The world of digital marketing is ever expansive and always changing but so is the world. Recently, a tide of digitalization has swept across several sectors, not just Digital Marketing. One of the recent subjects you might have heard being talked about in the circles of marketing automation.
Some of you might be hearing the term for the first time and some others might have been hearing it for a while but never got around to figuring out what it means
One of the bases of Marketing automation is the use of technology to scale and measure up your tactics & campaigns. Marketing Automation is the perfect blend of marketing & DIgital marketing techniques with the automation & scaling offered by today’s modern technology.
This is just scratching the surface, there’s more to marketing automation than that and that is exactly what we will be exploring what Marketing automation is, its benefits & its tools with our article.
1) What is Marketing Automation?
If you take a quick search on the world wide web you’re bound to find more than one definition, some defining it by the technology used in the process and others defining it by the process itself.
One definition, courtesy of salesforce.com is that its the technology that processes and multifunctions between several campaigns, managing and executing several marketing processes across multiple platforms automatically.
Another definition as per Wikipedia also defines Automated Marketing by the software platforms & technologies designed for marketing departments & Organizations, allowing to market on more than one channel and set up automatic repetitive tasks.
So it seems as per the aforementioned definitions and the other ones online there’s an agreement that Marketing automation is built on tools & software that allow you to automate the management and dispatch of your marketing campaigns on different platforms.
In Short, instead of having to post on Facebook and send an email marketing campaign to your subscribed users manually, Marketing automation allows you to do that manually.
2) Benefits of Marketing Automation
So what are the benefits of Using an Automated Marketing solution? And why should you be integrating it into your online marketing efforts? So without further ado, let’s get to business.
- It Just Works
No were not talking about what Tom Howard said about Fallout 67, but basically what we’re saying is is that it’s hard to debate with the Results of Marketing automation ant its resulting Numbers. Here are some interesting Statistics:
- According to salesforce.com, Businesses that use Marketing automation while nurturing their prospects experience an increase above 451% in qualified leads
- As per a research conducted by Nucleus Research, Marketing automation could cause a 14.5% increase in sales productivity & 12,2% decrease in marketing overhead.
- Research conducted on salesforce own customers, reports that there was an average increase in Marketing ROI after adopting the CRM.
- Generate Better Leads
Lead generation is one of the core business growth activities that not only increase the potential revenue from these incoming leads but also gives you the chance to expand your potential customer base.
Another added benefit is the time you and your team would be saving on executing the mundane tasks in between marketing your product and its selling & focus on overall strategy and nurturing high-quality leads that show real promise & potential.
Using the behaviour tracking functions in your automation system allows you to observe your customers path through the website and potentially allow you to follow up with him or sell to him based on his needs.
For example, if said customer was first looking at a general page that could indicate what stage hes in but when he chooses a specific product page and makes a purchase then we know what he has his mindset on.
These better qualifying leads can then be used in a plethora of approaches, such as triggered based marketing message, drip-feed and personalized emails & Facebook or Twitter messages
- Nurture those leads
Nurturing leads can be a very time consuming & tricky process. All that effort is surely worth it if that leads turns out to be a sale. Actually, 50% of the leads created by a business are qualified ones yet there not ready to buy.
With a big team, dedicating part of the sales or marketing team to keep track of qualified leads might not be problematic but for a smaller team it surely will be, and even so, that still isn’t very effective.
- Personalizing the Customer Journey
According to a report by Pardot, 77 % of buyers want personalized, unique, targeted and different content at each stage of their buyer’s journey.
Marketing automation allows you to deliver exactly that while collecting data from these different forms of content.
The content here includes everything from E-Mails top-performing posts on your social media channel. Not only that but going fully automated with your plan you can set it up in a way where that data can be collected automatically.
Taking a Page out of Dell’s book, whom after noticing heavy traffic on their stores without that translating to sales. Leveraging their customer’s web histories, products viewed or abandoned products in carts resulting in a 70% increase in click-through rates & 300% higher conversion rates.
- Better Data, Smarter Decisions
There’s been an ongoing hype about “Big Data”, however, few businesses grasp and actually have an idea on how to make use of that big amount of data. With Marketing automation, such big data can be processed with ease.
By combining your dashboards for your marketing efforts & analytics dashboard allow you to monitor your campaigns & keep and assemble more complex profiles to allow for A/B Testing.
- Get a 360-degree view of your customers:
Armed with detailed behaviour tracking such as visited pages, type of content they are interested in, where they are in the buyer’s cycle & which leads trigger their interest among others, you have a full view of your customer.
