Once viewed as a “nice to have,” marketing automation has today become an essential. Integrating it can have an impact on every part of the sales funnel, from lead nurturing through to up-selling. The right use of marketing automation represents a simple way to create a competitive advantage, to better target new customers and to improve the service that existing customers receive.
What does marketing automation involve?
At its most straightforward, it is organising and automating simple and repetitive marketing tasks. Marketing automation enables technology, such as a CRM, to replace manual processes at various points throughout the sales journey, from generating and nurturing leads at the very start through to converting leads to customers and then supporting and developing those relationships. Some of the key marketing processes that benefit from automation include lead scoring, multi channel marketing, social media and customer interaction.
The business advantages provided by marketing automation
A more cost efficient process
Marketing automation can contribute to cost reduction and also allow a small business to effectively compete with a much larger organisation. For example, lead nurturing campaigns that are automatically triggered mean that technology can efficiently and cost effectively do some of the same valuable work of a large marketing team.
Better ROI from sales activity
There are many different ways in which marketing automation can play a role in increasing revenue and improving customer lifetime value, from better lead management to automating cross-selling.
More effective use of time
Integrating marketing automation speeds up repetitive processes, enabling more tasks to be completed in less time. Even businesses with limited resources can achieve more with the support of marketing automation.
Aligning sales and marketing departments
The use of marketing automation means greater visibility for the entire business into sales pipelines and funnels. This creates essential overall perspective that can be fed into a clear business-wide strategy that is informed by reliable data from across the company. Use of marketing automation can highlight where issues are arising, for example a lack of lead conversion, allowing sales and marketing teams to adjust to better support each other – and achieve desired results.
Accountability and insight
Marketing automation makes it possible to track results and identify where processes are succeeding or failing. This provides the basis for creating a crucial business advantage, as lines of accountability are crystal clear and small changes to processes can be tracked and analysed to identify how goals can be better reached. The end result is that bottlenecks and roadblocks within the business are lifted and progress significantly improved.
Creating space for creativity
Repetitive manual processes don’t leave much room for staff to add value in creativity terms. When those processes are automated, more opportunities for innovation and evolution arise.
Today, a CRM is essential for effective marketing automation. No matter how complex your marketing needs, with the right CRM and automation in place, it’s possible to significantly improve the way campaigns are delivered, as well as the results that they achieve.