To identify potential customers and to automate the process of nurturing the generated leads to sales-readiness, marketing automation is the key. Starting from streamlining, automating, and measuring marketing tasks and workflows to help maximise operational efficiency and generate faster revenue, you need marketing automation. Designed specifically for organisations to effectively market on multiple channels and automate repetitive tasks, marketing automation boosts many modern marketing practices such as lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing and scoring, relationship marketing, cross-sell & upsell, retention, return on investment measurement, and account-based marketing.
- Approximately 75% of all companies use marketing automation, and 1,009,000 websites use the marketing automation technology as per a report generated in 2021.
Initially used for large businesses, marketing automation is one of the fastest-growing technologies that have become in-demand by both mid-scale and small-scale businesses too. The monotonous tasks of email marketing, social media posting, and ad campaigns can be taken care of automatically and conveniently with the help of marketing automation. A subset of customer relationship management (CRM), focussing on the definition, segmentation, scheduling, and tracking of marketing campaigns, marketing automation is an effective marketing gimmick used by most businesses.
The marketing automation software is divided into three categories:
- Marketing Intelligence: This category functions by using tracking codes in social media, email, and webpages to track the behaviour of people interested in any product or service. It can also keep a track of which social media group or thread the customers followed, the links they clicked or the search term that was more frequently used in their emails. This helps businesses reach the targeted customers more efficiently and effectively through their internet history behaviour.
- Marketing Automation: Under marketing automation, prospective clients are scored based on their internet activities. They are conveyed targeted content and messages pushing them for sale. Used primarily for business-to-business (B2B), business-to-government (B2G), and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales cycle, marketing automation is an amalgamation of marketing technology with a modified sales process.
- Advanced Workflow Automation: This category automates the internal marketing process and includes budgeting, planning, workflow, approvals, marketing calendar internal collaboration, digital asset creation, management and everything that supports the operational effectiveness of the internal marketing task. Usually, these systems are handled by a CRM or a COM administrator as these involve setting up a complex series of rules to trigger action for internal sales and marketing professionals. The advanced workflow system helps the marketer deliver relevant content to relevant individuals at relevant times and can be used to support the customer journey as a whole that includes awareness, consideration, decision and long term loyalty.
Functions of Marketing Automation
For marketers to understand their customers better to help develop a strategic marketing plan, marketing automation platforms (MAPs) are made to perform the below-mentioned key tasks:
- Develop and analyse marketing campaigns and customers
- Manage marketing campaigns
- Appropriate customer data organisation and storage
- Motivate potential leads to become customers
- Measure engagement level that helps in leading scoring
- Integrate multiple touchpoints such as email and social media
- Manage lead
- Analyse campaign performance
Components of Marketing Automation
The components of marketing automation that allow marketers to generate better ROI are:
- A collaborative marketing and sales team: The sales and marketing team coordination is extremely essential before any planning begins. This helps segregate and identify roles and expectations because for any business to function smoothly, a team effort is mandatory. The sales team should outline what the ideal lead looks like from their perspective that would help the marketing team build a campaign that would suit them best. These teams should also determine the number of sales-qualified leads the marketing team is expected to provide which the sales team will follow up on, converting to customers.
- Content Strategy: One of the most important pieces of automated campaigns is content strategy. Compartmentalising content into the 4 stages of the buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration, decision, and delight is the next crucial component.
- Lead Scoring: This component of marketing automation helps to track each lead down the sales funnel. Higher the score, the better the quality. These scores can be accumulated based on the already existing information in the CRM, by collecting new information through campaign form submissions, by campaign engagement such as content downloads, email clicks, page views, etc.
- Asset and Workflow Development: Your campaign email and landing page templates should ideally allow one CTA. Any other links or navigations should ideally be avoided to avoid confusing the customers. Ensure that you test the automated workflows thoroughly before going live to avoid any further complexities.
- Campaign Amplification: We all are aware of the fact that targeted paid and social media and website promotions are the key pieces of inbound marketing that help draw the target audience to your campaign landing pages where you can collect more information to fetch relevant information.
- On-going Campaign Optimisation: Now that you have covered all the upfront tasks and your campaign is live, the role of automation kicks in. Even though it can run on its own, you need to check its performance periodically to ensure smooth functioning. Know that you can always make changes to optimise and keep your campaign up to date. If your campaign is live for a longer duration, it will generate more leads.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
- Efficiency: The biggest benefit of marketing automation is that it makes your department more efficient by reducing staffing costs and freeing up your team’s time to focus on other important, strategic projects. Social media posts can also be handled automatically instead of doing so manually every time. By doing so, your team can brainstorm more creative ideas for any upcoming projects and campaigns.
