If you’re a marketer, then you’ve heard about the rising star in town – Marketing Automation. Marketing Automation basically refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions.
So what is Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation is a category of technology which allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster. Many marketing departments have to automate repetative tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.
The concept of marketing automation has actually been around since the 1980s. For decades now, the concept of using software to automatically insert names and addresses from ones database onto the letters and envelopes that you wish to send to consumers by mail has been a mainstay of direct marketers.
Today with the concept of ‘real-time’ and the vast amount of data available to companies on their customers via various digital and offline channels things have changed.
With marketing automation, marketers can help streamline their lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing and lead scoring, customer lifecycle marketing, cross-sell and up-sell, customer retention, and marketing ROI measurement.
Now, with the technology becoming essential with all scales of businesses and marketers are required to manage an increasing number of different channels, such as:
- Centralised marketing database: A central location for all your marketing data, including detailed prospect and customer interactions and behaviors, so one can segment and target the right message to each customer.
- Engaging marketing engine: An environment for the creation, management and automation of marketing processes and conversations across online and offline channels, which will help you in managing your customer interactions.
- Analytics engine: A way to test, measure, and optimize marketing ROI and impact on revenue. The data acquired from analytics will help marketers in understanding what works and where there is scope of improvement.
Common features and functions of marketing automation include email marketing, landing pages and forms, campaign management, engagement marketing, prediction and scoring, customer lifecycle management, CRM integration, social marketing capabilities, mobile marketing capabilities and marketing analytics.
Earlier, the concept of marketing automation was the considered to be the preserve of only the most financially successful businesses, as the technology needed to create such systems required heavy investment and was built ‘in-house’. However thanks to a proliferation of third-party suppliers, sophisticated automation software is now much more readily available to B2C and B2B companies both large and mid-size.
Most successful companies are the ones that engage directly in real-time with users, successful social media management requires a great deal of time, resources, energy and skills.
Here are some of the reasons to adopt marketing automation:
- Time saving – Multiple campaigns can be scheduled way ahead of time and released as per your own settings, therefore working hours can be utilised for other activities.
- Efficient & Consistency – it provides a streamlined automatic alternative to traditionally manual processes. Time and labour can be reduced, therefore costs can be reduced too. Also, incorporating all your marketing efforts in one process can help keep a unified brand tone-of-voice.
- CRM integration – This helps to make sure that leads don’t disappear off the radar after a couple of unsuccessful contacts.
- Data collection – Automatic marketing offers a touch-point to clients or customers that aren’t necessarily sales-driven. It can help provide better insight and be used to collect specific data to improve future campaigns or communication.
- Multichannel management – With consumers now days being found on multiple channels, it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of them all. Marketing automation can help you keep tabs on any channel.
- Personalisation – Automation can also help you tailor the experience to suit the user, creating a unique and relevant experience, which is more likely lead to conversion.
An increasing number of companies across all categories–including “business-to-consumer” (B2C) industries such as healthcare, financial services, media and entertainment, and retail–are adopting various softwares & tactics for its real-time, engagement-oriented approach to maintaining and extending their customer relationships throughout the customer lifecycle.
Lets get started!