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Marketing Automation: Peering into the Future
Table of Content
- What is Marketing Automation
- Why is Marketing Automation a valuable investment for B2B?
- What makes a good marketing automation strategy?
- Capturing with Conversations: Marketing Automation Tools
- Behavior-Based Workflows for B2B Marketing Automation
- CRM and Marketing Automation for Communicating with Promising Prospects
- Automated Marketing Solutions for Social Media Outreach
- Automated Marketing Solutions Effectively Respond to Potential Leads in Real-time
- Fit into the now with the best Marketing Automation Solutions
What is Marketing Automation?
In the world of digital media, making marketing messages stand out is increasingly challenging. Marketing teams have immense pressure to produce more innovative ideas and execute them faster than what their competition is doing. This requires a broader marketing strategy that plays out over a longer period of time, but it is dependent on the day-to-day activities of the marketing team that feeds into the overall strategy. To focus on the bigger picture, marketers have the power to leverage marketing automation software for the smaller day-to-day activities.
Marketing Automation is the automation of those processes that nurture leads to make them sale ready. Any software that automates those actions is called marketing automation software. Marketing automation brings prospects to a stage where the sales team can directly approach them. A relationship needs to be formed for gathering information that drives the choice of marketing tactics.
Why is Marketing Automation a valuable investment for B2B?
Marketing messages are valued by the attention of consumers, and in this attention economy it is a currency that is highly sought after. Making an advertising and marketing campaign stand out is a tall task when multiple marketing platforms with targeted advertising are bombarding customers with personalized messages more rigorously than ever before. Marketing teams in various industries are under increasing pressure to come up with more innovative ideas that their competitors’ brands and at the same time vie for the customers’ attention in a crowded attention economy. This influences day to day marketing activities significantly since it requires constant realignment to contextualize the latest trends to the overarching marketing strategy. This is where marketing automation helps achieve the business objectives with consistency and clarity.
At its foundation, marketing automation consists of internal notifications and generalized drip campaigns. Over the years, however, it has evolved to become much more. Today, the goal of a good marketing automation strategy hovers around helping marketers manage customer relationships by automating regular marketing actions such as contact lifecycle stage changes, email sends, or social media posts, among many others.
What makes a good marketing automation strategy?
A good marketing automation strategy focuses on user needs and allows for a natural flow of the customer journey through the marketing funnel automation. By collecting customer data, from interactions across multiple channels, companies are now able to deliver the right content, with the right context, at the right time. This data helps brands understand consumer intentions, and buying habits as well, to ease the process of influencing decisions based on buyer personas built with data-driven analytics.
Marketing automation can be used in several capacities, but B2B businesses can take their marketing automation strategy to the next stage via the use of five techniques.
Capturing with Conversations: Marketing Automation Tools
Historically, forms existed on websites to capture lead data – a channel for information, to help engage in conversation with prospects. But with advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, the process can now be fast-tracked with chatbots or conversational platforms. The bot functions inside a chat box allows visitors to quickly engage with your brand in an interactive manner. In fact, the conversational platform tied into the marketing automation platform enables customers to find answers to questions easily and self-qualify themselves as leads through the process.
Conversations in the marketing automation system help in moving away from a one-way, demand-led form of communication to something more conversational – a two-way channel. Chatbots help sales teams with the information necessary to engage in meaningful conversations. In a way, conversational platforms empower brands to minimize on wasted time and focus on leads ready to buy.
Behavior-Based Workflows for B2B Marketing Automation
Workflows are far from new, but they are now being used to segment and personalize messages for higher conversions, making a marketing automation platform more behavior-based than it was in the past. For example, a company selling office furniture and copiers are not likely to sell their different products in the same way, or to the same people. But by segmenting a group of buyers, say for the copier product line, it is possible to increase sales by contextually suggesting the need for papers or ink – complimentary products to the main line.
In behavior-based workflows of a marketing automation platform, it is recommended that lists are created to enable the segmentation of buyers, making it possible to send contextual marketing messages to buyers in different lists; this may even include the various lifecycle stages, interests based on purchase history, and information extracted from forms. A comprehensive marketing automation system is ultimately a self-learning system that understand and acts upon the behavior of the customers.
CRM and Marketing Automation for Communicating with Promising Prospects
With the growth of account-based marketing (ABM) as a popular and potent strategy, the platforms and tools that help in its implementation also shine into the spotlight. For example, some of the newer platforms allow for people and company-specific targeting, with tailored advertising campaigns to create meaningful connections and drive awareness. In fact, it is possible to direct potential buyers to personalized content even before they visit your site even – a customized landing page or blog. This way the Customer Relationship Management tool doubles up as a marketing automation tool with relevant messages being personalized and delivered under the right context.
Automated Marketing Solutions for Social Media Outreach
There are roughly 3.4 billion active social media users in the world today, and on an average, each user spends about 116 minutes engaging on said platforms through the day. Social media is something people love to engage with on a regular basis; a company not strategizing around it is likely to miss several opportunities to interact and meet with buyers.
Existing tools such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social allow you to manage and report your social publishing; it is also possible to auto-publish content for Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn using these platforms. But reaching the right platforms have often proven to be difficult, that is without someone dedicated to managing your brand’s social accounts. Nonetheless, given its emerging role and presence in several marketing-led strategies, there is modern technology emerging to manage it. Furthermore, the content delivered through social media platforms features as a high-value investment in the marketing automation strategy and hence it must manage carefully with a two-pronged system, one where the decisions are automated through data-driven analytics and the learnings are based on human performance patterns.
Automated Marketing Solutions Effectively Respond to Potential Leads in Real-time
Experience is a commodity in high demand. Take the example of a restaurant – the best of experiences often starts with the server and how soon he or she manages to engage in a conversation about the course of a meal with you. Several best cases highlight five minutes or so; it’s the kind of service expected of a company as well. As a first step, consider integrating your website and CRM – it grants you the ability to observe when, where and how potential buyers engage with your website, to respond to them as quickly as you possibly can.
In a recent report from the Harvard Business Review, approximately 23% of businesses failed to respond to prospects as they entered the buyer cycle. Do not make the mistake of being part of that percentage. One way to ensure that your hot potentials are attended to on time is to set up workflows – an email triggered from desired action; this could be a form, or even a download. When the triggers are linked to internal notifications, it enables your sales team to filter prospects hot for a conversation from those of a colder subset.
Fit into the now with the best Marketing Automation Solutions
The tip of the iceberg is just beginning to reveal itself when it comes to the effective utilization of marketing automation. With rapid innovation and the progress of technology, there is something new to expand the capabilities of marketers every day. It is time for you to take a hard look at said possibilities, and how it could help your brand and business soar.
Why does Marketing Automation fail?
Marketing automation needs to have a staged approach where everything cannot be implemented all at once. When the message is not right it does not impact the right people at the right time. An automated marketing campaign goes hand in hand with content marketing. When content glues the narrative of the marketing tactics it creates the required impact with the virtue of marketing automation. The cost of creating marketing content should never be compromised in favour of investing more in marketing automation. Unless a message invites the consumer to check out the offerings it does not matter how those messages have been delivered.