Marketing Automation – a missing puzzle piece of your company. Is it?
All You Need To Know About Marketing Automation, and few more extras.
Automation is one of the buzziest trends in the digital industry today. And not without reason: it allows to operate more effectively and faster, while still efficiently. But what’s the real secret of Marketing Automation popularity? Is it really a perfect solution for everyone?
Here’s all you should know about MA, marketers’ best practices, and a few tips that are good to know.
Marketing Automation is an operation method that facilitates the work of marketers through the tools used to automate the process of lead nurturing.
LEAD NURTURING – the purposeful process of developing relationships with customers-to-be at every stage of the sales funnel, and through every step of the buyer’s journey. Lead nurturing activities engage a defined target group by providing relevant information for buyers – to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a product or service.
A customer can be reached through different channels like social media, content materials or e-mail. The philosophy of MA assumes integration of chosen channels and use of declarative, transactional or behavioral data to personalize the message and the whole marketing process. However, this is not a universal tool for everyone.
When should you start integrating Marketing Automation tools, and what is worth to remember before the implementation of automation in your marketing activities?
Marketing Automation – when do you need it?
In a narrow perspective, Marketing Automation is a set of tools that process customer data to optimize marketing and sales activities. These tools allow not only to automate processes, but also to monitor analyze, and segmenting the offer.
There are a lot of automation solutions present on the market, so don’t be discouraged and look for the best-suited for your business. The most popular Marketing Automation activities are: dynamic advertising campaigns based on selected data (eg abandoned shopping cart reminders), e-mailings segmentation or product recommendations in the online store.
What do you need to know before using MA? A one step before implementation
Before choosing a perfect MA tool, you should understand the difference between the customer and seller points of view. Marketing Automation helps e-commerce to improve sales processes, gain valuable contacts, and monitor the effectiveness of marketing channels, while the client, on the other hand, sees only the message that the seller generates – among countless other advertisements! That’s right – another challenge here becomes the “information overload” phenomenon (the average person sees at least around 3,000 advertising messages every day (!)).
If you ask “why should a customer notice my ad?”, Then the answer must be consists of that exact client benefits. Marketing Automation makes possible that in a multitude of advertisements, a personalized message will break all barriers between the seller and the consumer.
Pros of Marketing Automation:
- Using CRM data or other databases you can reach the customer with a message matched person’s needs (like suggested adverts of complementary products or similar to those viewed).
- Accurate Customer Journey monitoring helps you locate trouble in communication or sales process faster and react.
- The messages are tailored to the needs using both micro- and macromoments (due to that special-marketing-automation-power the consumer won’t see bathing suit ads in December).
When automation is a success and when there is a major risk of failure?
The greatest benefit of Marketing Automation is achieving better results (in sales and company’s image) by reaching customers in the best possible time. Predicting user behavior and responding to specific needs not only testifies the great knowledge of consumers, but also emphasize the perfect implementation of automation, which (literally) thinks, so others won’t have to. Terrifying, but how exciting!
However, sometimes the system fails. A Marketing Automation process that ends in failure is usually based on very basic mistakes: financial maladjustment, poor quality database, and undefined KPIs. Constantly introduced new data and continuous cooperation between marketing and sales department are inevitable. Write it down and remember: not updated tool works inefficiently. Simple, freaking important, but frequently neglected.
Another cause of Marketing Automation failure, which seems to be obvious, is the inappropriate construction of messages, and as a consequence, communication that sounds unreal, or even sending SPAM. Automation allows sending content that fits perfectly to different consumers (also matches their psycho-demographic profiles). Disregarding such potential is a failure on seller’s own volition.
How to start the Marketing Automation adventure?
The best moment to start the MA activities is when sellers and marketers at the company collected enough data. What does “enough” mean? It’s the number of information that allows distinguishing several groups of clients. Such occasion can happen parallelly with the increasing range of products in the store, creating new brands in the company, and also specifying the brand in such a way that even small user interactions with the content are important enough to help in the selection and finalization of the transaction.
The beginning of an adventure with Marketing Automation may seem complicated and expensive, so you should start with the small steps method.
A few basic moves to get you started with your own Marketing Automation:
- Map customer paths and contact points
- Integrate channels you use to reach the customer
- Set simple sales alerts (calls to action)
- Prepare of the first content strategy (adapted to all channels)
- Prepare first newsletter mailings campaign
Photo by Alex Knight