What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation can be explained as the automated personalised communication directed to the customer or the potential customer. This communication is based on the digital footprints left behind.
Marketing Automation is basically about sending information based on the different movement patterns and actions that the customer or potential customer performs.The system used in Marketing Automation is used to collect and compile contact information, among other things. The system also ranks the contacts that are added to the system based on the actions of the customer. This is called lead scoring and last but not least the system helps in sending out information and for communication.
Why should you work with Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation saves time for marketers. With automated processes, one person today can do what a whole team used to do. Lead scoring makes it easy to evaluate which leads are the hottest and easily hand them over to sales once they've been categorized as qualified.
It is about optimising and streamlining a company's marketing and sales processes.The main benefits of Marketing Automation are:
- Targeted communication
- Better customer experience
- Higher lead quality
- More leads
- More ROI on marketing activities
As a marketer, Marketing Automation helps you find and select the most interesting and promising business opportunities. You decide how and when information is sent out automatically. It helps you keep your records of customers up to date and allows you to personalise your website to specifically target different types of visitors.
How does Marketing Automation work in practice?
Marketing Automation is about sending and receiving information automatically from various services linked to predetermined events.
1. For an automated flow to start, you need something to trigger it, a "target". This could be a submit button from a form, for example.
- One click of a button
- A completed form
- A visit to a page
- A completed purchase
2. This is followed by an "action", i.e. an act. This could be sending an email to the person who pressed the send button, notifying a salesperson that someone has downloaded a guide and entering the person's contact details into the system:
- Update a contact field
- To add or remove a contact from a database
- Put a label on a contact
- Remind a salesperson to call and follow up
- Send one or more emails in a row
In other words, something has to happen for a flow to start, but as soon as that event (goal) is met, the automated actions tick along as planned.
Here's an example of what an automated flow might look like:
- On your website you have a form (target) to download a template
- Once someone has filled in the form and pressed the "download" button, you want them to
- The person who filled in the form will receive an email with the guide
- The contact is entered into the system
- A salesperson is assigned to the contact and becomes a lead owner and responsible for the new contact.
- The seller who becomes responsible for the new potential customer receives a notification via his e-mail
After step 5, the flow can continue indefinitely, but to make it simple, I have chosen a short flow.
If there are a few leads a week, it is no problem to manage this manually, but when it starts to approach 20 or more a week, it can be difficult to manage all incoming leads manually in a good and efficient way.
What does a Marketing Automation specialist do?
A Marketing Automation specialist is responsible for a company's Marketing Automation activities. This person plans, sets up and monitors the existing flows.
The specialist ensures that all flows are functioning and up to date. Working with Marketing Automation and having one or more people in the company actively working to keep all automated feeds up to date will become increasingly important in the future.
Marketing Automation Strategy
There is no simple template to follow, a Marketing Automation strategy can look different. With different objectives, it can be tailored to your business. For those of you who want to get started with Marketing Automation, I would suggest following these steps:
Think about what recurring marketing activities you do today and want to do in the future. These could include:
- Send out invitations to lectures and breakfast seminars
- Send out newsletters
- Update contacts in CRM/sales support
- Create call lists for the sales department
- Import contacts to export to another system
The idea of the system is to help you automate the processes that you do or plan to do a lot of.
Think about how you get customers today.
- If your business is very sales-driven, it might be worth looking at a tool that helps you identify who is visiting your website.
- If you have an e-commerce business, it may be worth focusing on getting more subscribers to your newsletter and working hard on email marketing.
- If you're in a consultancy, it might be worth having a tool that tracks the activity of individuals who visit your website from LinkedIn.
Choose tools according to how your company works and wants to work with marketing.
Now that you know what activities you do and want to do, it's time to start tracking and analysing them.
- Which mailings have the highest open or click rate?
- Which promotions or offers have worked best?
- Think about whether the result is still relevant or whether something has happened since the activity was carried out.
Keep doing what has worked until it stops working. Analyse the results and adjust the content and measure the impact. Marketing Automation requires commitment and that you analyse the results to see if there is anything that needs to be adjusted.
Think about what is important to automate and what should not be automated. If there are so-called sensitive touch points where NOTHING can go wrong, they should not be automated, but are better handled manually.
Keep track of the customisation you do. It's important that the communication you automate works for your flows.Marketing automation is good for some things while human contact is good for creating a different kind of relationship. Marketing Automation works great when the automated flows are running until it's time for a human to take over. Sometimes it can be a bit tricky to know where the magic line is, but by testing your way through you'll find the point in the customer journey when it works best for the Marketing Automation system to hand over to a personal contact.
These are some examples of what might be good to set up automation for initially.
- Welcome loop, 3-4 emails to introduce new potential customers
- Update your CRM/sales support
- Update contacts
- Send out lists of leads to sellers
- Follow-up flows for interrupted purchases
Analyze and Optimize
Once some flows are set up, it's time for the best part, analyzing and optimizing. Look at what flows are working, what is the open rate, how many leads are coming in and where are they coming from?
A Marketing Automation system is partly self-sufficient, but it is important to keep an eye on what is happening to fine-tune the details and get the best out of the system.
Make it a habit to A/B test something as simple as the subject line of an email. It can make the difference between the email being opened or not.
Here I have gathered the most important things I want you to take away from this post.
- See Marketing Automation as a way of working and not as a complement.
- Marketing Automation is a never-ending project. You'll never be done with Marketing Automation.
- The key is communication and it must be relevant to those it reaches.
- Track your results, make sure you know what your different activities are achieving. You can find out so much more than just getting a name, title and email address of a potential customer.
Hope you found this post helpful and good luck with your Marketing Automation and if you need help, Marketing Automation is part of Contitude's services!