Marketing is the action of promoting and selling products and/or services and includes market research and advertising. Over time, there's been a shift away from traditional media marketing (newspapers, television, flyers, billboards, pole posters, etc.) to digital marketing (social media marketing, google ads, digital billboards, pay-per-click ads, content marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing, marketing analytics, affiliate marketing, search engine optimization, etc.). One of the most recent innovations is marketing automation.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is the streamlining, automating and measuring of tasks and workflows to increase operational efficiency and grow revenue. It solves the problem of aligning people, processes and technology to achieve business goals. This is accomplished through software that completes marketing tasks and executes predetermined campaigns, across several different channels, at scheduled intervals.
Why is marketing automation essential?
Marketing automation takes the guesswork out of advertising. A well-constructed marketing automation strategy allows buyers to learn at their own pace and be reached when they need information or when they're ready to buy. It ensures that a business is connecting with customers at every stage of the customer journey. Marketing automation programs are designed to collect and use marketing data to make your marketing efforts more effective and efficient. This software performs repetitive assignments (behind-the-scenes business processes), allowing business owners to focus their efforts elsewhere.
How does marketing automation software work?
Marketing automation software takes care of most of the tasks and workflows involved in digital marketing campaigns. This software:
- Collects data regarding potential customers through website visits, app usage, email clicks and other digital interactions.
- Provides data for the creation of useful content.
- Identifies, targets, and segments prospective customers.
- Designs campaigns using prospect segments.
- Delivers personalized experiences across various digital marketing channels (email, social, mobile, chat).
- Triggers cross-channel workflows based on customer actions and predetermined schedules, leading customers down the sales funnel and/or nurturing them until they become qualified leads.
- Analyzes and tracks results, allowing you to determine what's not working and adjust as needed to achieve greater marketing ROI.
What marketing automation can do for your business:
Marketing automation platforms are tools and/or software that allow you to create, implement and automate marketing workflows for multiple channels from a single source. This automation can help you stay in touch with your customers. Use marketing automation to:
- Accommodate customer usage by creating experiences they can engage with from any device (mobile phone, tablet, laptop). Combine data and content across various sources to create a consistent experience across channels. Integrate touchpoints (SMS, push notifications, emails).
- Nurture leads: Marketing automation enables a systematic approach to informing, engaging and converting prospective customers. You can track behaviour, attach a score based on intent, target high-intent users and automatically send the right message at the right time.
- Analyze and understand leads: Marketing automation allows you to learn as much as possible about your leads by automatically tracking, analyzing, profiling and segmenting them. Progressive profiling is an especially important component of this, allowing you to gather an increasing amount of data on a lead or customer throughout their journey with your brand.
- Onboard customers: Make a positive first impression by using automation to kick-start your relationship with your customers. Offer genuine post-sales service by scheduling and sending a series of automated emails to educate customers on product usage, troubleshooting problems and where to find help.
- Reach out to less engaged customers: Create an automated workflow that identifies unengaged customers allowing you to follow up and win them back. Using automation, address users one-on-one and let them know you care about their opinions.
- Offer outstanding customer experience: Use marketing automation to create behaviour-based dynamic lists of your customers then send relevant email content, including similar product recommendations, product updates, related articles, product reviews, exclusive information and targeted discounts. Personalization tools let you address customers by name and reference their personal data (most recent purchase, account number, birthday, etc.). Marketing automation enables a quick response rate and better assistance by automatically routing support chats/calls to the right person. By updating customer information automatically, this tool allows you to strategically send compelling marketing messages resulting in a good customer experience.
- Enable data-driven decisions: Real-time tracking and alerts provide insight into the types of content and communication that work with your clientele. This data allows you to ensure each customer receives the information they are most likely to engage with, making them feel connected to your brand.
- Build brand loyalty: Marketing automation allows you to put workflows in place to identify your most engaged customers and invite them to join a loyalty program, enhancing customer loyalty. You can set up workflows to reward members with exclusive discounts and offers. Use automation to deliver increasingly personalized experiences that add value and show you care.
- Increase efficiency: Though consumer-facing marketing efforts are a significant portion of the scope of marketing automation, automation tools are commonly used to streamline and optimize internal business processes, both directly and indirectly linked with your marketing strategy. Whether it's managing appointments and meetings, communicating with team members and clients, or structuring the execution of crucial marketing tasks and workflows, the automation tools available today are both powerful and highly versatile. Use them to make your business stronger than ever!
- Provide relevant content: Use automation to be specific about what each customer sees. From advertising to email marketing, use your buyer personas along with behavioural targeting to send only the information each prospect or customer needs. Automation helps with streamlining by using the data you're already collecting to highlight the most pertinent content at the right time.
- Provide better answers – faster: Marketing automation prioritizes tasks and manages leads, so incoming questions get answered quickly. With behavioural data collected and stored, front-line employees are able to provide more relevant help. Automation allows a business to understand customers' history and automate responses based on previous purchases, in-product actions or lifetime value.
- Offer seamless omnichannel experiences: Data is collected and stored so your business can offer customers a personalized experience (pre-filled forms, targeted emails, etc.) and customer service that feels familiar and comfortable. With automation, customers get the same experience no matter what channel they contact you on.
- Personalize workflows: With marketing automation software, every action a customer takes is an added data point for your marketing strategy, telling you what customers are looking for in the moment. Businesses can use this input across multiple channels to fully understand their customers' needs and deliver the right content at the right time. Personalized workflows guide qualified prospects to helpful content, resulting in leads that can be nurtured into customers. Businesses can then continue to engage customers with personalized workflows that lead to loyal, repeat customers who refer their friends and family.
- Streamline processes: Automation allows you to build processes that work across different functional teams, reducing customer effort at every stage of the journey. Automated software allows your employees to work together to provide a unified customer experience from the very first contact to beyond the customer purchase. Internal workflows help you prioritize tasks.
Marketing has changed over time, enabling access to greater audiences and larger target markets. Marketing will continue to evolve and change as new trends are identified and new ways of accessing audiences are discovered. Marketing automation is a modern tool for a company's customer experience efforts, empowering a business to attract leads, nurture and convert them. Automation enables businesses to create memorable contacts, contributing to and improving connections with customers. Implementing marketing automation within your strategy has far-reaching effects on the growth, visibility, and reputation of your business.
Interested in marketing automation for your business? Need help with your digital marketing strategy? Call CAYK at (403) 456-0072 or email [email protected]. Allow us to be your very own marketing department! Connect with our tightly-knit team of knowledgeable digital-first consultants, each eager to help your business grow. If you want the best digital marketing team in your corner, Contact us today. We'll help you take your business to the next level.