The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Automation
What is marketing automation?
Marketing Automation is the process of using technology and software services to automatically perform, analyze, and measure marketing tasks and workflows. The implementation of automated marketing requires a wide range of tools and processes to enhance efficiency, maximize results, and optimize the overall marketing strategy.
By using marketing automation, you can automatically perform repetitive yet important tasks like customer segregation, social media posting, and replies, writing emails, and sending out messages via various platforms to potential clients and target audiences. Marketing automation also involves analyzing the performance of various strategies and campaigns. This will help a business understand its strengths and weaknesses apart from using this data to send the right messages to the right people at the right time. It also makes a note of how different strategies are perceived by the users. This data can help the business come up with effective strategies for different categories of potential customers.
To summarize, the ultimate goals of marketing automation are to gather leads, approach and convert them, retain existing customers, and improve customer experience. Marketers can track and analyze the details gathered by automation tools to make well-informed decisions and optimize their efforts.
Marketing automation allows you to achieve your goals faster, enhance customer interaction, and come up with viable strategies. This ultimately leads to a great return on investment and a profitable business.
If you still do not believe in the power that lies in marketing automation, here’s some data that will blow your mind:
As reported by Nucleus Research, businesses that use marketing automation for lead management experience a growth of at least 10% in their revenue within the first 9 months.
In research conducted by Epsilon, it was observed that 80% of the customers are more likely to do business with a company that offers customized marketing experiences. Marketing automation can simplify the task of personalization by using efficient algorithms.
Grand View Research reported that the global marketing automation market size is expected to reach $8.42 billion by 2027.
Aberdeen Group reported that businesses report a 15% increase in customer satisfaction when they use marketing automation to deliver personalized advertisements and messages.
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Advantages of using marketing automation
Now we know what marketing automation means and how it is ready to revolutionize the marketing sector by boosting your business’ performance with minimum cost and time. We repeat that marketing automation can do wonders for your business, but how? Here in this section, we discuss some of the key benefits of marketing automation.
Automation can perform multiple tasks repeatedly. It can manage content scheduling, and data tracking, monitor performance, and optimize strategies. This way, it saves a lot of time for your marketing team, who can now focus on observing the raw data that is returned by the software and design efficient strategies based on the customer response and other parameters. Thereby saving a significant amount of money and human resources for your business.
Personalized customer experience
Automation can simplify the customization process. Once you link the software with the database, it will start approaching leads based on various details such as their occupation, location, age, specific requirements, and much more. The software will also use personal details like names to sound less robotic.
Higher ROI and Revenue Growth
By using marketing automation, your business can experience an increased flow of revenue. Studies have shown that when businesses leverage marketing automation, they witness a minimum of 10% growth in their revenue.
Apart from increasing the revenue, marketing automation will also reduce your customer acquisition cost and other expenditures. By removing the need to perform mundane tasks like writing emails, sending messages, and posting content on social media, you enable the marketing team to divert their focus towards other problems, and the sales team also operates on the actual data it receives in the form of feedback from the software.
Data analysis and feedback
Can you imagine a person reading the responses of various clients on all the platforms to determine which client responds when and on what date and time? This data is crucial for businesses who wish to send personalized and targeted content. But, manually extracting this data can cost you massive amounts of human effort and time. Marketing automation can perform this task instantly without any human input. Apart from bringing in crucial data, automation will reduce the stress on your workers, thereby boosting their productivity and job satisfaction.
Improved client conversion and retention
Automating software can track the user’s behavior and engagement pattern in real time and send customized, targeted content instantly. By doing so, it will not only help to convert potential customers but also to retain existing customers. The automating tool delivers this targeted content when the user is more likely to engage on a specific channel. Studies show a 451% increase in qualified leads for businesses that effectively implement marketing automation.
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Choosing the right marketing automation software
Investing in the right marketing automation software is crucial for the success of your marketing efforts. You will heavily rely on the software you purchase for all the tasks. Therefore, the software you choose must be capable of meeting your expectations and delivering genuine data. Here are some steps you should follow before buying automation software.
Understand the needs of your customer
Before you subscribe to automated software, it is crucial to note down your needs and expectations from the software. Who is your target audience and how can you target them effectively? If they are a group of teenagers, sending out catchy and consistent content is viable. But if they are a group of adults, you want your content to be authentic and straightforward. Clarifying your needs first will enable you to look for the appropriate categories of automation software.
