Are You Ready to Get Into Marketing Automation?
As a marketer or in some cases, the one-man team of your business, your life is bound to be hectic. Answering gazillions of emails, having to tend to customers, and toying on some ideas to generate leads do not cover even a quarter of the things that you need to do in the name of growing your business. Thank God we are already living in the digital age and thus, there are tools and technology that should aid us by making some of these tasks simpler. But then, because everybody knows about these tools already, expectations are heightened anew, especially that of customers who feel that their concerns need to be addressed the millisecond they communicate it to a customer service professional.
Such is the double-edged sword that marketing automation entails. The tools and technology mentioned above are part of marketing automation. For example, a website visitor setting up an account in your website gets to use your website and take advantage of your products of services immediately after successfully setting up that account. No need to visit your office! No need to email (or fax if you are stuck in the 1990s) membership forms! Everything is automatic!
But as mentioned earlier, the extensive use of marketing automation technology has also spoiled all of us in the worst way possible. We get paranoid if we don’t receive a confirmation email of the purchase we finished 10 seconds ago. Were we duped? Did we visit a scam online shopping site? If we keep on hitting the unsubscribe button to an email, we don’t want to receive anymore, why do we still keep on receiving emails from the same company? Has our email been hacked?
As a marketer, you need expert degree knowledge of marketing automation. After all, these tools are available to compliment your current marketing efforts.
The pros of marketing automation
With marketing automation, we save time. tedious tasks we try to avoid as marketers get done efficiently. This is especially true in gathering information on leads. Moreover, with marketing automation, we get to take care of those leads en masse while still making each and every lead feel as though we’ve personalized our customer care efforts.
Marketing automation makes it possible to improve your marketing. You can create several processes that allow you to pinpoint and develop your leads. The software has the capability to enable you to visualize the process sequence and adapt it where necessary to make it more efficient.
The forms of marketing automation
Marketing automation comes in many forms. There’s the most common form, email marketing automation which removes routine tasks such as welcoming new customers (hi, thank you for creating an account on our website), purchase confirmation (you’ve bought five flower arrangements charged to your credit card), and re-engagement (hey, we missed you on our website for months, come visit us!) away from your to-do list as a marketer. There’s also social media marketing automation, which marketers can use in a variety of tasks, from scheduling the release of content in their company’s social media assets to giving automatic responses to users engaging with their chatbot after office hours. There’s also advertising automation, which tails (or for lack of a better term, stalks) web users into reminding them of things they have searched on websites by releasing ads of those things in the new websites the stalked user has visited. There’s also mobile marketing automation where customers receive SMS blasts in public places to “inform” them of sales and promotions near them. Finally, there’s CRM automation that is heaven-sent for marketers as if practically does what marketers are supposed to do manually – from scoring leads to sending information of these prospects to the sales team.
A good CRM program will aggregate customer data in one convenient space (often referred to as the dashboard). Marketing team members can quickly access relevant customer data such as email addresses, phone numbers, location and other demographics. They can also see where a specific lead is currently at in the sales funnel, which allows the marketer to send out relevant marketing materials to guide that lead to conversion.
Should small businesses get into marketing automation?
Alas, the question for SME owners. Marketing automation that is done right unfortunately doesn’t come cheap. If you have the budget, go ahead. If you don’t, it is best you save up for it. Do not dabble into those free versions of marketing automation software that might do more harm than good for your business.
A marketing automation software is not only going to house your contacts in an organized fashion, but will also let you move them through the sales pipeline, from lead to customer. With a software like this, the process can be automated– the contact can be moving from stage to stage based on their clicking and opening behavior, you only need to be alerted when they have become a “hot” lead or opportunity so that you can follow up with them.
For more information on how you can make marketing automation work for you, get in touch with us.