Marketing, as many other industries, is taking advantage from the technological breakthroughs of our time. Automation is taking over many types of tools, from household appliance and energy consumption to cars. Marketing is also part of the industries being changed, for the best of your marketing projects. In this article we will detail you the reason why.
There are many recurrent tasks in marketing: e-mails, interaction in social medias, etc. With automation, all this will be eased so that marketers could spend more time with qualitative activities. Marketing automation is also a way to be more efficient with leads and prospects that are showing interest for your products and services, by targeted and tailored actions, more efficient.
Marketing automation is not a CRM tool, helping you to manage your client relationship: it is all about the automated part of the relationship.
It is the series of smart processes, so called “workflows”, which, managed with the right tool, will help you to get “closer” to a visitor. In other words, to nurture the relationship in order to create a commitment, like to generate sales. Here are some simple examples: to send an email to a client whom didn’t finalized his order (abandoned shopping cart), to contact again a prospect that didn’t answer after few days, to send a message to the people that visited a specific page, etc. From the most simple to the most complex workflows, opportunities are countless.
However, this automation must bring a human and relevant added value. And the customer experience is at the core of this process. It’s where you will find the key to marketing automation. It’s all the predictable and repetitive tasks of the customer experience that are adaptable and scalable.
If it can ease your life, marketing automation still requires some efforts for its implementation. It will not bring you more prospects and you will need to work upstream on your lead generation in order to make it really efficient. It shall take into consideration the continuous change of the needs of your audiences, their uses, behaviors and interactions on all marketing channels.
The main reasons to use marketing automation
It is obvious that the main goal of choosing marketing automation is to increase your profits. But you have to find the right timing for its implementation if you want to enjoy all its benefits. It can be integrated by many companies, but shall not replace your marketing. It’s a tool to use once your lead generation and conversion strategy is chosen and implemented. It will help you to structure these two processes.
Free up time to improve creativity
When you replace redundant manual work by automatic systems and campaigns, you free up sometime for your team so that its members can focus on more creative tasks.
If this has obvious advantages on the efficiency and productivity of your team, it has also a probably less visible positive impact on creativity and global well being.
This way, marketing automation will help you to get rid of fastidious routine tasks like import/export of Excel files from one system to another, or the manual segmentation of clients and prospects.
Today you can build scalable segmentations that adjust to changing consumers and their relationship with your brand. This way you could create a dynamic segmentation according to the experience of your contacts within the life cycle of your customers.
You can also manage and pre-program your campaigns on social networks from a unique dashboard, and to post on different profile all at once. You can also program different posts for different groups of prospects according to the data of your CRM.
For the sales department, automation is therefore creating time to better take care of the customer relationship and to do a high quality prospection.
Improving the content quality: more tests to better identify issues
Data have an important role to play for the marketing as well as for the management. A marketing automation tool create rapports of your different systems and actions, and compile data for an easier analysis.
Unlike the traditional A/B testing of e-mails and landing pages, where you will be able to do one or two split tests before to send them to your mailing-list, the automation softwares will help you to easily implement continuous A/B tests. Becoming a daily operation, these tests become tasks with a high ROI thanks to automation.
You can also identify the origin of problems arising on the operations of your company. Do you generate a lot of leads but those aren’t properly managed by your sales department? Do a lot of people ask you for a demo version or an e-book but this has not much impact on your sales? Do visitors abandon their buying cart because of the bad usability of your online business? Automation systems are clearly and quickly showing what works or not – so it will be easy to adjust your actions accordingly.
Also, as perfection fortunately does not exist, everything is not always happening as planned. We are sometimes doing accidental mistakes which can deeply affect the image of our companies: spelling or punctuation mistakes, distorting sometimes the meaning of the message, an e-mail sent to the wrong person, etc. Automation marketing is helping you to avoid these mistakes that can have a very negative impact on your company.
Improve the lead generation quality
It is interesting to raise awareness about your company through traditional advertising or inbound leads. However, these actions won’t be efficient unless these persons are really interested about buying. One of the biggest advantage of automation marketing solution is that they can help you to better target the consumers at the right timing in the sales funnel, once they have shown interest about your blog or your newsletter. It means that the list of prospects on which you are working is targeted and very useful: it’s not just an e-mail address list that you’ve got randomly. According to a survey done among more than 50 000 B2B marketers, the main asset of using automation marketing still remains the generation of quality leads.
Once you have a list of prospects, you have to find a way to convert them into clients. It’s the key point of prospect maturation: you keep potential clients interested about your activity and you bring them to the point where they are about to buy. “Nurtured” prospects are 47% more likely to buy compare to the one that aren’t. But this nurturing work can be time consuming if you have an important data base. Fortunately, automation marketing is helping you to nurture these prospects without to be obliged to send them tailored content manually. Indeed, with technologies like personalized messaging or the drip-campaigns you can be sure that all will be done automatically at the right time.
A better customer experience
The main goal of automation marketing is to better satisfy clients in order to increase their loyalty, which will automatically increase the sales. The client must always be the starting point of any marketing action.
Thanks to automation you can be sure that the appropriated content is proposed when a client is landing on your site, that relevant products are recommended, that support is provided when a buying cart is abandoned, and that interesting newsletters and SMS are being sent.
Marketing automation is an excellent tool for customer service. You can automate routine messages, be sure that clients are being contacted in return and provide them support directly online. Like for example for the renewal of a contract, to propose test version of your services and products, or even start a information campaign towards the new clients.