What is Marketing Automation?
Hubspot offers a great explanation: “At its best, marketing automation is software and tactics that allow companies to buy and sell like Amazon — that is, to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers.”
In other words, marketing automation helps us marketers target our communications to prospects and customers through the set up and management of automatic emails based on actions and behaviors. Tracking the activities of these individuals enables us to send the right message at the right time. Studies show that reaching out to a prospect within the first hour of activity increases the likelihood that he or she will be converted into a lead by 700%. The benefits of these systems include: building customer relationships, generating leads, growing sales, and boosting ROI.
How Does it Work?
Although it may be difficult to understand in this short blog post, the implementation of marketing automation is fairly simple. It is the endless possibilities of these systems that can start to overwhelm its users.
All in all, marketing automation will send emails, then track where contacts traveled through the website, score this behavior and automatically send follow-up emails based on activity. It will produce analytics for every step through the sales funnel, allowing the savvy marketer to optimize the entire process. Marketing automation systems make processes that would otherwise have been done manually much more efficient and automatic – hence the term “marketing automation”.
What are the Benefits?
These systems provide tracking tools that allow us to trace marketing spends directly to transactions made by customers. By comparing these transactions to campaign costs, we are able to share the return on investment (ROI) with our clients. This indicates what is and what is not working, which gives us a better idea of where to focus our efforts.
A reliable way to rate ROI is by linking with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, such as Salesforce. Most marketing automation systems will offer this integration feature. Once the two systems are connected, we are then able to see how marketing is influencing the pipeline, also known as the sales process. This tracking information is then passed over to the client’s sales team to close deals and individually reach out to customers, as needed.
Marketing In Color’s Action
Marketing In Color recently invested in a sophisticated marketing automation system to benefit our clients. The system enables us to gain more and more information about our clients’ customers, so we can create additional drip campaigns for highly targeted segments. From there, we’re able to segment the pipeline and address each with a specific drip campaign to lead to higher conversions and more revenue for our clients.
The beauty of marketing automation is that once the system is in place, marketers can continuously improve and multiply their marketing efforts. In the end, we all want customized email marketing like Amazon, but this can’t be rushed. The key to marketing automation is to start simple, while keeping your client’s goals in mind. Once you master the basics, you can develop more sophisticated communications. Everything else will fall into place… automatically.