How to leverage marketing automation for all its worth
Marketing automation is a valuable tool for modern businesses, yet very few entrepreneurs use it effectively. To make sure you're getting the most from this innovative technology, learn how to leverage automation for all its worth.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a class of technology that allows businesses to measure, automate and streamline marketing tasks and workflows. This allows for increased operational efficiency, lower costs and higher revenues.
Often called drip campaigns, marketing automation began with things like automated email campaigns, autoresponders and lifecycle emails. These days, however, the technology has developed into a multi-faceted system that allows companies such as Amazon to utilize real-time data to create personalized browsing experiences that present relevant product offerings based on previous interactions and patterns.
Through automation, businesses are able to streamline lead generation and segmentation, customer lifecycle marketing, lead scoring and nurturing, cross-sell and up-sell, customer retention, and marketing ROI measurements. Some of this is possible at small volumes without technology; however, software becomes essential for large-scale efforts, especially when multiple channels are involved.
In particular, these processes demand a central marketing database, which includes detailed customer/prospect interactions and behaviors; an engagement marketing engine for the creation, management and automation of processes and conversations; and an analytic engine to measure, test and optimize ROI.
By leveraging marketing automation, companies enjoy a number of key benefits, including:
Saving time: Through automation, you can free up time for other activities by scheduling multiple campaigns and releasing each one according to your settings.
Increasing efficiency: You can save time, labor and costs by streamlining traditionally manual processes.
CRM integration: Leads no longer vanish from your radar after one or two unsuccessful contacts.
Multichannel management: Marketing automation makes it much easier to keep tabs on multiple channels.
Consistency: By incorporating every marketing effort into a single process, you can maintain a more unified brand tone-of-voice.
Personalization: Through automation, you can tailor a user's experience, creating a more inviting, relevant interaction that's more likely to result in a conversion.
Data collection: Automatic marketing offers touchpoints for customers that aren't always sales driven. It can also provide improved insight in the form of unique data that can help you improve future communications and campaigns.
Getting Your Money's Worth
Right now, marketing automation is dominated by well-established platforms such as Act-On, Eloqua, Marketo and HubSpot. Most of these services provide a robust collection of tools to create comprehensive automated campaigns. Still, while automation opens the door to seamless, cost-effective marketing, it won't help much if the campaign is flawed.
To effectively deploy and maintain an effective automated campaign, it's important to regularly analyze data and make changes to perfect your strategy. This is the best way to identify which tactics work best, so you can invest your limited budget accordingly. It's also important to choose an integrated platform, so you can get a complete perspective of how evolving tactics affect both conversions and engagement.