Define your goals and metrics
Defining your goals and metrics will help you work in the right direction and measure your progress using an appropriate scale. If your goal is to increase the conversion rate, your software must combine the data of people who visited your website and then signed up for your services. Software offers a plethora of services, and you could get overwhelmed if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Consider your budget
You must choose a software after carefully considering your goals and needs. Another crucial parameter you must consider is your budget. Different platforms offer multiple subscription options with limited features, so you can opt for a low-level version initially and then switch to a premium version as your budget increases. Buying the latest version with all the provisions might seem enticing but is not mandatory in the initial phases. You can also go for a free trial to see if your team can adapt to the software and if the software can meet your expectations.
Software integration and accurate analysis
Once you select software, you need to check if it can integrate with platforms used by your workers and your target audience. Besides working seamlessly on all the platforms, the software must also generate robust and accurate analysis on all the platforms. The provided data must satisfy your requirements. The task of the Automator is to perform repetitive tasks repeatedly with customizations, you should try to generate a sample result with a database to check the accuracy of the software.
How to make automated marketing effective?
Before implementing automated marketing processes, it is essential to develop a workflow. Your team must learn how to work with the automated marketing tools. This will optimize the usage of the software and enable the team to make innovative use of automation.
Specify the tasks to be automated
What are the marketing procedures that you wish to automate? This includes sending emails to potential clients and sponsors, sending personalized messages on social media, posting content on social media, and much more. With the development of technology, the number of tasks you can perform automatically is endless. You can note down all the tasks that the team is performing currently and then choose ones that can be automated. Make sure to utilize the service completely.
Choose the appropriate software for your business
As discussed above, choosing the right software plays a defining role in setting up automated marketing. Most platforms offer a free trial before asking for a subscription. You can use it to check whether your team can adapt to the software. Doing so will also give you an idea of the report generation process and the software's accuracy.
Train your team
After shortlisting your software, allow your team to experiment with the software. Some services provide tutorials on how to use the software, make sure your team watches them. The aim here is for the team to get familiar with the software so they can add a creative twist to all the tasks they perform. They might also stumble upon some shortcuts and special features available for automating their tasks.
Optimize the automation
After you start automating the marketing procedure, you will experience some difficulty while using it since it’s a new technology. But as time passes, you must upgrade your results and optimize the usage of automated marketing. You can conduct a weekly or monthly review to analyze your progress and identify your strengths and weaknesses.
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How do different sectors incorporate marketing automation?
Let us now look at how various businesses implement marketing automation. If your business belongs to any of these categories, you can refer to the case studies and implement some efficient methods in your workflow.
E-commerce platforms are one of the most frequent users of marketing automation. They send automatic emails and messages to specific customers at specific times. Have you noticed the notifications you receive regarding sales and special offers on products you were looking for? These are sent using automation. The software remembers your interests when you search for them, and as soon as any of those products go on sale, it notifies you repeatedly to get you to buy them. Here’s how some of the e-commerce giants make use of automation:
Amazon. It all starts with the user search. Amazon notices your searches and the results that interest you. After processing that data, it sends you notifications and recommendations of similar products. During sales and offers, you will receive continuous notifications about various products. Amazon makes the product purchase so easy that you won't hold yourself back from making that purchase.
Shopify. Shopify increases the sales of its merchants by promoting their products similar to how Amazon does it. By using abandoned wish lists and carts, Shopify automatically targets clients with specific products per their engagement patterns. This results in increased revenue after potential losses.
Healthcare providers monitor your previous records and data. Based on their analysis, they automatically recommend medicines, therapy sessions, or checkups. Appointment scheduling and patient tracking have become seamless after the introduction of automation software. Once you return home after a visit to the clinic, you might receive a feedback form and details of your next visit. Messages like these are automated and customized to ensure customer retention.
The healthcare industry also involves e-commerce companies that sell medical equipment and medicines. These companies keep track of the last order made, and based on the average life expectancy of the equipment, they target users with the same order to ensure sales. Marketing strategies integrated with human psychology are pre-programmed into some software so you can completely replace the manual efforts.
Cleveland Clinic, a revered healthcare provider, incorporated marketing automation to improve patient engagement by sending automatic appointment reminders, health-based articles relevant to the respective patient, and much more.
