Thoughts and opinions about the use of marketing automation are varied, and run the gamut between “It’s the best thing since sliced bread!” to “It’s just glorified spam.” If you are contemplating if or how to use marketing automation as part of your comprehensive marketing strategy, it is essential to learn the truth about this tool.
What does marketing automation actually do?
The primary goal of marketing automation is to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content into quality leads, convert leads into customers, and keep existing customers engaged throughout the customer lifecycle. To this end, marketing automation software syncs your strategy throughout all marketing efforts including email, blogging, and social media.
Why is this important? Simply put, marketing automation creates a unified, cohesive marketing message and thereby motivates prospects to engage. Used correctly, it strengthens your brand and helps to establish value in the minds of your leads.
It is important to realize that marketing automation is not simply automated email. If used properly, it does not produce what potential customers would consider as spam. Remember that an email is not spam simply because it is unsolicited. Rather, spam is email that contains nothing of relevance to its audience. Marketing automation, in contrast, produces highly relevant content to capture and hold the attention of prospects.
It works as a supplement to sales strategy because it can test what your audience is responding to most, allowing you to alter content to match lead interest and encourage greater customer engagement. It measures the evolving needs of your leads by tracking the behaviors and interactions they have with you across all marketing channels. Measuring such behaviors as social clicks, consuming a specific piece of content, or viewing a price page, marketing automation helps you guide your quality leads down the funnel because it gives you context.
What does marketing automation actually include?
Typically, marketing automation software includes functionality for:
- social media marketing
- email marketing
- lead generation
- metrics and analysis
- management and administrative activities
While it is not to be considered the entirety of your strategy, marketing automation does streamline the first steps of your marketing initiatives. This gives your sales force time to follow up with a more personalized communication after a lead or customer engages with you at any of your touch points.
Configured correctly, marketing automation software can be used to trigger customer interaction based on action taken by the consumer, information gathered about the consumer such as birthdays, time of initial interaction, or some other date or action of significance to a specific client. This feature enhances the consumer perception that your company is invested in him/her personally, and will be more likely to motivate that person to engage with your product or service. Engagement leads to sales and sales lead to profitability for your enterprise.
When should you invest in marketing automation?
As with any investment for the overall health of your business, you must consider ROI when thinking about using marketing automation. Since it is utilized via a web-hosted subscription service, you can scale it to match both your marketing needs and your cost objectives. Understanding that marketing automation requires a certain amount of time for configuration to your particular marketing strategy will lead to successful implementation and continued streamlining of your marketing process. A distinct advantage of web-hosted marketing automation is that it can be tweaked regularly and is entirely responsive to the needs of your company at every stage of use.
It is time to invest in marketing automation if your company meets the following criteria:
- You have a steady flow of leads from various marketing areas.
- Your sales team is feeling overwhelmed with the task of following leads down the funnel.
- You have an efficient, cohesive marketing message you wish to convey in an organized, multi-pronged approach.
- You want a better way of tracking all marketing channels with speed and accuracy.
- You want a way to center your marketing message around the real person at the other end of your communication in a highly interactive, highly engaging way.
If this sounds like where you are in your marketing efforts, marketing automation can be an invaluable benefit to bolster your marketing strategies and achieve the outcomes you need for increased productivity and profitability. For additional information about how marketing automation can fulfill your requirements, please contact us. We will be happy to show you just what marketing automation can really do.