Marketing Automation: Why You Urgently Need It and How to Get Started
Automation has vastly changed the marketing landscape. More and more people are seeing its benefits in their business and are more invested in maximizing this tool from the future.
A $32 billion investment in marketing automation is projected to be spent this year. This figure is still estimated to rise as companies recognize the advantages this innovation brings.
With all the fanfare surrounding this breakthrough in marketing technology, you would want to find out how exactly this can help you and your business. How does marketing automation figure in your business? And more importantly, how do you go about it?
Automate to innovate
To put it simply, marketing automation means to automate marketing functions. This is to streamline the usual marketing tasks by using advanced software technology. With the use of this software, previously tedious and repetitive marketing processes can now be automated, optimized, and properly measured. Aside from marketing, a wide range of other business processes can also be automated, allowing growing teams to simplify their operations without sacrificing results.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
1 Save time
This is the most obvious reason why you need to urgently invest in marketing automation.
There are a million and one marketing tasks requiring your attention. Sending repetitive emails or posting weekly reminders on your social media feed should not be your top priority. You should start with email marketing automation instead.
With marketing automation software, you can send automated messages to your customers with just a simple click of a button. Looking to send out event invitations? Click. Need to send yearly reminders for insurance renewals? Click. Post weekly shout-outs to your social media audience? Click.
With the right automated marketing tool, all the data collection, customer touchpoint experiences, and marketing metrics will flow as smoothly as possible.
2 Save money
Knowing the key to a successful marketing strategy can now allow you to maximize automation to the hilt. For example, you can put in place an effective prospect activation strategy by using automated workflows. You can then encourage prospects to become purchasers which will, in turn, increase your likelihood for conversion.
By utilizing these customized work channels, you can cut down on time and expenses.
3 Enhance your customer’s experience
With lead scoring, you can identify your most qualified prospects based on their activities. For example, if a customer subscribes to your e-newsletter, you can increase their score by 5. If they click on a link in your microsite, you can increase their score by 10, and if they make a purchase, you can increase it by 15. This way, you can identify your most qualified prospects and clients.
Dynamic scoring helps you to execute a more tailored approach to your marketing strategies. For instance, you can reward your best customers and turn them into brand ambassadors. At the same time, you can also send out mailers to follow up with contacts whom you haven’t heard from for quite some time.
With the data you have mined using automated methods, you can have a better understanding of your market. Knowing your customers is key in a successful marketing campaign. With the valuable information that you have, you can have a more targeted approach.
Getting Started With Marketing Automation
How then can you get on with maximizing this valuable technological aid?
1. Know your target market.
First, you have to know who your customers are. Then, identify what makes them tick. How can your product or service address their needs or requirements? Where do they go? What do they buy? When are they most likely to purchase?
By identifying who you are talking to, you will be more informed in crafting your message, which will guide you to have more buy in. When you have the necessary demographics and psychographics of your target market, it will be easier for you to create a message that will hook them in and capture their interest.
This will also allow you to create segments within your automated marketing system. These segments will serve as your basic structure in grouping your customers, setting up systems for lead generation, and managing customer relationship programs.
2. Engage your customers.
Once you have set up your parameters in identifying your customers, making them an offer, and capturing their data, you now need to engage them in conversation.
Having their attention is important and maintaining a conversation with them is even more crucial. Design a simple engagement campaign that will ultimately lead them into your sales process.
If you are a car dealer, for example, you can create a basic email engagement program that will last for about two to three weeks. You can start with a simple email blast to your current clients informing them of a new car that you are about to launch. Follow up with an invitation to come to the showroom and avail themselves of the exclusive pre-launch test drive. Then after they have visited you, take the chance to have another customer touchpoint by making a phone call or sending another email asking them about their experience.
3. Keep in touch.
If you have noticed, the tail end of the engagement program mentioned a follow-up call or email regarding their experience. This is a significant factor in ascertaining that the customer is still within your radius.
Not everyone will be ready to buy right after their test drive, as in the case presented. It is therefore important that you keep the conversation going. You can set your automation system to send a bi-weekly email, for instance, giving them bits and pieces of information about the car. This way, your brand and product will not be out of mind. Just be careful not to bombard them with frequent messages as this can also annoy and drive customers away.
The human factor
While it is undeniable that technology – in this case, marketing automation – has definitely made lives easier and more convenient, do not neglect the fact that it still needs the human touch.
Businesses market to people, so they also need to talk to them as people. Marketing automation is there to make this communication more targeted, streamlined and functional. It is still up to business owners and marketers to know how to apply the fruits of the automated labor to reap a bountiful harvest.
Tomi Saikkonen is the Vice President of Liana Technologies, Middle East. Just like you Tomi is fascinated by the possibilities of digital marketing and technology. He actively seeks out ways to help businesses and organizations across industries to improve their digital marketing ROI. https://www.facebook.com/lianatech