Automated marketing has seen much growth over the past few short years and is establishing itself as a necessity as industries grow and the consumer market swells. Automation has been present in business as far back as the industrial revolution, when Henry Ford introduced manufacturing automation at Ford. Since its introduction, automation has increased the speed at which things are done, whether manufacturing or otherwise, and has changed what was not yet possible without it.
In Mr Ford’s era, those businesses who chose to take advantage of automation flourished, while those who did not, merely fell by the wayside. Marketing and technology have formed a strong collaboration, leaping forward in the evolutionary trend of automation. The growth of automated marketing over the past few years has been astonishing, with resounding success and results.
What is Marketing Automation?
To put it simply, marketing automation is software that is designed to help with the streamlining of your marketing process, by helping you prioritise and execute your marketing tasks more efficiently and effectively. Marketing automation has been designed to save you and your team time, without compromising your marketing content. The ultimate goal of marketing automation is to generate increased sales revenue while simultaneously building and nurturing relationships with your prospects and customers.
From driving traffic to your website, to generating leads, and eventually, to closing those leads, an automated marketing process is your hand-in-hand partner throughout this entire process. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why companies are investing in marketing automation software.
1) Website Hits and Lead Generation
Automated marketing has been designed with the ultimate purpose of generating interest in your company and its offering. The goal is to drive traffic to your website so that people can view your company and what it has to offer. They will then hopefully, become leads for the start of your marketing and sales processes and campaigns. From leads, prospects are nurtured down the sales or marketing funnel, automation is fulfilling its purpose of boosting sales revenues, and further growing your company.
2) The Nurturing Process
Due to the long-term sales and buying cycles, the establishment and maintenance of long-term relationships with potential leads and existing customers are paramount to your business’s future success. The marketing automation function enables the automatic sending of tailored emails to prospects and customers, in-line with your marketing plan.
Each email’s content is tailored according to the recipient’s engagement with the emails. Evidence has shown that automation induces higher conversion rates, increased sales value and order sizes, and has helped achieve sales separate from the norm. Automation is another fantastic tool to guide prospects and customers while they are conducting their own research.
3) The Personalisation of Marketing
Marketing automation creates a space that allows you to personalise your marketing with consumers. Greeting them by name when they return to your website will make a customer feel noticed and that they matter. Content is tailored according to their browsing history on your website and past purchases. Through information gathered via CTA’s and sign-up pages for your contacts list, to tailoring what first-time visitors see different to that seen by returning visitors and differences for those in other countries, gently guiding your prospects and customers to where you want to take them.
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4) Tracking and Analytical Functionality
These multi-purpose functions are amazing tools for the contribution of specific information regarding your website’s success, and following customer’s actions as they move through your marketing web. Automation allows you, not only, to track how many people have visited your website, but how long each visitor stayed on each page they visited. This enables you to create exceptionally specific content that is tailored to your prospects or customers specific needs, based on their actions. The tracking and analytical functions further allow for the tracking of visitors action they took whilst on your website, for example, CTA’s and clicked hyperlinks. Learn more about effective CTA's today - Four Tips for Developing Effective Call to Action Buttons.
5) Linking of Sales and Marketing Information
Linking all of the information gathered through the automation of your marketing processes will better aid in the serving and nurturing of prospects and customers. Information gathered through marketing efforts are then linked with your customer-relationship management (CRM) system, incorporating all sales quotes, email responses, phone calls, and meetings. All this information coupled with the analytics provided by the automation software, will give your company a better integrated total sales and marketing package, functioning as one unit rather than independent entities.
Can you afford not to automate your business?
So what is automation to you, and your business? It is the evolution of the way that business is being achieved. Transforming marketing practices into a more efficient and effective machine that has proven to produce positive results consistently. Naturally the implementation of an automated system must be done with the right tactics and relevant marketing strategy, and must be used effectively. Although marketing will always contain within it a strong human element, most parts of your marketing can now be put on autopilot, allowing you to do more, with less. Finally affording you the ability to easily gather data on everything around interactions between your business and its clientele, turning your marketing more into a science than a guessing game, enabling better sales results, and anchoring your business’s future success. If you're in the B2B industry here is a great article - How To Increase B2B Lead Generation With Marketing Automation.