Marketing Automation: When is it a Good Idea?

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By Boris Dzhingarov

The developments that modern computer coding has brought to the business world in the last decade have been breathtaking to witness. Silicon Valley has had a 21st century renaissance and moved from changing the planet with computer hardware to shaping our world with algorithms and complex code. These advancements have created many opportunities for businesses, but perhaps the most useful is marketing automation.

Many companies have moved more of their business online and found themselves interacting with customers electronically and relying on website banner ads and marketing emails in order to generate sales. Reaching existing customers and finding new ones in the digital marketplace can be very challenging, and the volume of work it takes to communicate successfully to your client base can overwhelm even the largest of companies. Marketing automation uses software to simplify and streamline many of these tasks and brings your business better results from your marketing budget.

What are the Benefits?

The biggest benefits Marketing Automation has to offer your business is time and reliable data. Implementing a marketing strategy can take an enormous amount of planning and execution but monitoring the results can be difficult to do effectively. Most businesses would hope to see an improvement in sales as evidence of successful marketing or use customer surveys to see if their tactics are working effectively. Marketing automation allows for real-time monitoring of an online marketing campaign, it can give businesses the opportunity to find prospective customers with targeted advertising content to build them into customers, and it offers new tactics to turn a casual customer into a regular client.

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Using Marketing Automation software to help implement, monitor and support targeted marketing strategies has helped countless businesses save themselves time and money by marketing to the right customers in the right ways, and utilizing the data generated to strategize further and grow their client base.

Is it Scalable?

Business of all sizes are gaining an advantage over their competitors by using Marketing automation. There are software solutions available for every type and scale of business, and even Amazon offer automated marketing tools to businesses operating in their Amazon Marketplace, and its Amazon Appstore. Many websites that allow small-scale businesses to operate online have elements of marketing automation built into their platform. The bigger your businesses revenue is, the more customized your marketing automation software will need to be to handle the volume of information. Some companies require a suite of programs to handle the different elements of marketing strategies, usually dividing work between the front and back end of a campaign. This way, while you execute a new advertising push or customer outreach program, you can separately collect and correlate data that is still coming in.

With marketing automation as a part of your business, you can create larger marketing plans without increasing manpower in your marketing department, and if you operate a small business, you can build a marketing strategy as good as any large corporation with a few hours a week on a laptop.

How Does it Work?

Marketing automation software gathers a lot of marketing resources together in one place and has useful marketing tasks and tactics built into it as features. A good example of how it can help streamline marketing duties is with customer outreach through email. The software holds a customer email list, and this can be cross-referenced with sales data in an instant, giving you an email list that you can refine in a number of ways. If you wanted to contact customers who repeatedly spend a lot of money with you with an exclusive offer, the software has now identified your targets for you. The software is able go in the other direction too and contact long-lost customers with a tempting teaser offer to bring them back to the site. Do you want to contact your customers of a particular gender or age group? With profile data from a website, you can now find targets in specific segments of your customer base and show them what you have to offer now.

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The most valuable part comes with the analytic side of the software. Here you can see just how effective your email campaign was, with data showing how many customers opened the email and went on to visit your site and make a purchase. Even if you don’t sell your product online you can still use tactics like this to increase customer engagement and draw walk-in customers to your store with a targeted email campaign.

When is it a Good Idea?

Marketing automation has several useful implementations. It is a great way to test marketing strategy with A/B testing. You can use it to separate your customer database into two groups, using any number of criteria to segment them, and send them different emails to see which is more effective. The data that returns to you can be used to help shape a bigger marketing push you are planning for the future. You can also use it to automate a number of standard customer enquiries from your website about products or orders. This can free up time for your employees to concentrate on their regular responsibilities, increasing your company’s overall productivity. You can also integrate Customer Relations Management into Marketing Automation software so your sales team is better connected to your marketing department, so a customer lead generated from automated marketing can prompt a reaction in your sales department right away.  

Finding a way to stimulate growth in your business can be difficult, but marketing automation has a proven record of helping companies increase the effectiveness of their marketing, and from that comes a growth in sales, making the software one of the most popular investments with businesses of all kinds. Every year, the amount of business conducted online increases, and businesses are seeing the biggest growth through online marketing. Using marketing automation can maximize this growth and build upon it, and bring large-scale marketing resources to smaller companies.

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