A more automated approach to marketing is now considered a necessity rather than a luxury
Marketing Automation is a term that refers to the process of organising and automating repetitive tasks within a marketing department. The goal of Marketing Automation is to provide powerful, personalised marketing material to the customer base at the right time, resulting in a simplified and highly effective sales process. When implemented properly a Marketing Automation strategy will allow companies to conduct a thorough, end to end marketing process which involves:
- Generating and nurturing high quality leads
- Converting these prospects into customers
- Satisfying and up-selling to these customers
- Performing analysis and detailed reporting on the process
- Perfecting the process, ensuring maximum ROI
Marketing Automation is usually considered an integral part of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy/solution. The cornerstone of CRM is taking complex strands of data and streamlining them into an efficient and productive strategy which is precisely what Marketing Automation consists of. For larger organisations to target customers effectively, as well as providing excellent service to existing clients, Automated CRM is essential to avoiding missed opportunities. A CRM platform will typically automate the following processes:
- Lead Nurturing
- Lead Scoring
- Multi Channel Marketing
- Customer Interaction
Due to the emergence of social media Marketing Automation is increasingly considered a necessity rather than a luxury for modern marketing departments. There are however several difficulties when implementing a successful process. Most problems arrive from a fundamental misunderstanding of the three basic stages of marketing automation:
- Establishing contacts
- Marketing to them
- Bringing them into the database
- Problems arise when companies try to cut corners with the process by buying an unsuitable list, sending out untargeted or unsuitable marketing correspondence and then wondering why they have received no fresh leads from the campaign. In order for Marketing Automation to be successful there needs to be a clear strategy.
As well as providing a more successful approach to marketing and improving Customer Relationship Management, a successful Marketing Automation platform can also help align sales and marketing departments and provide a clearer company-wide strategy. Marketing Automation increases visibility across all departmental channels and gives everyone involved a better understanding of Sales pipelines and funnels. Due to the nature of Automation the quality and quantity of sales leads can be adjusted by marketing to suit sales requirements.
Whilst the key factor in implementing a Marketing Automation programme is increased efficiency this alone is not sufficient. Without the ability to track results and establish what has succeeded and what has failed this is merely guess work. Fortunately a further key benefit to Marketing Automation is a significantly improved degree of insight. By turning sales and marketing strategies into an automated production line it becomes simple to ascertain what is working and what isn’t. Making small adjustments to the process can have a big impact later down the line and dispels the myth of marketing being a costly department and makes the entire process accountable.
Marketing Automation is the process of automating repetitive tasks within the marketing department
The main aims of implement a Marketing Automation strategy are too improve marketing communications, streamline customer interaction and improve the overall marketing structure of an organisation
A successful strategy will also align sales and marketing departments, reduce operating costs and providing a better insight to sales funnels and pipelines
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