This deep knowledge of where your customer is at mentally will allow you to direct highly specialized or tailored marketing messages.
- The synergy between Marketing & Sales team:
Usually, relationships between the sales department and the marketing department are usually not on the good side.
This usually comes from the marketing team as they are traditionally the ones who secure the leads but the sales team are the ones who transfer from a lead to a conversion.
The traditional friction between the two departments could actually be allocated to the outdated structures.
It’s hard to create common ground when although both teams have the same objective yet follow different processes, structures & even programs. Automated marketing can help simplify and lessen friction.
3) Forms of automation in Digital Marketing
So what forms or elements of digital marketing already have Automated options. Well, that’s exactly what you will get to know right now.
- Customer Relationship Management Software
There’s no debate that having a lot of customers is a positive thing for your business however without the tools to manage and gain easy access to there data, things would be pretty chaotic.
This is where CRMs come in as they store information like, purchase history, Names, Jobs & Titles and other information you would like it to keep.
Salesforce & Zoho are popular CRMs but choose one that suits you volume of business.
- Email Marketing Software
Despite being one of the oldest formats in the business, it still provides the best ROI and also the most-used channel.
Email automation tools allow you to send out the messages, to your contacts whether the emails are trigger-based or email blast
It is advisable though that you keep a close eye on your emails even if they’re sent through an automated system despite any personalization options
Many email service providers have email marketing platforms built in them such as Mailchimp & Litmus.
- Social Media Marketing Software
Social media is hands down one of the best channels for Businesses to gain reach & engage with the audiences.
The usual use for social media nowadays is a place where you update your customers on their log, products & services.
Currently, Facebook is used more for promoting engagement & display brand personality. Automation for social media focuses mainly on facilitating and simplifying scheduling, network management & performance measurements
Some social media automation tools are Buffer, Clout, Crowdfire & Hootsuite.
- Marketing Analytics software
Although evaluation is one of the most important stages of a marketing strategy, it’s a stage that most marketers tend to forget.
You should always keep track of your results so that you can understand which tactics or strategies are the ones working.
Usable data such as visitor behaviour & activity, are just some of the information you can get from these tools, moreover, it can cross-compare different results across different platforms in one place and one go.
An example of one of the most used Analytics tools is Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMRush & Buzzsumo.
4) Best tools for Marketing Automation
Now that you know what market automation and what are its benefits lets move on to some of the best marketing automation tools out there.
This app allows you to send targeted messages to your customers based on how they interact with your business. A great thing is that it actually integrates with your mobile app & website.
The cost of the tool is based on the total count of the Email List & E-mail Credits. Its free for 400 monthly email credits & 200 people, 120$ for 30,000 monthly credits for 15,000 people & finally 1,250$ per month for 1 million email credits for 500,000 people.
- Auto-Pilot with Hubspot
AutoPilot is an inbound marketing tool that aims to turn outbound tools into inbound ones. This tool is perfect for content marketing. Everything from content reaction and optimization tools to a marketing analytics dashboard.
As for its pricing, it’s 200$ per month for 100 contacts & 800$ for 1,000 contacts. All that’s included in the pro version is the same one as the free version alongside attribution reporting, user roles & A/B Testing.
A product of salesforce company, Pardot is an automation marketing tool that’s perfect for revenue-boosting Including several handy integrations such as a CRM integration, email marketing, Lead Nurturing & scoring among others.
As for pricing, it goes like this. Standard pricing is 1,000$ per month and includes email marketing, in-depth prospect tracking, lead nurturing, and lead scoring and grading.
The Pro pricing stands at 2,000$ per month and includes all the standard ones with some extra features,
Finally, the ultimate pricing is 3,000$with all the previous benefits 7 more
AdaRoll is best used for retargeting campaigns for retargeting and reengagement on Twitter, Facebook & the web.
With flexible segmentation & cross-device & platform targeting expert optimization and conversion reporting. AdRoll offers customized budgeting full ad spend control and a 2 weeks contract and commitments free trial
These are just an example of some of the best tools for marketing and automation you can use. There are others such as Marketo, DiIalog Tech, Oracle Eloqua & Bizible among others
In short, marketing automation is all about the utilization of apps and programs to facilitate the process of carrying out your online marketing ventures.
I believe that that’s something none of us would mind but actually embrace as it allows digital marketing and marketing teams to dedicate more of their time to the innovation & ideation process. So what are you waiting for, Get automated?