Every business is dependent on sales in order to survive, but no sale is possible without marketing. Marketing automation software can make your job a lot easier. This post will discuss what marketing automation software is and why it is important for a company to thrive.
What is Marketing?
The term “marketing automation software” doesn’t make any sense if you don’t understand what marketing is. Simply put, marketing is teaching your customers why your product is better than others on the market. It is persuasive communication and involves targeting a specific audience for your product, advertising it through campaigns, and successfully selling it to your intended buyer. Your company has a goal of selling, and marketing achieves just that.
What is Marketing Automation?
This leads us to our next point: marketing automation. More often than not, companies that use marketing also use marketing automation. Marketing automation is technology that automatically manages everything that goes into, well, marketing. This includes all of the multifaceted campaigns. It is beneficial for companies to use marketing automation because they can accurately target specific customers with automated messages across a wide range of channels- email, web, and social, to name a few.
Email Marketing Automation
Email marketing is a form of promotion where you send out emails to your intended audience to advertise your product. But sending out emails manually takes a lot of time – time that you probably don’t have.
Companies that use email marketing automation reach the right people with the right message at the right moment. Here’s the catch: Automated email marketing automation software does this without your manual labor.
Email automation, when used effectively, helps to grow your business. Companies use “triggers” with this marketing automation software to send out related messages based on the customer’s journey.
Web Marketing Automation
As suggested by the name, web marketing is marketing exclusively online. Web marketing is a subset of digital marketing, and specifically requires a live internet connection. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns are a form of web marketing. They offer front page search engine exposure and allow the correct audience to see your company’s product. Your company pays for the ads when customers click on them.
Now, let’s take web marketing one step further to web marketing automation. Companies that use this type of marketing automation are able to specify criteria, leverage cookies, and use forms to collect contact information.
When your company specifies criteria and outcomes for tasks and processes, the web marketing automation system interprets, stores and executes the criteria.
Cookies are an important part of web marketing automation. By leveraging cookies, marketers can track visitors on the website pages and acquire more profile data based on the customer’s web actions.
Lastly, web marketing automation involves building qualified leads for sales teams. Your company’s marketing automation helps avoid spending money and time pursuing a lead that isn’t fit to invest.
Social Media Marketing Automation
Social media marketing automation also uses automation tools (naturally) to improve your company’s social media presence. You can do this by curating content and scheduling social media posts in advance. This being said, social media automation tools shouldn’t be used unethically, such that they would write social media posts, but they should be used for scheduling, reporting, and content ideas.
What are Marketing Automation Tools?
Marketing automation tools are various software platforms you can use to automate your company’s marketing across various platforms.
What is the Best Automation Software to Use?
Here are a few of the best options for automation software that we recommend.
It is one of the most mature tools that helps companies manage email campaigns and provides excellent tools for sales teams. Also, it has a marketplace called LaunchPoint. This tool is specifically for companies that are using all of its features, as it is quite pricey.
This tool provides exceptional service and has an exceptional marketplace with plenty of integrations with third party services. This tool is for companies who are looking for premium marketing automation.
This tool is described as flexible on flexible on flexible. If your company is willing to hire a developer, you can really customize your Customer.io experience. It triggers emails based on events, which is pretty cool. This tool is great for companies that are (1) new to using marketing automation and (2) are looking for advanced, customizable, and flexible functionality.
This is a well-known email marketing tool that is easy for companies that are not as technically savvy. This tool is ideal for small business owners who wants to quickly dive into email marketing without any future help down the line.
HubSpot has several functions. So many, in fact, that it is considered as a “jack of all trades.” It is an inbound marketing software, meaning that it offers a wide array of tools (one is marketing automation).
This tool is great for small business owners who want a little more oomph than Constant Contact. It is the essential “all-in-one” tool.
This marketing automation software has a knack for targeting communication over multiple channels. It goes beyond the simple email marketing, and lets your company target mobile app notifications and messages. ExactTarget acquired Pardot. ExactTarget specifically targets B2C companies while Pardot was designed for B2B. This software is specifically for companies that not only want to use marketing automation, but want to expand it.
Userfox was just acquired by AdRoll, so this is more of a hopeful pitch for the marketing automation tool. This tool works primarily with tech companies. It is a lightweight interface, like Customer.io, and triggers emails based on events.
What Does Marketing Automation Mean For the Customer Journey?
Thanks to marketing automation, every interaction with your customers can be tailored. Relevant content is generated across a wide range of channels. Digital ads are generated at the right time to the right person. And, most importantly, customers are reached no matter how lukewarm they are feeling about your company or product.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Companies Using Marketing Automation?
The future of marketing is automation, but with any large transition, there will be some drawbacks. Let’s discuss some of the cons of marketing automation:
It costs quite a bit of money to implement new technology, which can be difficult for small businesses who don’t have sufficient budgets to support marketing automation. But companies should use marketing automation if they have been struggling with their current marketing strategies.
Companies that use marketing automation software may be at risk of over-messaging their customers. Messages should be strategically sent to nurture, rather than alienate, leads. Messages sent too frequently and haphazardly will be spam-blocked.
Depersonalizing Your Brand
You risk becoming depersonalized when using automated marketing. What this means is that without some form of personalized marketing automation for your company, the same messages will be sent to everyone. This also can lead to your messages, once again, ending up in the spam folder, and worse, discrediting your company.
Best Practices for Companies that Use Marketing Automation
The goal of marketing automation is to attract new leads and sustain customers. So, how do you achieve this goal? Here are a few ways:
The first step is to visualize your strategy. A mind map is the best way to achieve this strategy.
With marketing automation, your company can send messages on their own schedule. By gauging customer’s reactions to your previous messages, you have a better understanding of what to send, how to send it, and when to send it.
Send Localized Content
Your company can design your chatbots subscription form in such a way that you get customers’ basic demographic information. With only several data points, your company can effectively use marketing automation to send personalized messages to the intended audience. (Think avoiding the infamous spam folder.)
Don’t Reinvent Anything
Yes, all this information seems quite overwhelming, but good news- your company does not have to create new message content. You can add existing messages that have been sent to leads and customers to the marketing automation software.
Frequently Evaluate Performance
It’s great news that companies can use marketing automation software to free up some time for other things. Well, the “other things” should be evaluating the performance data that the automation software is generating. Close monitoring allows companies to make quick changes on the fly with large, positive impact.
Is Marketing Automation Easy to Use?
Yes! It’s very easy to use. Companies can control all aspects of their marketing and it makes managing advertising painless. Before investing in marketing automation, they should develop a succinct content marketing strategy, which includes understanding the target audience, researching competitors, discovering a niche, creating content specific to customers, and solidifying the appropriate social media platforms for the content and audience.
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