Any business implementing their digital marketing efforts needs marketing automation. There are many aspects of marketing like social media, emails, advertising, lead generation and more that a marketing team needs to take care of. Sometimes implementing various tasks on different platforms can become overwhelming. A marketing automation software helps a marketing team be more efficient and productive.
With marketing automation, a business can refine its marketing strategy and achieve the desired results. According to HubSpot's State of Marketing Report 2021, 76% of businesses are using automation, and 26% of those who don't are planning on adopting automation in 2021. . Automation enables businesses to provide a valuable and consistent experience to their customers. In this article, we will explore what marketing automation is and how it can help businesses succeed.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation refers to using technology to streamline and automate various tasks related to marketing across various platforms. These tasks are usually triggered once a consumer takes a certain action like subscribing to a blog, downloading content, making a purchase, or signing up. For example, if a consumer purchases a product online, they will receive a confirmation email that is pre-written and scheduled to send immediately after the purchase. This is a basic example of email automation.
Marketing automation is not just limited to emails but can be used across various channels to make the work of marketers easier and more efficient.
Let’s talk about all the benefits you can expect to get when you implement marketing automation.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
Marketing and sales alignment
Sales and marketing alignment is important to achieve your desired goals. Both teams play an important role in attracting and converting potential customers. An automation software can help you streamline both sales and marketing efforts. You will be able to align your sales and marketing goals.
The process of lead qualification from marketing qualified lead to sales qualified lead can be done through an automation software. This way it is easy for both teams to qualify leads. Both the teams can collaborate and work toward the growth of a business.
Create a personalized strategy
Marketing automation helps marketers save time as they don’t have to enter data manually. This time can be used by marketers on other productive tasks. One such task is creating personalized content and messaging for the target audience.
Marketers can target a persona on multiple channels like social media, emails, ads etc. Marketing automation enables you to turn visitors into leads. Once you know the behavior of your leads, you can create personalized content to further nurture them. For example, if a lead has signed up for a free trial of your service, you can send me emails sharing more benefits of the service so that they continue using it.
Personalized messaging can resonate with your leads and encourage them to become paying customers.
Marketing automation software is a great tool to manage and nurture your leads. When you nurture leads with the right content, follow up in a timely manner, it creates a consistent experience for them. This helps you improve your communication and build better relationships with potential customers and therefore, improve conversions.
With the help of automation software, you can retarget website visitors who have not converted. It enables you to track and analyze your marketing efforts, to make improvements that boost conversions.
With a marketing automation platform, you can easily track and analyze your progress. Using automation software, you will be able to generate automated reports. You can have access to data that can help you track the progress of your campaigns. With accurate reports you can refine your existing strategy and fix any errors.
Types of Marketing Automation
Email marketing automation
The most common form of automation is email marketing. Marketers create email workflows and set triggers. Triggers are specific actions that customers take, and the email is automatically sent. Marketers just must spend time on creating these workflow emails and setting triggers. The automation software then sends the emails one after another automatically. This makes the email campaigns more efficient. Marketers don’t have to manually send each contact an email or worry about sending follow up emails.
Email automation also ensures that no leads are missed out. These emails can be sent in a timely manner as they are scheduled. Moreover, follow up emails are also sent, which marketers can forget to send if they are doing it manually. According to HubSpot 2020, email automation campaigns are among the top three strategies used by marketers to improve performance. Automated email campaigns create a seamless customer experience that helps in creating sustainable business relationships and increase overall revenue.
Social media marketing automation
Marketers have to post on social media regularly and on multiple platforms. With the help of automation, they can easily schedule posts across various social media platforms. Tools like HubSpot and Hootsuite, enable marketers to schedule their posts on various platforms. This saves marketers time and never misses out on posting. It is a great way to post content on a specific time and keep interacting with the followers.
Retargeting is an example of advertising automation. Majority of the people coming to your website may leave without converting or purchasing anything. Retargeting ad campaigns reminds your visitors of your products and services after they leave your website without taking any action. It enables you to retarget visitors with relevant visual or text ads when they visit other websites.
Retargeting ads can be done on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads or other advertising platforms. Marketers know the importance of retargeting as it helps them capture quality leads and not miss out on them.
Mobile marketing automation
Sending customized messages through SMS marketing is an effective tool used by marketers. Companies are using mobile marketing automation to reach their target customers directly on their mobile devices. Like emails, mobile texts or SMS can also be automated and triggered based on certain actions or time. SMS has a higher open rate compared to emails.
How to Implement Marketing Automation?
There is no one way of how you can implement your marketing automation. Your automation depends on several factors like what channels you use, your goals, budget, and which automation software you want to invest in. Customize your marketing automation according to your business needs. Let’s discuss some best practices for marketing automation that can help you implement your strategy.
Understand your audience
To create personalized marketing strategy, you need to understand your target audience. This should be the first step before you plan your marketing automation strategy. Find out your audience’s preferences. Know which platforms they prefer to connect on. Get to know their pain points so that you can offer solutions through content.
When you know your audience, it becomes easier to communicate with them. Sales teams will be prepared with all the answers when talking to leads. Knowing your target customers can help you create a customized marketing automation strategy.
Align sales and marketing teams
As discussed above in the benefits, marketing automation helps in both sales and marketing efforts. Hence, to ensure that both teams perform to their optimal potential, bring both teams together. Give opportunities for both teams to collaborate, discuss their needs, share knowledge, and give ideas about automation. This will help you create a robust automation plan which both teams are aware of and know how to work with it.
Both teams are going to be using the automation software, so ensure that they know how to utilize the software you pick. Ensure that the software will provide both teams with the tools and features they need to achieve their respective goals. Marketing automation brings significant changes to how you market, therefore it’s important that sales and marketing teams are updated. Both teams can bring their knowledge and ideas to help you plan your automation strategy.
Determine any skill gaps
When planning your automation strategy, assess all the aspects of your marketing efforts. If you find you need help in certain areas, or that no one in your team has the skill to get certain tasks done, then you can hire new people or outsource tasks. For example, maybe you don’t have a marketing team and you want to implement automation, then you can take help from marketing experts to assist you with the implementation. Similarly, you could take help from web developers if you need help with any aspect of your website.
Identify these skill gaps so that you can implement your marketing automation smoothly.
Train your internal teams
Since you will be implementing a new software, you will need to get all team members acquainted with it. Training will ensure that team members know how to utilize each tool for every task. It makes team members more efficient while using this platform. It also minimizes any errors or mistakes on behalf of the team.
With in-depth knowledge about the software team members can improvise and customize any tools when needed. When your team is familiar with the technology you can expect better results from your automation software.
Lastly, ensure that you keep a track of all the progress you have made with your new automation software. Discuss with your team members how their experience has been utilizing the software. Consider all their recommendations and make frequent updates to get the best results. In addition, track the progress of all your marketing activities like your email workflows or advertising efforts. It is best to review performance on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. This helps you make improvements to your marketing strategy and use the software to its full potential.
Marketing automation can seem challenging and a lot of work. However, remember that implementation can take some time and work, but in the long run it makes your work easier. After implementation your software does most of the mundane tasks for you. All you need to do is keep monitoring the progress and update your strategy as needed. Your sales and marketing teams will have a lot of time to focus on other productive tasks rather than doing tedious work.
Automations helps you save time, energy, and resources. It can take your marketing strategy to the next level and bring profitable results to your organization.