Marketing has been integral to businesses for a long time. To stay ahead of the competition, companies invest a lot in marketing.
Marketing is not only a part of the buying journey but also a complete process in itself. For example, in retail, a customer sees a discount Ad and immediately buys a product. At other times, marketing creates brand and product awareness. It also helps persuade customers to buy your product.
Marketing has evolved from pamphlets and billboards to digital and interactive ads. Since the digital platforms are vast and cater to a broad audience, it is necessary to create targeted ads.
Now, this is where marketing automation comes in.
It lets you target customers with tailor-made marketing campaigns. The marketing automation industry is going to yield billions in the coming years. Reports state that 75% of companies globally are already using automation tools of some kind and many more are considering automation tools to upgrade their business strategy.
In this article, we will discuss the features and benefits of marketing automation. But let us first look at the necessary marketing automation tools and how they can benefit you.
Features of Marketing Automation and Essential Tools for Your Business
Email Marketing Automation
Email is one of the most effective marketing tools to communicate with prospects. Over 3.9 billion use at least one email service daily. According to Statista Email Statistics 2020, there will be nearly 4.3 billion daily email users by 2023.
From business perspectives, general lags in email marketing are:
- Delay in responding to an email
- Losing track of the conversation in long threads of emails
- The emails you send lands into the receiver’s spam folder
- Non-mobile responsive email templates
- Unable to measure open rates and activities like link clicks, forwards, etc.
Fortunately, you can resolve all these challenges with email marketing automation tools. The email templates, schedulers, and content repository make the marketers’ tasks easy. Usually, you can also find these tools as a part of your marketing automation software.
For a better understanding, I would suggest you go through these articles:
- Email marketing best practices I learnt after sending 2,049,567 emails
- What should be in your email marketing funnel?
- 7 important email marketing metrics
You must be engaging with your prospects over different offline and online platforms. Say, you have a product launch event. You want to advertise the event on social media, billboards, and newspapers.
So, you will have multiple campaigns to create awareness about the event and encourage participation. As a marketing manager, you’ll need to oversee all the campaigns, their performance, audience targeting, and much more. Here, the concept of campaign management comes into the picture.
Campaign management lets you plan, execute, track, and analyze a marketing initiative.
Now imagine if there are ten locations that you’re targeting and there are ten marketing media. You’ll lose the track if you create maintain separate excel sheets for each campaign.
You need to have a centralized tool to track activities on each platform and see actionable insights through dashboards.
The campaign management tool is one of the best tools in the marketing automation suite. It allows you to create campaigns, track, and analyze performance. You can filter results based on audience, location, time duration, cost per click (CPC), conversions, etc.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is a great place to build a community for your product. According to GlobalWebIndex, 54% of internet users use social media for researching products.
Automated social media marketing has completely redefined how businesses talk with their clients. The marketing automation tools keep track of every interaction. You’ll know what the people have to say about your company. Accordingly, you can send a response and plan future communication strategies.
The benefits of marketing automation also includes the system’s capabilities to integrate with many third-party apps. If you use Facebook Ads, you can integrate its API to manage your Facebook Ad Campaigns from the portal.
Landing Page Creation
Landing pages are crucial when you want to generate leads through digital campaigns. According to Omnisend report, Landing pages have the highest conversion rate of 23%.
The quality of your landing page determines whether a prospective customer will enter his details or not. The Landing Page Creation feature of marketing automation suite not only helps you create beautiful landing pages but also capture leads from the same portal.
As marketers realize the importance of landing pages, so do software enablers. Landing page creation tools are already a part of marketing automation software.
There are many templates for landing pages to choose from. You can further enhance its capabilities through SEO, PPC, and digital marketing.
Are you looking for landing page design inspirations for inquiry forms?
Check out this e-book.
What are the Benefits of Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a profitable move for almost every business. Here are some advantages of implementing marketing automation in your processes.
