As the New Year begins, marketers are seeking new ways of increasing productivity and enhancing marketing efforts. Marketing automation offers one such avenue to drive efficiency and results in the New Year.
Marketing automation is a process which uses both technology and tools to automate recurring marketing efforts, as well as measure marketing performance, enhance productivity, and improve efficiency. The goal is to decrease manual efforts with automation from initial engagement to customer acquisition and beyond, allowing your marketing team to focus on creativity, agility, and strategic planning.
Marketing automation, when done well, can help your business in a number of ways. First and foremost, it can enhance marketing productivity. Marketing automation frees up human resources through the automation of repetitive tasks, allowing your team members to focus on creative tasks which cannot be automated.
Once it is implemented successfully, your creative marketing team can focus their efforts on everything from marketing strategy improvement and planning to mapping customer experience.
With marketing automation enabled and your human resources free from mundane repetitive tasks. These tasks may include tracking and engaging individual prospects and instead, your marketing team can focus on identifying probable conversions, fostering leads, and generating valuable engagements. Efficiency is better, employee satisfaction is enhanced (due to decrease mundane, repetitive tasks), and ROI is improved.
Marketing automation also allows your team to develop and deliver personalized campaigns which better connect with your target audience. Integrating your marketing automation platform (MAP) with your customer relationship management solution (CRM) manes more data designed to gain greater audience understanding for more successful engagement and conversion.
In addition, your platform can provide real-time performance measurements of your campaigns allowing you to make changes and optimize marketing campaigns in progress.
Your efforts help attract new customers as you feature personalized offerings relevant to their needs and preferences which in term translates to greater customer acquisition and retention.
Marketing Automation software comes in a wide range of tools and technology, from simple to complex applications. Whether you chose a simple variety to help with brand promotion or a complex application capable of managing workflow and marketing campaigns, the options should be selected based on the needs of your business and industry.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is among the most common iteration, able to store, manage, and retrieve customer data including transactions. A quality CRM solution can help you plan and deploy marketing strategies with some personalization.
In most cases, a CRM can be integrated with other marketing technology to enhance e-mail marketing efforts via workflows, bounce reports, and more. Most CRMs feature a user-friendly dashboard providing useful metrics to improve marketing campaigns.
Lead Management is another option, particularly useful for B2B marketing efforts. Uniquely designed for a B2B application, lead automation allows your business to nurture and engage prospects by serving up relevant content and guiding the prospects from potential clients to loyal customers.
Audience Segmentation and Management uses customers’ and prospects’ behavior and preferences to segment audiences and personalize the content based on their actions and experiences. These platforms can even segment and manage lists automatically to leverage marketing campaign success.
Social Media Analytics provided by today’s most popular social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are free with your account. The goal is to use the analytics to target posts that engage potential and existing customers and keep them connected, building on the relationships with each unique customer-centric touchpoint.
Developing your marketing automation plan begins with defining your requirements (activities crucial to your business) and your business goals. When you have done so, you should easily identify repetitive tasks which could benefit from automating the process. Once identified, you’ll want to determine how automation will increase productivity and enhance ROI.
Next, you will need to consider, based on your initial analysis, cost estimates from several of the top marketing automation platform providers. With your cost estimates, the next step is to determine which platform fits your business.
This decision depends on your company’s size, your budget, the features you need, as well as user-friendliness, integration with existing software, customization capabilities, and support.
The final step is selecting and developing a deployment plan which will start with the essentials and includes training the team members who will deploy the marketing automation platform, manage it, and build on additional features in the future.
We hope you found this article entitled “Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Automation” helpful. As your business works to communicate more effectively with your customers in the New Year, UNIM is ready to help you improve client relationships through exceptional customer service with custom marketing automation solutions designed exclusively for your business. Contact us today.