What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation is technology that markets through multiple digital channels, for example email, social media etc. Digital Marketing processes are "automated" by segmentation, customer data integration and campaign management, which allows companies to connect with and nurture potential customers.
Email is one of the most common methods to engage customers, however it is a simple process of sending a personalised email asking someone to visit a web page, or download something. Marketing Automation is a much more in-depth solution. Email is one channel of customer interaction and communication. Marketing Automation dynamically delivers relevant content based on specific profiles, behaviours and demographics. This enables Digital Marketing teams to test messages across multiple communication channels to drive engagement and segment potential customers based on their website and media usage patterns.
How does it work?
Marketing Automation uses technology to guide potential customers through a buying funnel. A simple marketing automation process looks like this:
You visit a website, blog, or social media post with an invitation to download a free guide.
To download the guide, you must fill out a short form with your name and email address.
You receive a thank you message once you have downloaded the guide with an invitation to read a related guide that offers even more detail about the product or service.
A sales representative receives an alert that you've taken step 3, and contacts you directly to try to complete the sale.
The automation process can be as simple as two or three steps, depending upon the complexity of the product or service. The most effective campaign consists of stages of personalised messages to show a high level of customer service.
What are the benefits of Marketing Automation?
- It saves time - it is an automated work flow according to choices a potential customer makes as they are moving through the cycle, delivering appropriate messages and nurturing leads closer to a purchase.
- It delivers leads - marketing automation allows leads to have immediate access to all information helping them get closer to a buying decision. Weaker leads are also kept in the sales funnel and the sales team are notified if they get closer to a buying decision.
- Creation of buyer personas - you are able to develop a deeper understanding of your customers through a compilation of engagement profiles across various points. Marketing Automation allows you to build a database of website visits, blog visits, social media site visits, email opens, whitepaper downloads, form submissions, surveys etc.
How do you do it?
Marketing Automation is an incredible tool but it requires dedication to make it work.
- Set very specific goals: how many leads do you need? How do you get those leads? For example if you need 50 leads per month, then you may target 12,500 people to visit a landing page, with 20% of those visitors accepting an offer on your landing page and then 2% of those visitors turning into a lead. Therefore 12,500 visitors / 2,500 - 20% accept offers / 50 - 2% are then contacted as leads.
- Create content that is appealing: Relevant content marketing is essential to success in marketing automation. The content must appeal to each potential customer and answer questions about the product or service you are offering and how it can help them.The creation of buyer personas as mentioned earlier, allows the content to be targeted and specific.
- Establish a closed-loop reporting process: Closed-loop reporting ties the sequences of steps that delivers potential customers to actual sales. This allows improvements and adjustments to be made in both marketing and sales tactics.
- Test, test and test again: Testing is a never-ending process in Marketing Automation. Always consider what works and what doesn't. If one thing isn't working then change it. If something works well, repeat it. Those who test consistently hold the strongest competitive advantage.
Marketing Automation is not a button that once pushed delivers leads to your door. It is worth the effort though.
WSI are proficient in Marketing Automation and offer solutions to suit all types of businesses and industries. For more information please contact us today.