice is to come up with buyer personas for your business. Invest in surveys, interviews, social media audience analytics, and collect form data and insights from the sales team to shape your target market. Tailor the content of your automated campaigns to avoid coming across as impersonal.
Collect and focus on the right data
To let marketing automation send messages only to relevant groups, one must focus on collecting the right data, especially in the lead capture stage. Ask questions, depending on your business, to figure out your customers’ needs and motivations. If you are in the B2B sector, you should focus on collecting data on company size, sector, culture, growth, and more. Put simply, marketing managers should do everything possible to collect customer insights fuelled by behavioural data.
Use a lead scoring model
Does your marketing team have a lead scoring model? It is quite essential if you consider tracking contact behavior. Such information helps companies determine the level of interest prospects have in them. A lead scoring model through marketing automation dramatically reduces your dependency on guesswork. Lead scoring entails providing a numerical value to different customer activities, which helps figure out how important each action or activity is in customers’ interest. Put lead scoring in place to determine which leads should be handed over to sales and which require further nourishing.
Deliver multichannel experiences
Indeed, email marketing is the most common medium that marketing managers tend to automate through marketing automation. But, there are several other channels worth automating. For example, we have SMS marketing that can deliver more immediacy through time-sensitive messages and reminders. Approach marketing automation by NOT limiting yourself to just one channel. Consider delivering multichannel experiences by involving email, SMS, social media, and more to increase your customer touchpoints.
Track and analyse the performance
How would you know if marketing automation works for your company? Although it will never fail to perform (if executed properly), one must always be on the lookout for performance metrics like open rates, click rates, unsubscribes, and more. It’s best practice to track the marketing automation reports and figure out what’s working for your company and what’s not. Not just that, make sure you peruse through the results at a segment level. This tactic will help verify your audience segmentation strategy.
Eliminate or automate certain internal processes
Lastly, don’t just focus on automation marketing campaigns. Marketing automation gives marketing managers an excellent opportunity to automate internal processes too! One can easily automate manual tasks depending on the functionality. Go ahead and use marketing automation to automate audience segmentation, list cleaning, lead qualification, and more.
Marketing managers should always be ready to pivot their online marketing strategies and deploy modern technologies to their benefit. We highly recommend putting marketing automation into action, especially by laying the right foundation for the strategy. In other words, you should have clarity over who you’ll target; when you’ll target; and how you’ll target. Collect the right data and develop efficient workflows using marketing automation.