Some misconceptions about marketing automation couldn’t be further from the truth. Although it’s understandable why people could get the wrong impression, it definitely is not Spam nor is it ‘just email marketing’. Marketing automation is so much more than meets the eye. The concept in itself is sometimes difficult to explain even if you work with it all day, every day. At first glance it may seem simple enough but once you dig a little deeper, it can prove challenging.
Before we get started, let’s just make one thing clear – the word ‘automation’ doesn’t mean you can simply set and forget your digital marketing campaigns. In fact, it is the very collaboration between us and machines that makes it such a powerful tool. The human element is essential in terms of identifying persona’s, content creation, marketing strategy, determining the customer journey and segmentation.
Marketing Automation 101
Marketing automation is defined as using software to deliver personalised messages to prospects, customers or leads. The software allows you to engage more effectively on a more personalised level based on the actions of your audience. These actions include buying behaviour, geographic location, preferences or past interactions.
You initially decide what data is important and with the help of marketing automation software, you can base future emails, products or services on the information your audience provide. It helps you track activities and make informed decisions about when to call someone or what specific products they prefer.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
Used correctly, marketing automation can be incredibly helpful for sales and marketing teams, increasing accuracy and productivity. Some platforms include a CRM system which, along with advanced segmentation and reporting features, can help businesses reach their goals.
Contrary to what some may believe, marketing and sales are not separate business functions. Marketing automation is the ideal platform to align your sales and marketing teams more closely. Sales teams can monitor what their prospects are looking at or downloading from the website, blog and landing pages. At the same time, the marketing team can identify what content is working and what is not, allowing them to easily make necessary changes.
Having the right content for your audience is vital and you need to have a clear understanding of your customer base. This means you need to understand your buyer personas and there could be many depending on your type of business. Once you have these identified, you can start building your marketing automation campaigns to get the right content to the right people at the right time.
B2B versus B2C
Businesses of all types and sizes can potentially benefit from marketing automation. However, the type of messaging used in marketing campaigns will have a different impact on B2B than B2C. Although B2B and B2C businesses have similar goals in terms of improving conversions and revenue, they will reach their goals in a different way.
B2B transactions tend to have a longer buyer’s journey or conversion cycle than B2C. While there are exceptions to the rule, it often involves products or services that require a longer term commitment. As a direct result, B2B messaging has a greater emphasis on long-form content like whitepapers, case studies, and e-books.
In contrast, B2C sales tend to move faster and the content used in messaging is mostly much simpler. B2C customers aren’t always interested in long case studies about a product and may prefer a 30-second video demonstrating how to use a product instead. B2C companies focus more on brand building and giving customers a reason to return. Good examples of B2C messaging includes shopping cart abandonment emails, birthday reminders and special offers tailored to specific types of customers.
What’s The Verdict?
Delivering content tailored to a person’s exact needs and interests helps develop stronger relationships. As a result, it can increase conversion rates, revenue and the opportunity to create brand ambassadors.
In the bigger scheme of things, marketing automation is a combination of several different elements of marketing and business development. It includes email marketing, content development, conversion rate optimisation, lead generation, data analytics and reporting.
Are you ready to find out more about Marketing Automation? You might find Experience in Automation – 5 Tips for beginners a very useful resource. Alternatively, if you want a deeper understanding of how it can help your business, please get in touch.
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