What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a kind of technology that helps you streamline, automate and measure your marketing activities by using the software. The main aim behind it is to increase operational efficiency, decrease the redundant workload on your organization and increase revenue. Today, companies are trying to automate their marketing processes through interactive content, live chat, email marketing tools, and whatnot. Read this blog to understand how to automate your marketing processes the right way.
After all, 91% of marketing automation users agree that it is ‘very important’ to the overall success of their marketing automation activities. Is there any truth to that claim? Let’s find out.
What Does Marketing Automation Do?
Why is marketing automation important for any marketing strategy? There’s no one answer to this. Mostly because automating your marketing processes can be a blessing to your team in a lot of ways –
1. Saves Time And Effort
By using marketing automation software, businesses can automate their regular marketing tasks quickly. This saves their time and effort to concentrate on other marketing strategies. Moreover, automation makes sure that the work that would otherwise take hours is done in minutes. Everyday marketing comprises a lot of mundane tasks that do not require human intervention. This way, employees can remain engaged in actually important tasks like content creation, lead generation, and problem-solving.
2. More Efficient Campaigns
Marketing is all about delivering the right information, to the right person, at the right time. And automation ensures targeted marketing. It reduces the possibility of human error and the guesswork involved. Marketing automation has made it easy to identify web visitors, track their activity, behavior, demographics, etc. This helps the marketing team offer a more personalized experience to the lead and increase their chances of conversion. This also reduces the effort needed for market research and helps the team in other ways. The marketing campaigns are thus more customized and have higher chances of success.
3. Effective Spending
Saved time and saved effort mean – more money. Earlier marketers used to have to develop campaigns from scratch. Today, because of marketing automation tools, they can replicate and refine processes. They have templates, resources, databases, etc. to build upon. Marketers can use their pre-existing assets to reach out to the same targeted audience. This saves the cost of market research and re-building strategies. This money can be used for bigger and more innovative campaigns.
4. Better Consumer Experience
Marketing automation helps maintain consistency more than anything. Automation tools allow you to schedule your tasks in a timely manner which means that you don’t miss out on anything. The buyer’s journey is more seamless and quick. It also ensures better lead nurturing and personalized content. More customized content means more value addition to the user. This improves the consumer’s experience and increases their chances of conversion and retention. And isn’t that our end goal?
Ways To Automate Marketing Processes
There are various segments of your marketing strategy that you can automate with tools and software.
1. Lead Generation Automation
There are tools that you can use to automate your lead generation process. Unless you have leads, your sales team has nothing to work upon. There are tools like Outgrow that use interactive content to help you gather leads. Outgrow collects lead information for you through interactive content types like calculators, quizzes, assessments, chatbots, surveys, etc. It leverages the bait of value addition against collecting information. For example, you can create an ROI calculator using Outgrow, embed it on your website and use that to generate leads.
Outgrow integrates with all major marketing, email, CRM and such tools to offer you a more seamless process with lead generation. Which brings us to CRM, Customer Relationship Management. You can use Outgrow as a tool for improving customer relationships and solidifying your business. You can integrate Outgrow interactive content with all your major social media channels. You can also automate email notifications for every user who takes your quiz, uses your calculator, etc. Outgrow has its own analysis tool that gathers your leads and offers you insights from them. It creates reports for you to base your future strategies upon.
2. Lead Nurturing And Conversion
Things don’t end at lead generation. What use we make of those leads is even more crucial. Which is where lead nurturing comes into the equation. Lead nurturing is the process of developing a relationship with the buyer at every stage of the sales funnel. It focuses on directing the marketing efforts towards the needs of the prospect. There are a lot of tools that use other strategies to put lead nurturing into effect.
With tools like CleverTap and Outgrow, you can campaign across multiple social media channels. These include channels like SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Using this tool, you can remind your users at the right time through the apt channel. The tool offers the benefits of customer engagement without compromising their privacy. After you have gathered your leads, you can segment them. You can divide them as per demographics, behavior, geographic location, etc. You can target them with personalized information that adds to their need.