Technology-based companies use marketing automation to generate, target, convert, and retain leads. Companies that provide software services use marketing automation to send tutorials and updates of their products to potential customers. They also offer free trials and customized subscription models to specific clients. Doing this helps them enhance customer experience.
HubSpot, a popular marketing automation platform, pitches its marketing tools to potential customers and startups. It uses automation to track visitors, deliver personalized content, and then convert them into users after interacting with potential clients.
Finance based businesses
Investment firms use automation services to deliver informative content to their leads. The content can be in the form of articles or newsletters and are sent consistently to build trust. This results in an increased conversion rate and online traffic.
Banks also use automation services to generate leads and target them with personalized content. Simple details like your age and profession are used to determine the best plans and schemes for you, they are then delivered to you in a convincing message. Nothing is more impressive than a service entirely customized to your needs, this helps the banks in increasing their revenue. They also use automation to retain the current users by sending regular updates on their current financial position and customized plans and schemes for them based on their behavior.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch used automated marketing to deliver customized and genuine information like market updates, financial advice, and exclusive offers. By doing this, they established themselves as trustworthy and reliable among their clients. As a result, their sales and reputation skyrocketed instantly.
Tours and travel companies use automation to keep track of their leads online and target them during public holidays and vacation months. They also recommend specific plans during specific months, like going to the mountains in winter and waterfalls in monsoons. They also keep track of your past data to observe your busy and free months and then target you with customized deals when you are more likely to buy them.
Marriott International sent out customized offers, rewards, and exclusive deals based on the behavior patterns of their previous and potential clients. After this was achieved using automated marketing, they noticed an increased footfall across all of their hotels.
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Key Points to keep in mind while using marketing automation
Add a human touch to your content
Everyone who uses the internet has been bombarded with advertisements repeatedly. The present generation can quickly identify automated texts and has learned to ignore them. If your automated content sounds robotic, it will repel the readers. Therefore, you must craft the automated content in a way that sounds less robotic than your competitors. You should edit the message in the software so the user feels it’s been written specially for them.
Diversify your strategies.
Over the long run, multitudes of people will receive your automated messages, and multiple people might receive it twice. In such cases, you don’t want your content to sound repetitive and robotic. Here is our recommendation: use numerous strategies for the same period and then compare their results to check what works. It will help you use multiple elements and create better content. You can leverage your tool to analyze every strategy thoroughly to define the elements that attract people and the ones that repel them.
Ride the wave of the latest trends.
When it comes to trends, social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube can change the game for you. By using the latest reel trends or memes in your marketing strategy, you can turn a lot of heads toward your service. Incorporating this with automated marketing might be difficult as most of the trends are volatile. However, such content can drive more traffic and the efforts will eventually pay off. If your visitors see the same content repeatedly, they will lose interest. Try to surprise people as much as possible, and introduce new themes and images on a weekly or monthly basis to maintain customer engagement.
Play around with the software.
As discussed previously, allow your team to play around with the software and come up with efficient workflows. It familiarizes them with the software while exploring new features and shortcuts. If you’re using popular software, there might be a lot of businesses using the same software. To stand out among your competitors, you must go for something out of the box and use creative digital marketing. The best way to do this is to let the marketing team develop creative strategies using the software. Adapting to automation is difficult initially as it is a relatively new concept. Your team must learn to use the software efficiently and accurately.
Focus on your audience.
We have discussed this point multiple times and we cannot emphasize it enough. You must apply efforts toward your target audience. You cannot afford to waste efforts and resources on the wrong category of people. The success of marketing automation depends on how your audience reacts to it. Use the analysis report to update your content frequently to scale your business.
The role of Artificial Intelligence in implementing Marketing automation
Artificial Intelligence plays a crucial role in the implementation of automation in marketing. The development of AI has revolutionized the way businesses interact with their audience. Artificial Intelligence analyzes large heaps of data and then uses various algorithms to make predictions and observations. AI can determine the customer’s behavior and preferences and then use it to target them with relevant campaigns, advertisements, and product updates. The algorithms and concepts of Machine Learning make accurate predictions and learn the engagement patterns of various customers.
Chatbots and virtual assistants are developed using artificial intelligence and machine learning. They interact with online visitors and enhance customer interaction and experience. They provide instant assistance to the user and make your platform user-friendly.