Should we be using Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is one of the new buzz terms in the marketing industry and there are plenty of people infatuated with the concept. However, that doesn’t mean that it is the best choice for every business. As a top web development company, we wanted to share our thoughts on the matter so that you can better answer the question, should we be using Marketing Automation?
What exactly is it?
Marketing automation describes technology designed to more effectively market on multiple channels online by automating repetitive tasks. They have become more popular for marketing departments and organizations as platforms have become more sophisticated enabling users to more easily plan, coordinate, manage and measure campaigns.
Both B2B and B2C organizations use marketing automation for lead generation, lead nurturing, segmentation, customer retention and more.
The reason that the concept has become more popular has to do with scaling a business combined with the increasing number of marketing channels available. By combining a central database of marketing data with both a marketing engine and analytics engine you are leveraging a one-stop-shop approach to dealing with online marketing.
The common features you will find with Marketing Automation are:
- Email marketing
- Social marketing
- Campaign management
- Lead management
- Marketing analytics
- Landing pages
- Predication and scoring
- CRM management
The primary benefits noted by companies in surveys has been a bigger pipeline, higher efficiency from sales representatives, and increased revenues.
You can target customers with various automated messages across platforms such as email, social, web, and even text. Messages and delivery functions can be customized to fit most needs and campaigns. By using automation in this manner, employees aren’t using valuable time on repetitive tasks leaving them free for more critical issues. Additionally, the use of automation reduces the chance of human error.
This type of automation is also very useful for building databases of information on individual customers which can then be used in numerous ways. Customer interactions can be tailored so each instance funnels a user along their journey.
What won’t it do?
To be clear, marketing automation is not going to solve every problem or issue your business faces. Specifically, it won’t:
- Provide results without effort – Some people mistakenly think that this concept is plug and play where you flip a switch then sit back waiting for results. You still need a marketing strategy, a strategy for gaining new leads, you have to deal with database decay, and you have to avoid sending spammy, irrelevant messages.
- Provide lead generation – To be clear, marketing automation affects the middle of your sales funnels more than the top or bottom. For maximum effectiveness, you still need a steady flow of leads. While it will get more out of the existing customer base, strong lead generation will still be needed.
Worth noting is that ideally, marketing automation should not be your only marketing strategy. It should coincide with a strong plan so that it is automating processes and also accelerating the buying journey through each touchpoint, not just systematizing the exact same tasks being done now.
Should we use it?
The answer to this question will vary from business to business as each company is unique and often in a different place when it comes to needs. With that being said, here are some questions to ask yourself to decide if investing in marketing automation makes sense for your business:
- Is your business regularly generating both new and qualified leads?
- Is the sales force dazed with the number of leads they have so that they aren’t able to devote enough time to work those leads?
- Do you have an existing lead nurturing strategy that is proven and ready to scale?
- Is there an effective content strategy in place for the buyer’s journey?
If you have answered yes to some or all of these questions, then marketing automation makes sense as an option to explore for your business.
The bottom line
The bottom line is that marketing automation is a fantastic tool to have available. But not every tool is going to fix every problem or even be useful in every situation. After reading this article you should have a better understanding of what this tool can provide your business and if you should be using marketing automation or at least looking into the available platforms to see what services they provide at what price point.
Be sure to check back every week for great new Lounge Lizard blog articles.