Apart from this, you can also qualify your lead before you decide to act on them. Using interactive content, you can ask them relevant questions and collect information about them. Then you can see if they fit your buyer persona and the likeliness of their conversion into a customer. This saves your team’s time and effort. And also ensures a higher rate of conversion.
3. Customer Communication
They say, ‘Communication is key’. And they’re right.
All your effort in your marketing strategy will go to waste if your communication is wrong. Marketers usually design effective email marketing strategies to communicate with their customers. And this involves a lot of work which marketing automation has made easy for us now. Tools like Campaign Monitor and MailerLite are paramount in email marketing automation. You can set up amazing email marketing campaigns in just a few minutes with these tools.
These are drag-and-drop tools that allow you to create, personalize, optimize and schedule your emails in no time. They have tonnes of templates and millions of customizations for you to choose from. Moreover, you can also track your campaign and measure the tools’ effectiveness. Both tools offer interactive analytics that allows you to track the performance of your emails in real-time. You can see who opened your emails and what parts of the email were found to be most interesting. Consequently, you can modify your future emails to gain the most amount of engagement.
Apart from these, tools like Intercom also help you optimize the customer support process. Live chat allows you to automate this part of customer communication. It takes care of your customers’ queries 24×7 and reduces the workload on your personnel. Intercom also segments your audience, creates customer profiles and sends behavior triggered messages. This automates the query answering process and saves time and effort.
4. Organizational Automation
Businesses are all about teamwork. And it is important to make sure that there is delegation, equity, and promptness in tasks. There must be transparency in an organization to make sure that everyone is making an equal effort towards the functioning of the company. And instead of people spending time on this, there should be an automation system in place for these organizational tasks. Which is why tools like Trello and Asana are important.
These tools are basically organizational calendars that help in the distribution of tasks. You can add tasks, assign them, set deadlines, add followers and these tools take care of it. It ties everybody’s tasks and makes sure that nobody gets burdened with work. It maintains balance amongst teams and makes it easier to track progress. It automates the logistical work and people can focus on doing work, instead of checking up on everyone else. These tools also send automatic emails to remind you of deadlines, daily tasks, changes in tasks, etc.
5. Content And Social Media Management
Content and social media make up for a huge part of any good marketing strategy. It is an everyday task. It is how you present your brand to the world, which makes it equally crucial. Nothing works like good content when it comes to increasing traffic. You can automate advertising content with tools such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc. They help you create search and display ads with minimal work involved. These tools create multiple versions of your ad and perform A/B testing in quick steps.
Tools like Buffer also allow you social media automation. With description suggestions and channel integrations, you can create and schedule your social media posts in no time. You can add content for multiple social media channels and manage your posts from Buffer itself without doing any of the heavy lifting. Buffer also offers you analytics and information on how your posts are doing. It also gives you a better idea of your social visibility and brand online presence.
6. Marketing Analytics Automation
Marketing analytics is like the report card for CMO. These analytics tell you if all the efforts you’ve spent on your strategy has given the desired results. You can use tools like Google Analytics or Hubspot for the purpose. These tools gather data from all channels in the marketing mix and give you a detailed report of how your content has performed. These tools support features like campaign tracking, cross channel attribution, marketing mix modeling, and customer analysis. Campaign performance is measured against set target goals using which future goals can be set.
You can track your leads, their journey, their activity. You can see where there is maximum leakage in the entire process and make amends. Furthermore, you can check your bounce rate, session duration, activity duration, etc. This will help you determine what’s working and what’s not. Through all of this, you can evaluate each and every lead and put a number to it. This will help you make improvements to your marketing strategy and make it more conducive to your prospects.
Now marketing automation doesn’t mean the end of human effort. It is merely a helping hand that does the tedious parts of it for you. And you can focus on the more fun, creative and strategic parts. Now that you know how to automate your marketing processes with the right tools, what are you waiting for?