What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation refers to software that automates your marketing for you. The software is designed to help you prioritize and execute your marketing tasks in a more streamlined and efficient way.
Unlike automating manufacturing processes, implementing a marketing automation system won’t make your job irrelevant, it will just make you more effective. It will free up some of your time, while not compromising the authenticity of the content you’re producing.
Although the concept sounds simple enough, implementing this very useful tool as a part of your marketing strategy is a road that needs to navigating very carefully.
The ultimate goal of your marketing is to generate more revenue for your company. To accomplish this, you need to drive traffic to your website, convert that traffic into leads and close those leads into customers. Where marketing automation really makes an impact is the conversion and closure stages of this process.
Where Can You Apply Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a great way to guide potential customers through your funnels generating new leads, all while converting existing ones. Applicable uses include:
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Lead Generation
- Lead Nurturing
- Metrics and Analytics
- Management Activities
How to use it.
Thousands of marketers today rely on email marketing to generate results. They send blast email after blast email to their entire list of prospects and customers, hoping the message resonates with some of them and gets them to purchase.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes for a moment. Say that you’ve engaged with a company; maybe you’ve downloaded a piece of their content and really loved what you read. The next email you get is a completely different topic that has nothing to do with what you just read. Wouldn’t it be more impactful if you received an email that continued to dive further into the topic that you are interested in? You’d be much more likely to buy from that company since they’re answering your questions?
This is the foundation of marketing automation. To provide you, as a marketer, with the ability to target your contacts and send them content that is based on their behavior. You’re giving them the information they need when they want it. You’re easing their buying decision. And as a result, your conversion rates will increase.
The Hammer is as good as the Hand that wields it.
Now that we’ve detailed out what marketing automation is, let’s see some of the most common mistakes companies do in the implementation of marketing automation in their overall strategy.
Easier doesn’t mean lazier.
Because marketing automation can make our lives easier as marketers, for many of us, the first step when integrating this into our strategy is to just automate everything we already do. While this very well might be the right way to go, take a moment to revisit your goals before you start.
Don’t just automate your current process without revisiting your goals.
The point here is that we don’t want to let marketing automation lead us to execute strategies that we know don’t make sense for our customers or prospects.
Use don’t abuse
Another common mistake is that marketers abuse automation and leave engaged visitor responses hung out to dry. Marketing automation needs constant care and awareness for it to work effectively. Too many companies skimp on these details and think they can let their automation do all the work.
Marketing automation works as a supplement to your sales strategy, allowing you to strategize the path ahead. It’s not meant as something you can set and forget.
Use its full potential.
Recent studies indicate that many marketers are only implementing basic email functions in their marketing automation platforms. While email marketing is certainly one of the stronger channels for automation, it can be utilized with social media, landing pages, lead generation activities, management activities, and much more.
Research before investing
Many of the marketers have mistakenly invested in marketing automation before building up a sufficient funnel of traffic and leads to automate. Therefore if you’re only getting a trickle of leads each month, you’re not going to get any value out of an automated system. You’ll get a lot more value for your money if you focus on turning the trickle into a firehose.
So what should you do?
Make sure you think through a marketing automation investment carefully. Here are some important questions to ask yourself:
- What’s the goal of your marketing automation investment?
- Are you currently getting enough new leads each month for marketing automation to have an impact on your funnel?
- What kind of marketing automation campaigns can your staff currently support?
Does it deliver?
Absolutely. The promise can be kept! It’s evident that marketing automation is a great way to improve your business. But it’s not a panacea, you need to remember that you cant use all marketing strategies equally. So make sure you ask the right questions and avoid the mistakes other marketers have fallen into.
…see next time pals!