What should be your next step after spending enough time and budget on Email Marketing for your business? We talked about email marketing that it is by far becoming the (most) effective method for any business to connect with both existing and potential customers in our earlier post, you can read about that here.
But what next? And the answer is Marketing Automation.
If you are thinking that Marketing Automation is the same thing as Email Marketing then you probably fall into that 73% group of small business owners who thinks similar. And we would like to change that perception here. Yes, you get that right, these two things are totally different.
What is Marketing Automation?
In simple language, Marketing automation isn’t a way or specific process but Marketing Automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.
For 95% scenarios, marketing automation is an integral part of the CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) that business uses which focuses on the definition, segmentation, scheduling, and tracking of marketing campaigns.
There are hundreds of marketing automation tools available (Paid & Free, both) in market, but the hardest decision that individual or business has to make is to pick which one.
Here we highlight the few key points which will help you to make that decision. The major functionality of any tool is always (almost) same no matter how differently they illustrate each process.
In order to effectively aid marketers in fully understanding existing or new customers and developing a strategic marketing plan, marketing automation tools are designed to perform four key tasks.
- Development and analysis of marketing campaigns and customers
- Manage marketing campaigns
- Appropriate customer data organization and storage with preference management
- Transform contacts from leads to customers
These are pillars of marketing automation platforms to offer a CMS, web forms, landing pages, analytics, and email platform. Yes, email marketing is the part of full automation.
How can marketing automation help you in your business?
Each business has their own requirements to get the contacts into sales funnel and then convert them into a real customer. But that’s not the end of the automation. Lead nurturing is the KEY part of any automation because you can measure the RoI on retention of the existing customer.
Lead nurturing will help your contacts/customer to understand the business in a better way and you can always build a long-term relationship rather than just selling your products/services to them. Once this point is on your business plan, tracking codes in social media, email, and web pages to track the behavior of anyone interested in a product or service to gain a measure of intent.
This allows more accurately targeted response and the development of a nurturing program specifically targeted towards their interest and vertical market. Due to its interactive nature, this has been described as Marketing Automation 2.0.
Also, Prospects are scored, based on their activities, and receive targeted content and messaging, thus nurturing them from first interest through to sale.
According to Marketo and Nuclear Research, 95% of companies reported some benefit from marketing automation. They found that companies can expect to achieve an increase in marketing staff productivity between 1.5 and 6.9% and increase sales productivity by an average of 4%.
There is no specific time to start the automation. We suggest that each business (online mostly) has to include this process into their business plan to start from the beginning.
In the next post, we will give you a deep dive on the platforms available in the market for automation and how can you guys leverage those strategies.
Source: Wikipedia & Marketo