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Table of Contents
Marketing automation uses software to automate monotonous marketing tasks. Marketing departments can automate repetitive tasks such as email marketing, social media posts and even advertising campaigns - not only for efficiency, but also to provide a more personalised experience for their customers. The technology behind marketing automation makes these tasks more efficient, faster and easier to complete.
When we look at the general challenges that companies face, we know that generating leads and retaining customers throughout the customer journey are top of the list. In parallel to these goals, companies are confronted with a flood of data that is very valuable, but only if the data is evaluated, classified and interpreted appropriately. Marketing automation software can help overcome these challenges by harnessing the data through the tools.
Most companies view marketing automation as a middle-of-the-funnel tool, ideal for nurturing leads through automated email. And while email marketing is a great use case for marketing automation, this approach can lead to a diminished customer experience with no common thread for prospects and customers. Prospects are pushed through an imaginary sales funnel with random touchpoints and irrelevant content. Instead of responding to individual customer needs, companies serve up the same schema over and over again.
However, automated marketing strategies should be used across the entire customer lifecycle. When marketing automation is thoughtfully integrated, it creates fertile ground for healthy, long-term relationships with customers. When implemented soundly, marketing automation offers three key benefits to a business:
Every action of potential customers is an additional data point for the marketing strategy, because it reveals what customers are looking for, right at the moment when the need is present in the customer. As helpful as this information is, it is impossible to track these behaviours manually. However, with marketing automation software, companies can leverage this data across multiple channels to accurately understand the needs of prospects and deliver the right content at the right time. These workflows help direct qualified prospects to helpful content, resulting in warm leads that can then be carefully converted into customers. Marketing automation doesn't stop there. With the customer at the centre, businesses can further engage these leads with personalised workflows, turning them into loyal and returning customers.
A company needs to create holistic and streamlined processes that put the customer at the centre. Processes need to be developed that work across different functional teams to reduce the burden on the customer at every stage of the journey. Breaking through silos and cross-functional collaboration is required to create a unified customer experience - from first contact through to purchase. With effective marketing automation, there is no longer a need for complicated handover procedures, as everything is automatically stored in a central data repository, and internal workflows help prioritise tasks as needed.
Marketing automation is a combination of software, strategy and customer centricity. It enables the delivery of highly personalised, useful content to potential customers, helping to turn prospects into delighted customers and customers into loyal advocates. To get the most out of marketing automation, companies should embed automation throughout their business to break down silos and unite teams with time-saving processes. The focus needs to be on the customer journey rather than the needs of their own business. Potential touchpoints that benefit from marketing automation need to be analysed. Processes must also be developed to facilitate the customer's journey from touchpoint to touchpoint. Contacts should be organised with a CRM that is integrated with marketing automation software so that each action of the customer is captured as another data point. These data points need to be used to connect customers to the next step of their journey - be it educational content, a sales representative or a customer success check-in. The advantage of marketing automation is that you can apply this approach to thousands of customers at once.
A great marketing automation strategy keeps teams working in sync by prioritising tasks and making handoffs a breeze. Contact records can be managed by the marketing team until the lead is warm and ready to be contacted by sales, at which point automation assigns and notifies the sales person. When the customer buys, all of the customer's previous conversations and actions along the way can be tracked. This is very valuable information that can be used to continuously optimise the customer journey. The process is not only seamless and efficient, but also builds a long-term relationship between the customer and the company.
Marketing automation is not just about what a business can do. It also pays off for your customers by solving common problems that have arisen in the age of digital and omnichannel customers. Customers are inundated with information, making it difficult to find the answers they are looking for. When they do manage to get in touch with a company, they often have a disjointed experience as they have to navigate from team to team, across multiple channels and platforms. Marketing automation can reduce this friction by connecting teams, collecting data in a usable format and prioritising behind-the-scenes tasks.
With marketing automation, companies can define exactly what each customer gets to see. From advertising to email marketing, buyer personas along with behavioural targeting are central to sending only the information that each prospect or customer in the appropriate audience needs. Automation helps businesses focus on what's important, using the data that has already been collected to present the right content at the right time.
Marketing automation helps businesses prioritise tasks and manage leads so that incoming questions can be answered quickly. Plus, with behavioural data stored in your CRM, staff can provide more relevant help without having to search for information first. Customer history allows content to be created based on previous purchases or product-related actions.
Nobody likes to repeat themselves. And that's exactly why marketing automation is so great for customers. Data is captured, stored and used in marketing software so that you can deliver a personalised experience to customers through, for example, pre-filled forms, targeted emails that meet needs and trustworthy customer service. With automation, customers receive the same experience regardless of which channel they are contacted through or where the touchpoint is on the customer journey.