Table of Contents
- What is Marketing Automation?
- Idea and Reality
- Marketing Automation Features
- When to Use Marketing Automation
- How Will Marketing Automation Help You?
- Nurture Leads and Healthy Relationship with Customers
- Accuracy in Work
- The Solution to Exhausting Work Overload
- Save Time Without Compromising Content Quality
- Generate More Revenue for the Company
- Good vs. Bad Marketing Automation
- Good Marketing Automation
- Bad Marketing Automation
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation refers to the use of software to automate marketing activities. You can use automation in your daily marketing tasks. Some task examples include email marketing, social media posting, and even ad campaigns. It allows marketers to nurture prospects with highly personalized and useful content, and eventually turn them into delighted customers.
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Idea and Reality
Effective marketing automation is like growing a garden. You need fertile soil, seeds, water, and light to nurture those seeds into a lush, blooming plant. With good marketing automation, it is easier to nurture leads (the seedlings) well enough to produce paying customers (a full-grown plant).
Because of the popularity of automation, there is a misconception that automation software is a solution for any slowdowns in marketing growth. This is far from true.
One of the mistakes many marketers make when using automation is that they look for sophisticated tools to automate instead of searching for solutions to generate new leads. This results in marketers purchasing a list of leads instead of generating inbound leads. It may work as a quick fix, but it is not a permanent solution, nor does it create the base for a long-term relationship with your customers. Developing a relationship with your inbound leads from the beginning leads to long-term success.
Marketing Automation Features
Email marketing is often the first place where businesses start using automation. According to Chris Davis from ActiveCampaign, there are many powerful features available. Some of these features include:
- Tags and custom fields that enable users to group or segment their contacts, allowing them to communicate with their contacts in a more effective manner.
- Emails, forms, and site tracking that give information to users to communicate with their customers as well as to understand their approach.
- Visual automation builders that enable users to generate an intricate workflow to lead customers through a particular buyer’s journey.
- Automated reporting that gives users all the necessary data to estimate and calculate the effectiveness of their marketing
- The use of pipelines that allows marketing teams to efficiently “hand-off” leads to the sales teams to close a deal, thus making the sales process more efficient.
According to Salesforce, which offers marketing automation through its Pardot product, marketing automation features also include:
- Visitor Tracking: Tracking website visitors and which pages they went through, for how long, and what their web visit pattern looked like.
- Hosted and Tracked Marketing Files: Automatically generate tracking URLs to allow for content tracking.
- Real-time Sales Alerts: Sales representatives can set specific parameters on when to follow-up with leads.
- Lead Scoring and Grading: This improves the sales and marketing relationship by scoring and grading all prospects. This works by giving each lead a numerical score or value based on how much they have engaged with your company. From there, the marketing team can pass the lead on to the sales team.
- Lead Nurturing: Marketing automation software allows you to deliver the right messages to prospects automatically, guiding them to useful content and, ultimately, to a sale.
- Closed-loop Reporting: Marketers can estimate the cost of the individual campaign at any time and have the opportunity to data sync between CRM and marketing automation systems.
When to Use Marketing Automation
You should use marketing automation when you are thinking about publishing new content and when you are generating a steady flow of new, organic leads. The best time to focus your efforts on a marketing automation strategy is when you are ready to turn qualified leads into paying customers. In order to use marketing automation, make sure:
- To produce a continuous flow of both novel and qualified leads.
- Marketing and Sales have agreed on what conversations that should happen with marketing and sales.
- You have a complete content strategy mapped to your buyer’s journey.
- You’re tracking your leads’ digital approach across every touchpoint and marketing channel (not just email)?
- You have a firm lead nurturing strategy that you want to scale.
Marketing automation can help make your business more efficient, but it cannot do marketing for you. It helps make your marketing and sales teams lives easier.
How Will Marketing Automation Help You?
Nurture Leads and Healthy Relationship with Customers
Successful marketing automation strategies have customers in the center of a flywheel that gains more speed from the addition of force to that flywheel. Such strategies lessen that customer friction and speed up the flywheel, helping you continue to nurture customer relationships in a good way after they have been passed to sales and the deal has been won. Marketing automation does not only result in an increasing number of customers, but it also helps you maintain a great relationship with them.
Accuracy in Work
Marketing automation is designed to nurture sales leads, personalize marketing messages, and schedule content. This saves more time for both the marketing and sales teams. The use of automation by the users can help them send the right message, to the right user, at the right time.
The Solution to Exhausting Work Overload
Automation software automates your marketing for you and reduces your workload. It is designed to help you prioritize and execute your marketing tasks more consistently and efficiently.
Save Time Without Compromising Content Quality
Using a marketing automation system will not make you useless. It can make you more productive, as well as save you some time, while not compromising the quality of the content you are producing.
Generate More Revenue for the Company
The goal of your marketing efforts is to generate more revenue for your company. You have to drive more traffic to your website, convert that traffic into leads, and turn those leads into customers. This is where marketing automation can have the biggest impact on your company.
Good vs. Bad Marketing Automation
Good Marketing Automation
Good marketing automation considers the evolving needs of your leads, and the behaviors and interactions they have with you across all of your marketing channels. Gathering data from multiple channels such as social media, a pricing page, and specific content helps marketers to understand the needs of their leads.
Bad Marketing Automation
While there are good examples of marketing automation, there are also bad ones. Bad marketing automation stems from people who do not know how to use the software properly. Incorrectly using the software can negatively affect your company. It can also stem from people using the wrong data as you want to make sure your data is up-to-date and that there are no significant gaps in it.
Marketing automation, when used correctly, can make your company more efficient. You can use the data you have gathered with the software to make any revisions and changes in your marketing efforts. These changes can help you reach your goals.