Take one look at your to-do list and the benefits of marketing automation will clearly speak for themselves. In the simplest of terms, marketing automation is software that automates routine, manual tasks and processes with the intent of improving efficiency.
While there are many benefits of marketing automation, there are also some key points you need to keep in mind in order to take full advantage of whatever tool you use. Keep reading to see how marketing automation can help make your life a little easier.
The benefits of marketing automation for your business
When considering any tool it’s good to know how and why it will help. There are many benefits of marketing automation, but we’ll stick to the biggest wins.
Time and money savings.
Since the purpose of marketing automation is to reduce (if not eliminate) the number of tasks you perform manually, increased productivity is an automatic win. (Pun intended.)
Sure, a member of your team could personally craft and send an email to each person who downloads one of your content offers. However, since the core of your message will be the same to each recipient (less the personalized touches), save time by creating one email that is triggered to send when the content piece is downloaded.
Need another example? Think about the steps required to update your CRM, like status changes from MQL to SQL based on engagement level. This process can also be automated. Marketing automation saves time from repeated routine tasks, and that means money you can better allocate to larger projects and resources.
Email is the most common use of marketing automation, but there are so many more ways it can be used. Such as:
- Retargeting campaigns
- Lead nurturing
- Relationship management
- CRM management
- Lead scoring
- Social media
You’re really only limited by your creativity and functionality of the specific tool you use. The more tasks and processes you can automate, the more benefits of marketing automation you will gain.
Customer experience improvements.
If you weren’t ready to sign up after the time and money savings benefit, this one will help. Creating a great customer experience should be your goal at every touchpoint, whether online or in person. Marketing automation helps by allowing you to send personalized information when your customers want it, with what they want to know.
Most businesses have more than one target customer. This means that not all content is applicable to all of your audiences. A business owner has different questions and challenges than a purchasing manager. And both of these have different needs from the actual user of your product or service. Based on the content they are engaging with, send each customer type different information that was created with their unique traits in mind.
Seamless transition between marketing and sales.
By now sales and marketing know that to be successful, they need to function as a joint team and not in exclusive silos. Among the benefits of marketing automation is the ability to seamlessly transition contact information between these two groups.
As we mentioned above, marketing can create customized messages with targeted content delivered at a comfortable pace that nurtures your leads along in their decision process. At a preset point, that nurtured lead can be delivered to sales with important background information they will need to help close the sale. This is the core of inbound marketing.
Start by determining how you score your leads based on buyer journeys and engagement levels. Once you have your criteria set, you can automate your CRM system to alert sales when a contact has reached your targeted score, indicating it is the ideal time for a personal contact.
Can you hear the collective cheers? Marketing automation helps marketing deliver strategically crafted content based on sales’ experience and knowledge. And, it delivers nurtured contacts to sales based on marketing’s role in educating your contacts.
Bonus: All this planning for automated content between sales marketing means you gain additional benefits of marketing automation through reduced time to close and a huge reduction (if not elimination) of cold calls.
Marketing automation requires you to clearly define your process of attracting, nurturing and delighting contacts. This is huge benefit. The more you define your sales and marketing processes, the more you can automate and the more you can understand about your leads based on behavior.
You have to establish your process and flow of communication before it can be automated. The best marketing automation campaigns begin with clear goals and plans. This means your marketing team isn’t working in a vacuum, but is taking informed actions to grow your business.
Who doesn’t like an already smart team working even smarter?
If you haven’t picked up on this yet, all of the benefits of marketing automation build on one another. Not only are your defined processes easier to implement, but marketing automation can help you refine your strategies when used as a learning tool. (We told you marketing automation has a lot of applications.)
Here are some examples:
- A/B testing
- Identifying process gaps
- Measuring content effectiveness
- Predictive analysis
The next step is to take some time a look at the routine, manual task and processes you currently have in place. Where you can take advantage of the benefits of marketing automation will quickly be apparent.
Oh, there’s one more benefit we didn’t mention yet! Marketing automation is the perfect tool to use as part of an inbound marketing strategy. If you’re new to inbound marketing download our free guide. It clearly explains what inbound marketing is and what it isn’t; plus how to know if it’s the right option for your company.