Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.
As you might expect, marketing automation has quickly become an integral part of business management because it enhances marketing efforts and makes some new processes possible.
Rise of Marketing Automation
Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) make up the largest growing segment in the space right now, and thousands of companies even smaller than that across all industries are using marketing automation as well to add more personal touches to their campaigns and enhance brand-to-customer relationship.
One of the reasons marketing automation is steadily growing in popularity is because strategic, data-driven lead nurturing through automated marketing is more effective than spamming people with impersonal email blasts or other communications and hoping to get some conversions.
Marketing automation software offer businesses and marketers a huge amount of data (often real-time data) that they can use to create accurate and relevant marketing communications for their leads, including a lead’s location, what products a lead is interested in and email marketing statistics.
In addition to this, businesses and marketers that use marketing automation are able to manage their time and staff more effectively. By automating repetitive tasks such as social media, sending out nurture communications and monitoring prospects to find out those that are ready to buy and those that aren’t, businesses can save time, resources and focus on other important tasks that can’t be automated.
How Marketing Automation Works
Classic marketing automation is focused on acquisition and retention of sales-ready customers using automation platforms like HubSpot, Act-On, MailChimp and Marketo that are designed for different types of businesses. These automation platforms allow businesses to score prospects based on profile and or behavior and communicate with them accordingly, say via event-triggered messages.
The top four areas marketing automation is traditionally used are email marketing (89 percent), lead nurturing (84 percent), integrations such as customer relationship management (CRM), mobile, social etc for accumulating customer intelligence across channels (80 percent), and cross-channel campaign management (82 percent).
While much of the information or data gathering that drives marketing automation platforms is done online, it doesn’t have to be digital only. All sources of information and all marketing channels can be utilized to inform automation, including direct marketing via print and catalog.
The best marketing automation campaigns make use of all the available data and send out messages that engage leads in a more natural way, by appealing to their interests, industries and buying power. The best automation efforts also take into account the evolving needs of customers.
Business Uses and Benefits of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation brings value and ROI to your numerous marketing efforts. The right marketing automation platform, combined with smart organizational and process alignment, makes it possible to connect the dots between that promotional email you sent last month, that webinar you hosted last year, and the revenue your CEO sees this week or can expect to see next quarter
Most marketing automation platforms have free-trial options you can try before you buy the full service.