Marketing automation is a set of tactics and protocols that allow companies to perform marketing actions faster and more efficiently. This is typically done with a software platform that manages all potential clients and automates repetitive tasks like emails, social media posts, or other actions.
Marketing automation is a step towards the future for a company, one that puts execution at the hands of tireless algorithms and leaves management and decision-making for the individuals. The direct result is an excess of time resources that can be better allocated in other directions of growth. Every project will now be able to have a more generous approach on the planning and implementation phases, as well as on extracting the needed conclusion.
For many small and medium sized businesses, defining, implementing and maintaining and effective digital marketing strategy takes considerable resources, automating these marketing related tasks is an excellent approach for SMBs because it allows them to compete with bigger players while keeping a tighter budget. Once implemented, marketing automation can do the work that an entire marketing department once did in a traditional company. Many business owners are still distracted by the high initial cost of marketing automation and are unable to see that making marketing a routine can save money in the long term.
Automation helps measure success more accurately because it provides data that is not biased by personal understanding. ROI determination will provide a clear image picture of how effective each marketing technique is. Automatic Automated marketing often includes the possibility to operate slight changes of parameters and to measure the corresponding effects. Statistical tools used by most marketing automation platforms will put big data to use to your advantage.
Although outsourcing all that is marketing-related might sound like a good idea for a small or medium business that likes to focus on few things, the long-term outcome is not always favorable. Keeping marketing in-house and relying on automation will allow you to accumulate expertise and make educated guesses without looking around for approval.
One of the few drawbacks of marketing automation is that it cannot apply to all scenarios. Some businesses are by definition small, and they have a small pool of potential clients. Any sign of automation would be perceived as spammy and dismissed for being too impersonal. In those cases, personal interaction coming from a dedicated marketing team is always preferable. Nevertheless, having a look at what advantages marketing automation creates can inspire professionals to have a more rigorous and data-oriented approach on the job.
There are many benefits a marketing professional can put on the table to justify a marketing automation investment. We have selected the best 17, enough to give you a cheat sheet for your next one-on-one with the manager.
1. You Will Create a Stronger Business Model
Automation is the only way to take a good idea and turn it into real success. Once you have defined your business model, it is time to test with bigger and bigger numbers. Marketing automation is exactly the tool you need to consolidate the way of doing business.
A robust business model is one that puts a considerable difference between revenues and costs. Automated marketing is the fastest way of reaching those clients willing to pay more for your premium services, out of a pool of clients that typically allow your business to operate with a smaller margin.
2. Increase Customer Reach
By streamlining your marketing processes and thereby expanding your business reach will put your offer face to face with a larger and more diverse audience. Something that worked on a small scale may struggle when the big picture is revealed. Using marketing automation and the near real time campaign results that are provided is what businesses of all sizes need to avoid that particular scenario.
Marketing automation platforms use an impressive set of analytical tools to enhance customer reach. Most of them are based on experience gathered over the years, so you will be sure to walk in the footsteps others left behind on their way to the top.
3. Improve Customer Service
Marketing automation is not only focused on creating successful interactions with clients but also in maintaining and enhancing them. Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during, and after purchase, and there is no better way to do that than relying on a database where everything is carefully recorded.
When it comes to human interactions, remembering someone’s first name belongs to the ABC of marketing. Your marketing automation software can do that and much more, helping you approach each client in a way that makes him/her feel special.
4. Enhance Personalization via Marketing Automation
Marketing can be defined as the ability to sell the same product in a different envelope. Each client has a sweet spot and knowing what feature to highlight can make the difference between failure and success.
Marketing automation can be put to work so that when the client’s needs are addressed, what he/she receives is personalized. This work almost the same way Amazon suggests you products you might like based on your current purchase.
5. Improved Lead Management and Lead Nurturing
Every business relies on leads to survive and grow, and marketing revolves around creating leads. Lead management and nurturing are sensitive topics and having the wrong approach can destroy many good hours of work.
Upselling can retain customer engagement if done the right way. However, it often turns out that trying to upsell betrays the marketers’ intention to sell more. Leads need to be continuously under scrutiny, and there is no better way to do than by automating the whole process.
6. Provide Measurable Results
The best thing about marketing automation is that it relies on numbers to create future strategies. With so much data being accumulated, there is little room left for guessing or taking steps in the wrong direction.
Being able to measure results and dissect both success and failure makes your businesses’ evolution more predictable and puts you in the driver’s seat. Measurable parameters have the ability to transform decision making into something less frightening.
7. Ability to Effectively Segment and Target Leads
Marketing automation is more than computer code that sends the same promotional email to all the clients in the database. Instead, it is focused on creating personalized marketing campaigns, based on meaningful common denominators. Personalized campaigns are more likely to have positive results because it is in the human nature to align with something that is close to you.
Marketing platforms do much more than to put the customer’s first name in the email. Web analytics now allow companies access to a vast pool of information. Browsing habits can tell enough about what a person’s likes or dislikes, improving the odds of the marketing campaign launched in that direction.