Today, there are several channels of communication. For example, we have Emails, SMS, Phone Calls, Website Chats, WhatsApp, to name some. Moreover, customers have a specific preference for communication channels. While it simplifies communication, it adds to the complexity of managing several channels for marketers.
One of the remarkable benefits of marketing automation is omnichannel communication. Here, within one central system, you can handle communications from multiple channels. Moreover, you can automate certain communication like webinar reminders, offer-ends reminders, to name some.
The business can observe improved accountability in its sales and marketing team due to a defined process and result. For example, you can figure out which campaigns and sources are working for you. You can align your budgets and strategy as per these insights. Moreover, you can identify the bottlenecks and make appropriate amendments.
The simplified process will further ease the process of targeting the audience and will help you focus on creating eye-catching ads. Your sales and marketing teams will have complete accountability for the success of your marketing campaigns.
Marketers spend a lot of time preparing reports, looking for information, and managing emails.
Marketing automation gives you the best way to squeeze more results from the time that you have in hand. Regardless of the size of your team, you can depend on the automation tool to screen your data and give you an opening for an efficient marketing campaign. It also takes care of circulating ads to your target audience.
With automation in place, marketers can collaborate easily. They can also fetch presentable reports from the marketing automation tool dashboards.
Marketers always complain that they don’t have enough time to foster creativity. The problem is valid as they spend a lot of time in managing reports, calculating stats, and not on understanding customers, their likes, and interests.
While automation can take care of quantitative tasks, marketers can spend more time on qualitative work. When you apply automation to your marketing needs, the tool will take care of circulation and campaign. It will allow your team to focus on the creative part of the job and invest more time in drafting engaging content and creative copies.
What’s better? Creating a perfect campaign in a week and converting a hundred leads, or creating “just a campaign” in three days and converting hardly any leads?
The matter of fact is – marketing automation can speed up your time-to-market, and at the same time, improve the quality of deliverables. And on top of that, you can prioritize follow up with your leads. Thus, your marketing team can focus on other pressing matters at hand.
With improved quality, you’ll notice an increase in customer lifetime value. And all of these will lead to an increased ROI.
What to consider before buying an automation tool?
There are hundreds of marketing automation tools in the market. Before we wrap up, I’ll quickly highlight the points that you should consider before buying a marketing automation tool.
First, list down your marketing challenges. Then talk to every stakeholder – from designers to writers and Ads Managers about the difficulties they face.
After this, evaluate the marketing automation software based on its features and whether you can extract value from it. It should make your process more efficient, and at the same time, the interface should be easy to use.
There are different pricing models for marketing automation tools. Some vendors may charge you based on features you want to want to use, while some may have a fixed price for it. Also, many vendors may charge you based on the number of users, the number of leads you can manage within the system, and the number of emails/SMS you can send within a prescribed period.
My suggestion would be to go for SaaS Marketing Automation tools. SaaS is on-demand availability of service. There’s no installation or set-up cost associated (unless you have any specific requirements). Moreover, you can pay for the subscription annually/monthly. If you’re not satisfied with the product, you can unsubscribe anytime without any expense.
It is an essential factor to consider. You should be able to integrate your marketing automation software with other third-party apps and services. Enterprises also use CRM for managing sales leads.
The leads generated through marketing can go to the sales funnel directly if you integrate your marketing tools with your CRM.
Training and Set-up
Apart from considering the benefits of marketing automation, you should also consider whether the vendor has adequate support staff and training in place. Although marketers might be already familiar with these tools, refresher training always helps.
Thus, you can evaluate your vendor on the basis of this parameter as well.
The modern marketing requires new capabilities to meet the demands of new-age consumers. Operations are at the core of marketing automation. McKinsey reports that by automating marketing operations, companies were able to see a 15-25% improvement in their ROI.
The benefits of marketing automation extend to campaign management, email marketing, inbound marketing, mobile marketing, social media marketing, lead nurturing and scoring, and reporting & analytics.
If you’re looking for marketing automation tools for your business, we have just the right suite for you!