- Marketing and Sales Alignment: Combining sales and marketing automation efforts by using the same software can help you align the company goals and efforts. It makes the process of transforming from marketing qualified lead to sales qualified lead much easier. Besides, it can also help you generate more leads, thereby increasing sales. The marketing team can focus on creating effective strategies to improve conversion rates and the sales team can improve productivity.
- Increase Conversion Rate: Lead management and conversion rates can be handled efficiently with the marketing automation software. The software will track your leads to retarget your website visitors who do not convert, thereby maximising your CRO. This software will help you determine how to get your visitors to convert.
- Accurate Reporting: With marketing automation platforms, reporting your analytics will not be a daunting process anymore. You can effectively get a high-level overview of your entire process that will help pinpoint the complications and friction points if there are any. Accurate streamlined reporting can help you determine where things are going wrong to help you fix them later.
- Personalised Marketing Strategy: You can create more personalised content with the help of marketing automation through its segmentation capabilities and reporting. Marketing automation converts the website visitors to leads and once you determine who the leads are, you can segregate them by behaviour or characteristics. This will help in sending personalised messages to the leads to attract them, thereby increasing the lead scoring.
- Lead Scoring: You can conveniently set up lead scoring for your team with the help of marketing automation software that will notify your sales team when a lead transforms from marketing qualified lead to sales qualified lead. The alignment between the marketing and sales team makes the automation process in real time, which will help you manage your time efficiently.
- Data Management: Besides keeping a track of your lead and improving their engagement with your website, marketing automation can help manage your data easily by keeping them updated at all times.
- Scalable Processes: To effectively set up the marketing systems and processes, keeping scale in mind is extremely crucial.
- Lead Nurturing: You can nurture leads conveniently with the help of marketing automation. Converting leads to sales can be difficult without lead nurturing. Effective marketing software will help you resolve this issue.
Who Uses Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is used by both the marketing and sales team but in different ways:
- Marketing Team: Marketing automation is used by marketers to drive the pipeline by sourcing the trending leads, creating customised campaigns to target ideal buyers, and moving leads through the sales cycle that will help maximise the ROI of the marketing programs. The trouble of sending out all the emails and managing tasks simultaneously can be avoided by executing digital marketing strategies.
- Sales Team: Now that we already know that marketing automation is the bridge between the marketing and sales team, giving them accessibility to the content that can be sent out to the leads with just the click of a button.
Some Common Examples of Marketing Automation
- Welcome Emails
- Win-back Programs
- Gated Content
- Lead Magnets
- Customer Quizzes
- Social Media Automation
- Salvage Abandoned Shopping Carts
- Customer On-boarding
- Transactional Messages and Updates
- Omnichannel Experience
Digital Marketing Automation
Like automation in other departments of your business, automation in marketing is also similar. It helps in streamlining and optimising your process that would help in analysing data, running campaigns, etc. These specifically involve repetitive tasks that involve data entry or other similar jobs. Automating these tasks help save a lot of time and effort and allows marketers to focus on other aspects of the projects, thereby improving their lead generation.
How to Automate Digital Marketing?
- Schedule your social media posts: This would help you save the time you spend on creating and editing posts for the social media accounts.
- Set up Chat-bots: Live chats are easier and more convenient for the customers as compared to emails. These can boost your business to a whole new level.
- Identify high-quality leads: There are metrics that can help you figure out the quality of a lead depending on their behaviour on your site, their intensity of interaction on your emails, etc.
- Streamline your meeting schedule: Setting up meetings seem like a simple task, but it can get tricky when you have to manage your timeline with your client’s timelines, ensuring that your work doesn’t get hampered.
- Nurture leads: Lead nurturing requires extreme efforts as you need to keep a track of where each of your leads is in the sales funnel. You’ve got to manually keep a track of all the marketing materials that you’ve already shown them and then figure out the effective materials that you can show them further.
- On-board clients with a drip campaign: This kind of campaign can be useful when you bring a new client on-board. To develop a productive and happy customer relationship, you need to create an on-boarding template and workflow and send it out to your new clients. This adds a personal touch to your business relationship.
- Send reminders: Automate your CRM system to send out reminders to your clients as and when you deem necessary. This will help save ample time for you.
- Automate PPC campaigns: Automated PPC campaigns are undoubtedly a time-saver. However, make sure you check the performance of the ads manually as well from time to time.
- Schedule social media reports: Pulling reports can be annoying most of the time and there can be chances of human error. To avoid any such mishaps, it is beneficial to have all client social media data on one central dashboard from which you can send out automated social media reports without any copy-pasting.
- Schedule SEO reports: To keep a constant check on the rankings and backlinks, you need to have the right SEO tools to schedule SEO reports.
For exclusive marketing automation service, 18th Digitech is your one-stop destination. Our experts will help you automate your marketing operations that will help streamline your business workflows. Our personalised campaigns will help you connect to the leads that would drive sales engagement for you in the future. If you are ready to automate your marketing operation, contact us and our experts will be happy to assist you.