What is Marketing Automation & Why is it a Game Changer?By John Scott
So, what is Marketing Automation?
Simply put, marketing automation sends the right message, at the right time, to the right person in a scalable way across text, social, email and web.
A marketing automation platform (MAP) will track an individual across website visits, email opens and clicks, data capture forms and online registrations or downloads, landing page visits and paid search campaign activity, and will enable very specific personalised messaging that can be customised to each individual.
Businesses large and small understand that it can be hard to stay connected with your customers when you have a million things on your plate. That is exactly where the power, and potential, of marketing automation comes in… Think of it as lending 10 extra pairs of hands to help run your business!
Unlike manual campaigns, automation does the work for you and gives employees more free time to tackle higher-order problems saving businesses considerable time and money.
And even if you did have the time, why would you when marketing automation tools could do it better anyway?
What can I do with Marketing Automation?
The opportunities to utilise marketing automation are endless, for instance:
- Send a welcome email when people join your database
- Trigger emails based on recent products they have viewed on your website
- Create dynamic lists of customer segments based on recent browsing or purchasing behaviour
- Send abandoned cart email to help close sales
- Send product recommendation emails and suggest cross-sell and upsell opportunities
- Create lead generation funnels that provide potential leads with exactly the information they require, based on what we know they have already opened, clicked or viewed online
- Send follow up emails after a purchase to generate feedback
- Send anniversary emails such as Happy Birthday or subscription reminders
- Notify a customer that their order is on the way or when key milestones have been reached during their order process (ordered, shipped, returned etc…)
- Schedule email sends, create one-off campaigns, and manage your subscriber base, all from the same interface
- Trigger win-back campaigns for at risk and defecting customers
- Develop engagement and re-engagement strategies around customer behavior and identify missed sales opportunities
- Automatically run A/B tests of email campaigns to find the message that inspires the most engagement and conversation
- Generate retargeting campaigns for search opportunities based on existing customer data and develop lookalike audiences to find potential new clients
With marketing automation as your right-hand man, your business can bring together sales, marketing and customer services to create a seamless customer experience across your brand.
How does Marketing Automation work?
At its core, marking automation lets you execute a digital marketing strategy without having to manually press “send” on every text, email, campaign or post. Automation tools can help you identify your customers, create the best content and automatically trigger actions based on consumer behaviour. Once these actions have been rolled out, you can then analyse and tweak your marketing approach based on your results.
But wait, there’s more…
A good marketing automation tool can collect consumer data through a number of interactions: website visits, email, social media etc. This data then builds a customer profile to help create relevant, personalised and better tailored messaging across multiple marketing channels.
At the core of every marketing automation campaign are workflows. Here is an example:
In a workflow there are four basic components:
- Triggers (What action made the workflow stars? In this case, someone has just signed up to the website)
- Delays (The between each step of the workflow)
- Conditions (If X is false, do that, If X is true, do this)
- Actions (What should be done of the condition is either true or false)
Workflows can assist in nurturing leads, incentivising feedback, upselling customers and more.
You have the ability to be strategic and creative when creating your workflows to form best marketing automation practices.
Myth busted: isn’t Marketing Automation too impersonal?
This is a common misconception, but it is quite the opposite!
Your customers want relevant, engaging and useful information. If your business is sending the same bulk emails to every contact, you’re doing the contrary.
In fact, you are giving your customers an impersonal experience by treating your contacts as if they want the same thing at the same time.
This is why automation is so great. When used correctly, automation can be more personable as messages are only sent to customers that the message is relevant to.
How Can Marketing Automation Benefit My Business?
If you haven’t realised already, there are many ways automation can benefit your business.
In fact, Liana Technologies conducted a survey and discovered that nearly 70% of businesses found improved targeted messaging due to marketing automation. Other answers that stood out were improved customer experience (45.9 %), improved quality of leads (37,7 %).
(image via Liana Technologies)
Other benefits included:
- Getting more leads (34.9%)
- Improved efficiency/ROI in marketing (32.9%)
- Higher conversion (30.1%)
- Closer cooperation between marketing and sales (29.5%)
- Cost efficiency (27.4%)
- Ability to combine data from different channels (26.0%)
- Increased web traffic (23.3%)
- Better profit (13.05)
- Shortened sales cycle (3.4%)
Marketing Automation is a powerful tool and results don’t lie. You are missing out on a number of important benefits if you haven’t implemented automation already.