Marketing automation helps marketers streamline their lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing and lead scoring, customer lifecycle marketing, cross-sell and up-sell, customer retention, and marketing ROI measurement.
Most automation systems consist of the following:
A central marketing database:
A place for all your marketing data, including detailed prospect and customer interactions and behaviors, so you can segment and target the right message to each customer. Think of this as “system of record” for all your marketing information.
An engagement marketing engine:
An environment for the creation, management and automation of marketing processes and conversations across online and offline channels. Think of this as the “orchestra conductor” for your customer interactions.
An analytics engine:
A way to test, measure, and optimize marketing ROI and impact on revenue. Think of this as the place you go to understand what worked, what didn’t, and where you can improve.
Automation software is designed to help you prioritize and execute your marketing tasks in a more streamlined and efficient way. It will free up some of your time, while not compromising the authenticity of the content you’re producing. And it will help you reach your goals faster.
The ultimate goal with your marketing is to generate more revenue for your company. To accomplish this, you need to drive traffic to your website, convert that traffic into leads and close those leads into customers. Marketing automation really makes an impact on the conversion and closure stages of the marketing process.
The Dos and Don’ts of Marketing Automation
Don’t just automate your current process without revisiting your goals
Because marketing automation can make our lives easier as marketers, for many of us, the first step when integrating this into our strategy is to just automate everything. While this very well might be the right way to go, take a moment to revisit your goals before you get started.
The point here is that we don’t want to let marketing automation lead us to execute strategies that we know don’t make sense for our customers or prospects. We don’t want to slide back into our bad habits and stop listening to what our customers need or are asking us for.
DO integrate marketing automation with your inbound marketing strategy
Inbound is about providing valuable content that aligns with your customers needs and interests. This should not change if you start using marketing automation. In fact, it should enhance the communication, as you can provide the content they need at the exact time that they need it.
DON’T just blast or broadcast general messages
With marketing automation, there is no need to send a general, broad message to your entire contact list that will end up getting deleted or marked as spam because it’s not relevant.
DO send highly-targeted and specific content to a narrowed audience
Provide the content that people are looking for. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes for a moment. Say that you’ve engaged with a company; maybe you’ve downloaded a piece of their content and really loved what you read. The next email you get is for a completely different topic that has nothing to do with what you just read. Wouldn’t it be more impactful if you received an email that continued to dive further into the topic that you are interested in? You’d be much more likely to buy from that company since they’re answering your questions, wouldn’t you? With marketing automation, you can do exactly this.
DON’T forget about your customers
Selling new business and closing contracts is hard work. So many companies are focused on generating new revenue, that they forget about their current customers: The group of people that already have an affinity for what they are selling, and most likely want to buy more.
DO set up customer engagement campaigns to keep your current customers happy and coming back for more
it’s much easier to sell to someone that has purchased from you before. Keeping your customers engaged with content marketing is an essential piece of growing your company. Nurture those relationships by sending segmented, customer-only content, that will educate and encourage them to continue to come back to your company for thought leadership and expertise.