Marketers are using marketing automation more and more, citing their reasons for the uptake as time-saving, increased customer engagement, more timely communications and increased opportunities such as up-selling.
When carried out effectively, marketing automation can drive significant results for businesses. It has been reported to generate a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. In addition, 80% of marketing automation users saw an increase in the number of leads generated using marketing automation software, and 77% had an increase in conversions.
91% of marketing automation users say that the platform is “very important” to the overall success of their online marketing activities. If you’re not using it in your business, you run the risk of falling behind.
What is Marketing Automation?
Salesforce defines marketing automation as a ‘technology that manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns, across multiple channels, automatically.’ Simply put, it is a platform that allows marketers to pre-program campaigns for customers and prospects, based on pre-defined rules.
Some of the technologies included in marketing automation can include:
- Website, content management systems (CMS), or e-commerce platforms such as WordPress and Shopify
- Email marketing platforms
- Landing page builders and form builders
- Social media publishing tools
- Customer relationship management (CRM) programs such as Salesforce and HubSpot
- Analytics tools
Marketing Automation and Customer Journey
Marketing automation is based around the ‘customer journey’. An effective marketing automation campaign will engage prospects and customers based on their specific point in the buying journey to move them through to sale. This is done by sending them relevant, personalised communications based on how they have interacted with the company and their level of engagement. Marketing automation journeys will typically start with a trigger, such as downloading an ebook, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase.
How to Create a Killer Marketing Automation Strategy
Like any other digital marketing campaign, the best way to ensure success with marketing automation is to carefully consider your overall business goals and objectives, and how the platform can help achieve them. Then, you should be continually analysing and optimising the campaign. The following are some of our key tips for creating an effective marketing automation strategy.
Define Your Goals
Marketing automation can be used to achieve both marketing and wider organisation goals. It can assist in increasing brand awareness, generating more leads and creating greater customer loyalty, as well as its core functionality of improving marketing efficiency. As with any campaign, you should work out your goals and objectives for your marketing automation before starting the campaign. This also allows you to set key performance indicators (KPIs) that let you measure your progress and the success of your campaign as it runs.
Get Wider Company Buy-In
In many businesses, marketing automation is only used by the marketing team. However, this can limit the entire campaign performance and its ability to achieve wider business goals. In order to make marketing automation really work for you, consider the other departments and functions of the company that would benefit from marketing automation. Sales is a good starting point, as many companies use marketing automation to prime leads before handing them over to sales for closing. In addition, customer service teams, account managers, human resources, and many other departments may also make use of the technology for ongoing internal and external communications.
Marketing automation is typically a data-driven platform, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get creative with your campaigns. Use the extra time you have as a result of the automation of your processes to get creative with your campaigns. Think about what really matters to your audience and how you can communicate that to them in a way that really engages them. The more they like your campaigns, the more likely they are to respond to them, which delivers better results for your company.
Experiment with Your Campaign
You’ll never know what works for your marketing automation campaign without trying new things. Think about things that you are doing that you may be able to do better, as well as things that you’re currently not doing that may work for you. Based on this, you can choose aspects of the campaign for A/B testing. By experimenting in this way, you can gain insight into what works well for your marketing automation campaigns and what isn’t effective for your audiences. You can then use this information to connect better with customers and prospects.
Analyse Your Results
Marketing automation platforms gather huge amounts of data that can be analysed in order to optimise campaigns. To get the most out of your marketing automation platform, look at the data from both within a single campaign and across multiple campaigns. Don’t just look at past data, but try to use this to answer forward-looking questions, like what you can improve on in the next campaign, and new tactics that may work.
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