Everyone is asking, ‘what is marketing automation?’. Marketing automation is the process of streamlining marketing campaigns and making them more efficient. With marketing automation, you can manage every detail of each campaign through a single software platform. A marketing automation platform will allow you to manage your company’s social media, email campaigns, digital advertising, mobile communications, and more. Such software doesn’t only allow you to manage all of your marketing in one place; it also allows you to automate repetitive tasks, such as managing email campaigns and posting to social media. Marketing automation makes your marketing team more effective and efficient, freeing up time for other work. Of course, there’s more to it, but the primary objective of marketing automation is to streamline the customer journey so that, ultimately, you can improve your ROI.
Helping Teams Through Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is easily the best way to deliver useful content to a select audience rather than serving content and adverts to just everyone. This content teaches your potential customers about the products and services you offer. Their initial interest will be rewarded with helpful information to help lead them through the sales funnel as your marketing campaigns keep them engaged. You can deliver content in various forms over various platforms to meet your customers and potential customers where they are most comfortable.
As your potential customers continue to engage with your content, they will progress through the sales funnel to the next stage of your marketing journey, where they may become leads. The funnel narrows as the users interact with specific content and products over other content. Through marketing automation, you can ensure these users receive messaging which is more tailored to their interests and needs. If they don’t continue to get the content they want, you will lose your potential customer. This clever targeting ensures users are getting content which elicits a response and not serving content which doesn’t meet their needs. Customers and potential customers are more likely to respond to such targeted content, which benefits your business too.
As these interactions progress, the marketing automation software tracks your potential customer’s activity. This data gives your marketing team the insight required to provide these users with even more focused content based on their previous interactions. The automated marketing software paints a comprehensive picture of these users, and through learning what makes them tick, you have a more precise grasp of their needs before you can hand them over to the sales team. Before you know it, your marketing campaign and your marketing automation have helped you turn a potential client into a qualified lead.
Use Marketing Automation for B2B Campaigns
When potential B2B clients make decisions affecting an entire business, they tend to be rather cautious. B2B markets rely on creating relationships between the client and the business. Through these relationships, leads become more aware of your brand and learn more about your products and services; this is a critical part of the sales funnel. These relationships are formed over extended periods of time, taking anything from weeks to years to turn them into clients and then returning clients. So, nurturing these potential clients and leads along the way is essential. These relationships are often bolstered by influencers and decision-makers within the particular B2B field too.
In line with the need for B2B markets to develop and maintain these relationships, marketing automation is the ideal tool. Automated marketing campaigns complement the longer sales cycles due to the complexity of the purchasing process. Buying products and services for a business rarely hinges on one person's perspective; it involves a multi-stage process that typically includes various other leaders within the business. Automated marketing is the perfect way to target your audience, track your campaigns, monitor your interactions, and gain leads. This thorough, tailored process personalises the customer experience, thus developing this necessary business relationship.
Use Marketing Automation for B2C Campaigns
Unlike the cycles involved in B2B marketing and sales, B2C sales and marketing cycles are shorter. B2C marketing automation also fine-tunes the sales funnel, but in this instance, it persuades the customer to buy your products and services in a much shorter timeframe. Consumers typically part with their money faster because they aren’t making decisions on behalf of a business, with other business leaders influencing their decisions. A clever marketing campaign uses impulsive purchasing behaviour to your advantage.
In B2C marketing, getting your products and brand in front of potential customers and creating brand awareness gets the ball rolling. Showing your potential customers products that interest them, and giving them reasons to buy from you, is the winning combination. Marketing automation is key to persuading potential customers to buy from you. The targeted approach achieved by marketing automation not only introduces your client to your business, but also nurtures that connection. From awareness and nurturing, to making the sale, the customer journey is shorter in B2C industries. The sales process can also be automated for additional convenience to your new or returning customer and your sales team.
CRM Versus Marketing Automation
For the most part, marketing automation helps you save time otherwise spent on time-consuming and repetitive marketing tasks. Initially, your marketing automation software will help you launch campaigns on various platforms and find leads. Next, it helps to maintain this interest in your products and nurture your leads – this is all done at scale so that you won’t be focusing on just a handful of potential clients. This process allows you to create and maintain marketing campaigns over various online and offline channels.
CRM and marketing automation software offer many similar features and functions. These packages are designed to complement each other, which is why many businesses combine the two types of software. Together, they help you create and maintain detailed profiles of individuals and ensure a consistent customer journey from potential customer to lead to customer. When combined, marketing automation and CRM allow the marketing team and the sales staff to work together to offer individuals the best marketing and sales journey.
By linking CRM and marketing automation, the entire customer journey and sales funnel merges to create a complete picture, rather than these teams working in isolation. Marketing automation allows the sales staff to access the data gathered by the marketing automation software. This information shows how the leads behave, the content they download and which pages they are interested in. The marketing team can analyse each customer's buying process; some customers may purchase quickly, while others take their time, etc. The information gathered by the CRM and the marketing team paints a broader picture of the sales cycle so that the sales and marketing teams are able to fine-tune the process to achieve better results and improve your ROI.
Marketing Automation Tools
The tools offered by marketing automation will help you follow marketing best practice and focus on quality leads over quantity. You’ll be able to personalise your buyer’s journey and respond to their behaviour quickly to turn them into leads and customers. Your data-driven marketing campaigns can be analysed so that you can give your customers a reason to return.
Marketing automation tools and their uses:
Customer experience program delivery – this tool ensures your customer experience is optimised to provide the best journey, turn potential clients into paying clients, and then return clients. You will lead them further along the sales funnel throughout this initial phase based on their behaviour and interests.
Customer onboarding – once the lead has been secured, customer onboarding entails getting their details onto your CRM and having your sales team contact them. Without this step, you only have potential customers who are interested in your product but have not made a purchase yet.
Recruitment and induction – once your lead has been contacted by your sales team or placed their order online and purchased a product or service, they have reached a milestone. From here, your next goal is to turn them into repeat customers.
Product and service delivery communications – once the sale has been made, this communication ensures your customer knows when their product or service will be delivered. This communication continues until they have received their final email to confirm receipt of your product or service.
Staff engagement and satisfaction – once the product has been delivered and received, your employees will ensure that the customer is happy with their item or service. Turning customers into repeat customers and brand advocates depends on ensuring the client is happy with this final step. How can you improve the customer journey if you don’t know whether they are happy or unhappy?
With a clear idea of what marketing automation is, how it combines with CRM and how it assists B2B and B2C businesses, you can make an informed decision before you invest in marketing automation software. There’s always more to know, so your next step is to get in touch with the experts. Get in touch with Fileroom today to learn more about marketing automation.