Not long ago, targeting through marketing was like shooting in an archery range while being blindfolded. Things have changed and not only your marketing campaigns can see where they are headed, but they can also use different arrowheads for harder to pierce materials.
Enhanced targeting is made possible only with a powerful analytics engine like the one marketing automation platforms usually have.
8. Seamless Campaign Execution and Tracking
Every marketing campaign is based on four distinct stages – plan, execute, track, and measure. While planning and putting the result next to initial expectations are jobs for someone with cognition, execution and tracking can be just as easy left for computer programs to perform.
Execution and tracking might be simple for a just few parallel campaigns directed at a small number of clients, but not the same can be said when the number of operations increases significantly. Business growth beyond a certain level leaves no other option than relying on automation.
9. Efficiency and Productivity Gains
Although marketing automation has the potential to scale down the marketing department, what results is the same work carried out more efficiently. Productivity has been the word of the last couple of decades, and it is common sense to put it on the table when it comes to marketing.
10. Maintain Brand Consistency
Strong brands rely on reaching their clients in numerous ways while maintaining a coherent message and a powerful image. Just to give an example, creating accounts on different social media platforms can make it hard to update them all at once. Developing apps raises a similar problem. Failing to keep up will make your business look unable manage the demands of the modern technology-reliant world.
The same applies when you fail to tailor your content and campaigns to fit all devices and platforms. It is enough to take a random website and look at the analytics that shows how much traffic originates from mobile, tablet, or desktop. Missing one channel can make your business lose as much as 20% of revenues.
Marketing automation helps maintain consistency, and no clients will ever feel neglected because you lacked time to take care of it.
11. Ease of Use
Ease of use is one of the most important factors when choosing a marketing automation platform. The world of marketing is one where myths and superstitions still reside. What worked once should work again if you make the same steps. Introduce a change in landscape as a business owner, and you might see your marketing specialist struggling to negotiate the uncertainties.
Using marketing automation is no doubt a step outside the comfort zone. However, easy to use platforms can create new routines in a very short period.
Fortunately for those fearing to make the transition, most automation platforms accommodate parameters and functions that are not only well known to marketing specialist, but also transposed in an intuitive way. Technology junkies will be thrilled to see the screen populated with numerous analytics and interpretations.
12. Increase Customer Lifetime Value
There is no secret that it costs more to acquire a new client than to retain an already existing one. Returning customers provide a reliable safety net for small and medium businesses even in times of economic difficulties. All the numbers are there to support the idea that repeat buyers are the key to success. However, creating brand loyalty is not as easy as it might look when the big guys are doing it.
Implementing automation when it comes to marketing will be a first step towards having a clear view on which of your customers are returning and how much they support your business. Although there is the mentality that all clients are created equals, it is worth putting up a hierarchy.
13. Consistent and Effective Lead Management
Marketing automation means that potential clients are permanently engaged, and only when one lead develops through various, defined stages, it is transferred to the sales team.
Doing that with a traditional marketing task force was hard if not impossible. The way marketing was once done involved the dream that every client has a hidden potential. This made markets focuses on something that was simply not there. Automated marketing inhibits the emotional component until facts and numbers entitle it.
14. Lead Targeting and Segmenting
Following every lead might sound like a good idea, but that will drain the energy out of your marketing department before success comes your way. Leaving marketing operations at the hands of professionally customized software will quickly highlight those few high-quality leads that are worth investing time.
Not implementing marketing automation in your company is like going on a hunting trip without retrievers or pointers. The game is there in the jungle of dead-end leads, but you need trained senses to show you the way.
15. Increase Conversion Rate through A/B Testing
In the marketing world, the slightest change can mean the difference. We are not talking only in design terms (font size, color tone), but also in approach. An e-mail campaign sent just ten minutes earlier could catch more people during their lunch break, more relaxed and ready to make a commitment.
A/B testing is often complicated because once you change more than one parameter things are tough to track. Most marketers end up scratching their heads trying to figure out what they did right. You do not want to end up at the top of the mountain without being able to describe the path that took you there.
16. Campaign and Resource Management
As we talked about in creating a stronger business model, trying to scale up your success often makes the business vulnerable. In the same way, a marketing campaign might work in a localized and controlled context, but might be completely unprepared to go out in the open.
Marketing automation takes the most successful campaign and implements it gradually, with a careful look at all the secondary data that results from doing that.
17. Human Resource Managment
Marketing has grown to become one of the most important aspects of business, stealing the first place even from production itself. Many business owners just cannot resist the urge to populate an entire office with people responsible for reaching out to the world and spreading the word.
Marketing is sometimes perceived as the job of doing beautiful logos and website banners. The dirty job of having people hang the phone while you introduce yourself or of trying to engage again unsubscribed clients is often left in the dark. Marketing is tedious, and we all know what is best for such jobs – automation.