Marketing automation – it’s one of those marketing buzzwords circling the web and board rooms. In fact, 70% of marketers say that converting leads is their top priority and marketing automation helps them achieve those goals, with 64% of marketers claiming they saw the benefits of using marketing automation within the first six months of implementation. So, what‘s the secret behind marketing automation and how is it beneficial for businesses? Read on to find out.
What Is Marketing Automation?
HubSpot says that marketing automation allows companies to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers. Marketing automation is used to make repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions, more effective without compromising the authenticity of the content you’re producing. For the majority of companies, the ultimate goal of digital marketing is to generate more revenue for the company, accomplishing this by driving traffic to the website, converting that traffic into leads, and closing the loop by turning those leads into customers. Where marketing automation comes into play is the convert and close stages of the process through actions that nurture relationships and guide the modern-day buyer through the buyer’s journey.
How Does this Work Anyway?
According to former HubSpot CMO, Mike Vlope, “The connection between a buyer and a brand is not a single transaction, it’s a long-term relationship.” Marketing automation helps to foster that long-term connection through a series of relationship-building actions according to the specific activities that a user performs on your website. For example, if a user comes to your website and downloads a worksheet from your homepage or an eBook from your blog, this would trigger an email to the user providing them with additional content and resources related to their initial action that they might find of value.
The goal behind these triggered actions is to help drive the user further down the funnel of their buying process in a way that feels natural and authentic, not forceful. The quickest way to get rid of prospective customers is to bombard them with advertisements and pop-ups screaming “Sign up Today” or “Buy Now!”. Once you learn the difference between helpful and overbearing, through tracking these actions, marketers can better qualify leads and streamline the sales process in a way that drives better results.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing Automation
Now that marketing automation isn’t just another buzzword and as you consider possibly adopting the technology into your digital marketing strategy, we wanted to give you a few tips on what you should and should not be doing:
- DON’T just automate your current process without revisiting your goals. Don’t fall victim to executing strategies that you know don’t make sense for your customers or prospects and fall back into bad habits of not listening to them first.
- DON’T forget about your current customers. Too many companies are focused on generating new revenue, that they forget about their recurring, loyal customers. So keep them that way by showing them you care about your relationship with them.
- DON’T just blast your entire customer base with the same generic message. Doing this is a one-way ticket to getting your emails or messages deleted or marked as spam because they’re not relevant enough.
- DO integrate marketing automation with your inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is about providing valuable content to your customers that aligns with their pain points and interests, and marketing automation can enhance this communication as you provide the content they need, when they need it because the customer is driving the interaction.
- DO send highly-targeted and specific content to niche audiences. Put yourself in your customer’s’ shoes and provide them the content they are looking for.
- DO set up customer engagement campaigns to keep your current customers happy. Keep these relationships fresh and strong by sending segmented, customer-only content that will education and encourage your customers to continue with your company through thought leadership and industry knowledge.
Automation is Not Robotic
Recently, marketing automation has gotten a poor reputation of being impersonal, spammy, or even lazy, but it all comes down to execution. When performed correctly, mindfully, and with a motivation to put the needs of your prospective and current customers first, marketing automation is an effective way to free up your resources while also reaching buyers in a way that is personalized, relevant, and helpful.
If you would like to know more about how marketing automation works, how to incorporate it into your inbound marketing strategy, or simply how to reach more customers at the right place at the right time, please contact us!