When it comes to business, the goals of most organizations are the same: increased revenue & faster growth at a lower cost. However, the difficult part for most companies is aligning their processes, resources, and technology to achieve these goals.
Enter the solution: Marketing Automation. With it, companies can automate, streamline, and measure tasks, resulting in more efficient operations and faster revenue growth. In fact, at this point in modern, digital marketing, it’s no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have.
But what exactly is marketing automation? How does it work and how can it help you? Let’s get into the details.
Marketing Automation Explained
Marketing automation is primarily designed to allow organizations to:
- Promote their service or products on multiple channels more effectively, and
- Automate repetitive tasks
It enables many of our modern marketing practices, including lead generation and lead nurturing, segmentation, relationship marketing, cross-sell and upsell, retention, ROI measurement, and account-based marketing.
With it, organizations can sell the right products to the right customer at a time they are ready for it, rather than just guessing and hoping that consumers will take the bait.
Why, Exactly, You Need Marketing Automation
Now that we know the basics of what marketing automation can do, it’s time to dive into the (many) benefits. Statistics don’t lie – recent studies have shown that 63% of companies using marketing automation outperformed their competitors, and that marketing automation increases sales productivity by 14.5%. Not convinced yet? There’s more.
Statistic: 80% of marketers saw an increase in the number of leads after using marketing automation software.
We know that more prospects = more customers. Automating the steps between marketing and sales frees your team up to focus on overall strategy and nurture the best leads. It also gives you a better overall picture of your potential customer’s behaviour.
When you track a user’s path through your website, you can understand their interests and where they are in their purchasing journey. You are then able to offer them what they are actually looking for, at a stage that they are finally ready to make a purchase. More efficiency in less time. That’s what we call a win.
For example, let’s say a customer is researching a broad range of products (the beginning of their purchase journey). If they keep returning to a certain product or download a white paper on it, for instance, this shows focused interest, and it may be a good time to contact them about it.
Information brought together from website visits, social media activity, direct marketing, and downloads enables the automatic scoring, qualifying, and prioritising of leads. With this information, you can drive better marketing campaigns, such as trigger-based messages, FB or Twitter messages, and personalised emails.
Statistic: Marketing automation in lead nurturing brings a 451% increase in qualified leads.
Nurturing leads is a time-consuming process. Some leads will convert into customers, making the process worth it, but not all of your leads will convert to sales, which can present businesses with a dilemma, especially a small business. The solution? Let marketing automation do it for you.
Statistic: 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that provides a tailored experience.
This makes personalization key to lead nurturing. Buyers no longer want to be spammed with offers that serve them no purpose. Instead, they want unique, targeted content at every stage of their research and purchase journey.
Marketing automation will tell you everything you need to know – which emails your customers are opening and which parts of the email they are clicking on. It will show you which social media posts are performing the best and the actions that those posts are driving.
With lead scoring and lead grading, the system can automatically route qualified leads to the sales team. By using marketing automation to personalize your sales and communications, you are saving both your customer’s time as well as your own.
Statistic: Netflix saves $1 billion per year on customer retention using big data.
Most everyone these days is aware of the importance of ‘big data’ (a combination of structured, semi structured, and unstructured data that organizations collect and mine for information), but few organizations are up to date on how to make sense of this data and use it to make informed decisions.
The complexities of big data are simplified by marketing automation. You can create more complete profiles of your prospects, predict customer behavior, and measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.
It provides a single platform for dashboards, analytics, closed-loop reporting, and collecting and storing data, then puts this information to work immediately, making it the most comprehensive solution for small budgets.
Marketing Automation and CRM
Statistic: CRM software can boost sales by 29%, productivity by 34%, and forecast accuracy by 42%.
Marketing automation can work hand in hand with a CRM (customer relation management) system. When you integrate marketing automation with CRM, you can get outstanding insights into exactly what each customer is interested in. With this gold mine of information, you can tailor everything for them, from content to marketing, sales pitches, and deals.
What’s the difference between marketing automation and a CRM system, you might ask?
CRM software is primarily used for sales purposes such as:
- Tracking the actions of current or potential customers through the company’s social media accounts, email, or website
- Gathering information
- Guiding each contact through their customer journey, by sending a triggered email or alerting a salesperson of the customer’s interest
Marketing automation software is generally used to streamline, analyze, and automate key marketing tasks and workflows, including:
- Lead generation, capture, and nurturing
- Relationship marketing
- Customer retention
- Account-based marketing
- Personalized and targeted marketing campaigns
- Tracking and optimizing customer engagement
- Converting leads into customers
- Qualifying leads, and
- Increasing efficiency in your company’s workflow
These two types of software, when used together, can increase the efficiency of your company, save time, money, and resources, amplify the efforts of your sales team, and most importantly, grow your revenue.
So, What Are You Waiting For?
If you want your business to grow, then how you execute your marketing campaigns and measure their success is critical – especially in today’s data-driven world. Marketing automation is an investment – though there is an initial, upfront cost, the advantages it brings make it more than worth it.