Marketing automation: What is it? How can you make it work for your business?
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation involves automating marketing activities using software. Marketing departments often automate repetitive tasks like email marketing, social media posting and even ad campaign campaigns. This is not only for efficiency but also to provide a better customer experience. These tasks are made easier by the technology of marketing automation.
Marketing automation can be described as a combination software and strategy. Marketing automation should enable you to nurture prospects by providing highly personalized and useful content that converts prospects into delighted customers.
Effective marketing automation is like a garden. Fertile soil is essential for good growth. To sow seeds, you need to have the right soil. You need seeds to sow. And water and light are essential for nurturing those seeds into a healthy, vibrant plant. It’s much easier to nurture leads (the seeds) and produce paying customers (a full-grown, lush plant).
It doesn’t stop there. Marketing automation is not enough to satisfy customers. Marketing automation should not be considered a secondary aspect of your relationship with customers.
Marketing automation strategies that have been most successful don’t place customers at the bottom of traditional funnels. Customers should be at center of a flywheel. This flywheel becomes more efficient as you add force and reduce friction.
Marketing automation strategies that work will reduce friction and help you speed up your flywheel. This will allow you to continue to nurture customer relationships long after the deal is closed.
Marketing automation software has become so popular that many people believe it can solve any marketing slowdowns, including the need for new leads generation. Many marketers have sophisticated tools to automate their funnels, but no way to generate new leads.
Marketers may end up buying email addresses to nurture rather than generating inbound leads. Although it may seem like a quick fix it is not sustainable and will not lead to a long-lasting relationship.
Marketers still think of marketing automation as a funnel and not a flywheel. You generate a lead and then put them in an automated email list. Then, you pass the hand-raisers to Sales. As customers and prospects move from Marketing to Sales to Customer Service, this creates a disjointed experience. Marketing automation is a method of forcing people through a funnel that lacks relevant content and touch points, rather than creating a context-based, efficient experience that meets each person’s needs.
Marketing automation is often operated in silos like this. This creates friction that can stall and cause problems with long-term customer relationships.
How can you make marketing automation work for you?
Marketing automation is powerful. To make it work, however, you need to understand all of its components and nuances. We have compiled a list of top resources to help you understand these nuances and make marketing automation work for you company.
Frequently Asked Questions about Marketing Automation
Marketing automation fails: Why?
There is often no foundation at the top of the funnel to support middle-ofthe-funnel automation. Without a steady stream of leads, marketers won’t be able to provide the necessary ingredients for effective marketing automation. Many marketers who lack inbound lead generation strategies waste too much time trying to figure out how they can take the small market that they do have and make it more profitable. Their competition is trying to figure out how to squeeze more from the remaining 99.99%.
Are you able to reach your revenue goals with the leads in your database? Are you getting your fair piece of the market?
Even if you have a large database of quality leads, how effective is your marketing automation when those leads are either converted into customers or your database starts to decay by 22.5%/year.
Many marketers realize that marketing automation cannot be successful without a large number of leads. This is why they buy lists of contacts to use in marketing automation. This spammy tactic has a low return on investment. These lists are expensive and can result in low engagement. Also, unsolicited emailing to people who have not requested information from you will lower your email deliverability.
Marketing automation is not something you should invest in before nurturing campaigns can blossom.
What is “bad” and “good” marketing automation?
Traditional marketing automation is often used to trigger emails based on actions such as email opens or clicks, time delays or actions. Is an email click enough data to create a customized lead nurturing strategy?
Marketers who are given limited information about marketing automation often end up with poor marketing automation. To give prospects a positive experience, you need to understand who your leads are and what interests them.
An inbound strategy supports marketing automation that is focused on the prospect. Inbound marketing automation makes use of all information about a prospect to inform the strategy. We deliver the information they require to make a purchase at the time they need it, and where they are looking.
Marketing automation that is effective takes into consideration the changing needs of your leads and their interactions with you through all channels. This goes beyond email. Marketers can use behavioral inputs from multiple channels, such as social media. Viewing a pricing page or consuming a piece of content give marketers the context they need in order to understand a lead’s needs.
Marketing automation that is effective uses these channels to communicate, in addition to email. This means that your campaign’s success is less dependent on email and more depends on the channels that influence the decision of a buyer.
What is the best time to invest in marketing automation technology?
If your content is good and you are generating steady, organic leads, it may be time to invest in a marketing automation strategy to nurture those leads into paying customers. These are the questions you should ask when deciding whether marketing automation is right for your company.
Are you creating a steady stream of qualified leads?
Marketing and Sales have reached an agreement on the topics of marketing and sales conversations.
- Have you created a content strategy that maps to the buyer’s journey?
- Are your leads using digital body language across all touch points and channels (not just email) to communicate with you?
Are you able to scale your lead nurturing strategy?
These are all signs that marketing automation might be a good fit for your company. Understanding that marketing automation doesn’t do your marketing for you but can scale your success is the key.
How can I find the right marketing automation software for my business?
Don’t be distracted by the features of a marketing automation system. Instead, focus on the long-term partnership and business results.