Marketing Automation is an incredibly powerful tool to build and grow a successful business. It has also, unfortunately, become a buzzword, and everyone is talking about it without really understanding it, or understanding the role that it plays in a comprehensive brand strategy. Let’s clear up some of the misconceptions about marketing automation.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation isn’t just software. It’s also a set of processes and procedures that use the software to automate many business functions. With it, businesses can more accurately segment and target leads, deliver personalized content and communications, provide high-quality service and support, streamline scheduling and deliver marketing materials, and quickly analyze the results. True to its name, it automates many tasks that once were done manually by marketing staff, including delivering marketing messages and content that are targeted, customized, and personalized to the customer’s role in the buyer’s journey.
As such, it’s best understood as a tactical tool; your marketing team needs to understand when to best deploy automation and why it works for specific scenarios, and the role it plays in the overall marketing and brand strategy.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation provides a number of crucial advantages including:
- Eliminating repetitive tasks. By automating marketing tasks and processes, the staff is freed to spend time on more high-value tasks. Automation also reduces errors and redundancies over manual processes, so that repetitive tasks get done on time, every time, with fewer mistakes.
- Improve segmentation. Marketing Automation can automatically track a wide range of indicators for a much more accurate lead scoring and segmentation so that your marketing efforts are spent on customers more likely to convert.
- Improve personalization and customization. There is no doubt that personalization simply converts more leads. In fact, behavioral targeting boosts email revenue by 8%, real-time targeting with business-context data improves sales by 13%, and personalization driven by machine learning delivers a 21% increase in conversions.
Myths about Marketing Automation
With everyone jumping on board the Marketing Automation bandwagon, it’s important to clear up some of these common myths:
Myth: It is only good for email marketing.
Fact: Marketing Automation is great for email. It’s also great for social media, landing pages, CRM management, and more. In fact, Marketing Automation, once adopted, should be deployed throughout the customer journey, anywhere it’s appropriate, in order to gather the most useful, relevant data that will support analysis.
Myth: It allows marketing staff to be lazy.
Fact: Marketing Automation allows marketing staff to be more efficient, and spend time on high-value tasks and initiatives. With a staggering 52% of companies now using in-house, as well as outsourced marketing resources, marketing teams are being tasked with doing more than ever. Automation streamlines processes, eliminates redundancies, and improves accuracy, so staff can focus on analysis, strategy, and use human intelligence to drive KPIs.
Myth: Marketing Automation is set-it-and-forget-it.
The biggest myth about Marketing Automation is that it’s a one-time implementation. Like ALL marketing endeavors, it requires constant analysis, synthesis, and revision as you constantly learn more about what your leads and customers need and the kind of content they respond to. Marketing Automation isn’t a system that runs in the background: it is the engine that directly connects your customers to your brand, and is only effective when it’s part of a comprehensive marketing strategy that responds, engages, and connects with your customers and leads. A neglected Marketing Automation system doesn’t generate sales; it generates spam.
To learn more about Marketing Automation, and find out how it can work to intelligently grow your business and enhance your brand, contact us for more information.