Marketing automation is a powerful means of boosting efficiency, streamlining operations, and ensuring maximum ROI from your marketing campaigns. But what exactly does it involve? And how can you ensure you’re implementing enhanced automation in the right way?
To help you set marketing automation to work for your business, we’ve put together this need-to-know guide. Covering what marketing automation is and how it can benefit your operation, we’ve also included some essential tips for incorporating automation into your existing marketing strategy.
Use the links below to navigate or read on for the complete guide.
- What is marketing automation?
- What are the benefits of marketing automation?
- What marketing pain points can automation solve?
- Essential tips for implementing automation as part of your marketing strategy
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation defines any process wherein marketing activity happens automatically. The term covers a wide array of marketing processes, channels, and activity, and is used as a means of reducing the need for manual input, freeing up resources that can be allocated to other areas of a business.
This definition is self-explanatory. But just how far does the scope of marketing automation reach? And how exactly can businesses utilise automation as a means of streamlining their marketing strategy?
As it happens, a great many marketing tasks and channels can be automated, simplifying day-to-day task management and reporting. This includes:
- Multi-channel campaigns
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Lead generation
- Data segmentation
- Cross-sell and POS marketing
- ROI and KPI reporting
- Site personalisation and landing page creation
By no means an exhaustive list, the scope of marketing automation is impressive, enabling businesses to streamline a swathe of marketing tasks. This ultimately offers up a range of benefits, as we set out below.
What are the benefits of marketing automation?
The benefits of marketing automation are plentiful, so much so that many businesses couldn’t afford not to automate some or all of their marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits you could enjoy through implementing marketing automation.
- Efficiency and streamlining – Getting more done in the same period of time is one of the great challenges of effective business management. Marketing automation can help with this in a myriad of ways, freeing your team from time-consuming manual tasks, so they can focus on other projects and campaigns.
- Accurate reporting and consistent marketing opportunities – However watertight your current marketing strategy, human error and limited manpower often mean inaccuracies and inconsistencies can arise with time. Leaning on marketing automation software not only increases the accuracy of data gathering and reporting, but it can also make elements of your marketing activity more consistent and regular (e.g., posting on social media, sending remarketing emails) – for increased revenue and customer advocacy.
- Effective data management – The value of data is often underestimated; as is how it’s organised. Programming marketing automation tools to gather, store and organise data sets can help streamline a range of everyday processes, making things such as customer discovery and conversion optimisation much simpler and more impactful.
- A unified sales and marketing approach – Is there a disconnect between your sales and marketing teams? Automation is an effective way to bridge the gap and ensure both departments are working towards the same goals. With teams relying on the same software, this ensures that marketing activity is driving sales, and that sales teams are actively aware of new leads and opportunities as they develop.
- Increased conversion rate – Getting the most from your marketing budget means paying attention to the overall conversion rate of your campaigns. Automating aspects of your marketing strategy can help boost conversion rates in key areas, with the removal of manual processes making tracking leads and targeting repeat visitors more efficient, accurate and consistent.
What marketing pain points can automation solve?
Marketing typically accounts for a significant portion of a business’ budget and resources. That’s why it’s imperative that any pain points are considered and ironed out where possible, to ensure maximum ROI and campaign effectiveness.
Implementing automation software is an effective way to bolster and support your marketing strategy. Such technology introduces new automated processes that streamline activity and free up resources, maximising the efficiency and revenue generation of your campaigns.
Here, we list a handful of common marketing pain points and how automation can help to resolve or lessen them.
Clean, organised, and segmented data is crucial for marketing success. If you’ve experienced instances of corrupt, duplicated, or inaccurate data in the past, you’ll know how easily this can derail campaigns and diminish ROI.
Because marketing automation software removes the need for manual data capture, it also removes the issue of bad data. Segmentation, accuracy, and personalisation are all improved through automation, giving your teams a solid and unified foundation on which to build effective campaigns and strategies.
Ineffective marketing channels and limited success
Manual campaign management can place significant limitations on the scope of your marketing. For example, you may be unable to test a campaign’s performance a desired number of times before launch, meaning that its success may be limited when it’s pushed live.
Investing in automation tools affords greater control over the success of your marketing campaigns before they go live. With streamlined testing and simple version control, you can ensure all marketing materials are optimised and effective – boosting ROI and revenue in the long term.
Inconsistent posting and lack of engagement
Do you regularly send remarketing emails to repeat customers and site visitors? Perhaps you oversee a weekly social media strategy that requires manual management and posting? Whatever the channels you currently utilise, such activities can be difficult to maintain and optimise, and engagement rates can be challenging to ascertain.
Introducing automation to customer-facing marketing channels is an effective way to boost engagement and ensure that your emails and social media posts are published in a timely and consistent manner. And with enhanced data capture, you can also ascertain audience engagement across all marketing channels, ultimately improving the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Essential tips for implementing automation as part of your marketing strategy
While automation isn’t a silver bullet, it can be a powerful way to improve and enhance your marketing strategy. To help you get it right, here are our essential tips for businesses ready to implement marketing automation.
- Choose the appropriate marketing automation software – There is a huge range of automation tools out there, all offering different features at varying price points. Consider ease of use, support, integrations and features before making your choice.
- Set clear goals and objectives – What do you hope to achieve through enhanced marketing automation? Increased revenue? Improved conversion rate? Greater engagement? Setting clear goals can help refine your requirements, while helping to highlight the real-world success of your investment later down the road.
- Consider existing processes and job roles – Marketing automation has the potential to dramatically course-correct your business, so you need to consider the impact such investment will have on your existing infrastructure and operations. How might people’s roles change, and what activities should they be focusing on instead? These are the sorts of questions you’ll need to answer ahead of new software implementation.
- Start small and go from there – The great thing about marketing automation is that it can be phased in gradually, giving you and your team time to adjust to new processes and procedures. Start with something small, like automated social media posting, before progressing to bigger activities. That way you can recognise the value in such an approach, and ensure complete buy-in from the rest of the team.
- Ask for help – Introducing marketing automation can be a seismic shift, so don’t be afraid to ask for expert help if needed. Specialist automation consultants can make onboarding new software simpler to manage, while also advising on the areas of your campaign which would benefit the most from enhanced automation.
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