Marketing automation tools have come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years. For anyone in doubt, just look at all the different software now available for small, medium and large businesses. Besides having so many options, brands also get to enjoy all the benefits that marketing automation platforms have to offer.
Before we delve any deeper, we’d like to remind you that the word ‘automation’ doesn’t mean you no longer have to input anything yourself. You still need to set up your digital marketing campaigns with quality content, a sound lead generation and marketing strategy. It is that very collaboration between human and machine collaboration that makes marketing automation so incredibly powerful.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation can be described as using specially designed software to automate several processes. This includes delivering personalised messages to segmented prospects, customers or leads, creating drip campaigns, workflows and reporting. It allows you to engage more effectively on a personal level based on the actions of your audience whether it’s their buying behaviour, geographic location, preferences or past interactions.
Watch this video on the power of AI in Marketing Automation
How Does It Work?
The process works whereby you initially decide what data is important and, with the help of marketing automation software, create emails, products or services based on the information you collect from your audience. It enables you to track the activities of your target market which helps you make more informed decisions.
The data can be used to determine the type of content to send, the best time to contact someone and how to contact them. This is also where buyer personas come into the equation as you need to identify your customer base. Marketing automation software can help with personas as shown in this article from SharpSpring.
Benefits Of Marketing Automation
The rapid growth of digital channels and devices makes it more difficult for marketers to accurately target prospects. When marketing automation is used correctly, it can be an incredibly powerful tool for sales and marketing teams. It can help increase accuracy, productivity, record keeping and reporting among others.
Some tools even include a CRM system that can help your business reach their goals more effectively thanks to advanced segmentation and reporting features. Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of using a good quality marketing automation platform.
More Efficient Marketing Efforts
Once you have identified your personas, you can start creating your marketing automation campaigns sending the right content to the right people at the right time. Automating the time-consuming, manual tasks can help your team save time, money and improve productivity. Some of the manual tasks that can be automated include:
- market segmentation
- content creation
- content management and personalisation
- campaign scheduling
- lead nurturing
- data management, reporting and analytics
- communication with sales
Generate High-Quality Leads
Marketing automation combines multiple criteria, including demographics, firmographic and behavioural data. This forms part of the information you collect when creating your buyer personas, i.e. Age, Sex, Occupation, Social Media Account information and actions that customers take online.
The software uses a lead scoring system to generate and identify qualified leads more accurately. This makes it much easier for the sales team to segment cold, warm and hot leads. Knowing which stage of the marketing funnel potential customers are at will undoubtedly result in more qualified leads.
Broader Overview Of Prospects’ Multichannel Activities
Today’s digitally-savvy customers are often active on multiple channels and devices. That means there is almost no point in targeting your audience using one or two marketing channels. You also shouldn’t take the ‘shotgun approach’ by blasting campaigns all over the place as you won’t get the desired results. Marketing automation platforms can integrate with multiple channels and devices, even social media and mobile.
The best way to be successful is to implement a multi-channel approach with many touchpoints. This may include dynamic website and email content, social media, re-targeting and physical interaction from your sales team. With these tools at your disposal, you can create more comprehensive customer profiles with a better overview of their online behaviour across the board.
Allow Marketing And Sales Teams To Work In Harmony
Knowing your customers can help the marketing and sales team interact with them more effectively on their preferred channels. This enables you to build trust and meet the customer’s needs more effectively, resulting in potentially more traffic and sales.
Marketing automation software helps greatly to align the efforts of your sales and marketing teams. As mentioned earlier, with all the systems in place while having collected all the required data, sales teams can work with warm to hot leads, minimising the need for cold calling. Sales and marketing teams can now work closely together because of the lead scoring system, personas and other parameters that accurately define qualified prospects.
Quality Content, Improved Conversions and ROI
Any marketing campaign is only as good as the content and strategy in place. While marketing automation enables highly-targeted and personalised communications, delivering the right message at the right time remains essential. Content needs to resonate with your audience and appeal to their needs, challenges or burning questions.
Tailor your content properly and it will speak to a prospect’s exact needs and interests which helps build stronger relationships. This can lead to increased conversion rates, sales and the chance to create brand ambassadors. Several studies have shown that using a marketing automation platform can increase conversions. One such study from Forrester found that in a B2B setting, brands can experience a 10% increase in their sales pipeline.
From automating manual marketing tasks, lead generation and management to email campaign development and landing page creation, marketing automation will play an even bigger role in the future. As more and better software becomes available, B2B marketers will be able to perform on a whole new level. Instead of spending time performing time-consuming manual tasks, marketing automation software can take the lead.
This will allow your marketing team to work on multiple projects and build lasting relationships with their business networks. They will deliver more creative and targeted strategies that align with sales goals more closely. Having this type of tool at their disposal will give them greater visibility into buyer attributes and behaviour.
Looking For A Marketing Automation Tool For Your Business?
With such a variety of tools out there, you need to determine which is most suited to your brand. Whether your criteria involves app integrations, user interface, functionality or price, there is a platform for you.
Some of the mainstream marketing automation software include SharpSpring, HubSpot and Salesforce but there are many more to choose from. For more information on the top marketing automation platforms, sign up here to get a link to a detailed report.
WSI eMarketing can help you build a winning marketing strategy so get in touch with our team today for a free consultation. We specialise in PPC, email marketing, SEO, social media marketing and marketing automation among others.