Marketing Automation – firing with the big guns

Tuesday 10th, May 2016

Picture this – you want a book and you log onto Amazon.com. The minute you search for Jane Eyre, Amazon gives you a list of other books, telling you that these are books that “customers who bought this also bought” those. As if that was not enough, there is another smaller list under the header “What Other Items Do Customers Buy after Viewing This Item?”

The minute you check one product out, Amazon makes recommendations based on your interest. The next time you get on Amazon, there is a list of products on the homepage that it displays saying that these are “related to items you have viewed” and “inspired by your shopping trends” along with “More top picks for you” and “more items to consider” .. It doesn’t end here… there are more recommendations! This kind of useful and highly personalized marketing is not something that someone does manually.

This is one of the finest examples of marketing automation (and Amazon’s home-grown algorithm, of course!).

But you see what the kind of thing that marketing automation can do?

So what is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is the process of automating marketing using software that can automate several activities that are repetitive – for example email marketing.  Or maybe updates on Social Media. Or upsell or cross-sell like Amazon. Marketing automation automates marketing processes.

Marketing is not just about trying to find and lure new customers. It is also the process of nurturing and taking care of your existing customers, and keeping them happy. Marketing Automation goes a long way in making this process easier. With software you can automate the processes like emailing new customers to welcome them or emailing your followers each time you post a blog.

Hubspot defines Marketing Automation like this – “At its best, marketing automation is software and tactics that allow companies to buy and sell like Amazon – that is, to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers. This type of marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for companies, and provides an excellent return on the investment required”

Advantages of Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation does a lot more than just automate the process of email marketing.  It makes it easy for a business to engage with and communicate with its customers by helping them send highly personalized targeted messages to them. The software even helps a business gather data about its customers which will be useful in sending customized communication to them – making relevant offers, etc.

  1. It is a simple tool – with easy templates and simple guides, that anyone who is even a non-techie, can operate with ease. You do not need to be someone with coding and technology expertise in order to run one of these tools.
  2. It can automate your entire email marketing process – you can just schedule it and forget about it. And the right content which has been pre-determined earlier, will be sent to the right people at the right time.
  3. And when you have landing pages, it tracks and evaluates them as well. It tells you how well they are performing and if they are optimized for search engines. It will tell you what designs are effective – what layout works. And it is the same for blogs as well – it can track the performance of blogs and see how well they are doing.
  4. It helps a business save time and resources – if you want to automate tweeting, you could write all the tweets in one day, for a whole month and set up the marketing automation tool to post right through the month for you. Marketing Automation lets you build campaigns and write posts ahead of time, and lets you schedule them for a future time.
  5. It reduces lead time – you can co-ordinate, schedule, launch and measure campaigns easily – regardless of whether they are simple or complex tasks, regardless of whether it involves the managing of one task or multiple tasks.
  6. You can run multiple campaigns on multiple platforms – and be seen by your customers on various channels as a robust and lively entity that engages with its customers, right where they are!
  7. Since it gives you the flexibility to be on various platforms, it gives your customers the freedom to connect with you in a channel of their choice and convenience.
  8. Being present on various channels increases your visibility and helps you attract new customers.
  9. The tool helps you engage with your new customers in a way that makes it meaningful to them and easy on you. If for instance a new customer comes to your website for the first time and signs up, automatically a welcome message or a newsletter can go out to him.
  10. Marketing automation helps you to optimize your campaigns. You can test a campaign before running it. And while a campaign is running, you can track it so you can quickly change what doesn’t work so it works better!
  11. It helps you to be regular and on time. Once you schedule a task – like a Facebook post or an email, it will be sent. It helps you appear as a consistent and a reliable entity.
  12. It keeps track of your Social Media channels – you can schedule publishing, get notified when there is a need for responses from the business, “listen”, prospect and do all kinds of analyses using these tools.
  13. The tool is remarkable in that it helps you connect with each of your customers in a relevant manner. For example, it can sort out the list of customers that you have, and find maybe those who have just bought a motorbike. It will let you send them offers that would interest them, like maybe two-wheeler insurance, for example.
  14. It is possible to reach a wider audience than ever before, using these tools. The database can grow and so can the target audience.
  15. Automating some aspects of marketing like this, frees you up to focus on more important tasks that need your attention.
  16. You can even streamline SEO tasks with these tools – and make sure that web pages and blogs, etc. are all optimized for Search Engines.
  17. It doesn’t need many people to manage your campaigns. Cuts manpower and costs.
  18. The marketing automation tool is capable of generating reports – it will give you detailed information to tell you how each Facebook post or email message you sent out is doing. Will give you enough data to help you tweak and optimize future campaigns.
  19. It generates data about your customers and helps you get to know them better. Every purchase is tracked. You can tell how he responds to your email communication – whether he opens the email or not. If he has expressed any preferences, then that too will help build a robust image of each customer. It can track what products the customer is interested in – and the business can tailor offers to him, based on that!
  20. If there are any anonymous visitors to your website, it can track them and uncover location information.

Personalization is possible thanks to Marketing Automation. By studying the behavior of customers, you can personalize offers or landing pages or emails that are sent to them. This is a huge benefit that this brings.

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