Marketing automation is an essential marketing approach in a world where new technologies are at the heart of all activities. Among other advantages, it helps to reduce costs and optimize revenue sources.
In an era where automation and artificial intelligence are thriving, companies do their best to exploit them. And among their different fields of application, marketing is one of the most important because it contributes greatly to a company’s success.
What is marketing automation? How do you go about adopting it within your company? Here are the answers to all your questions on this subject.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation or marketing automation is, as the name suggests, about automating the marketing efforts of a business. It involves the use of various software and technologies and relates to both data management and the development of marketing strategies.
Generally speaking, automation reduces the resources needed (human and financial) for repetitive tasks. In other words, it makes it possible to mobilize these resources for more productive purposes. In addition to simplifying some tasks, marketing automation streamlines others to optimize results. But before discussing the many benefits, let’s first see how it works.
The principles of marketing
Any marketing approach starts with collecting customer data. This information makes it possible to develop a strategy according to their needs or preferences. In addition, personalization is also an important criterion of a marketing campaign.
It makes it possible to reach up to 75% of the objective. Then comes the approach to customers, which can be done by email or through social networks, websites, etc. Now, marketing automation can automate all these steps, or at least most of them.
The advantages of marketing automation
Previously, we discussed that marketing automation frees you from time-consuming and repetitive tasks. We also discussed the benefit of cost reduction. Let’s dive into the details to better understand how marketing automation impacts a business.
By definition, automation means that certain tasks run independently without human intervention. An automated system involves software or algorithms programmed for these activities.
Typically, these systems are designed to perform these tasks more autonomously and faster than humans. In other words, processing data (customer information) takes less time with automation tools.
Gain in efficiency
Unlike humans, computers are more stable and more precise in performing tasks. This results in greater efficiency and, therefore, better results.
For example, an email campaign can be programmed in a few minutes with marketing automation. The software determines which emails to send to which specific customers and when. Moreover, different AI tools can write persuasive texts, even more so than those reported by human writers.
The automation also provides instant reporting. In other words, customers and prospects can access data relating to their activities. It pushes them to confirm or reinforce their commitment.
Lower the costs
Generally, marketing requires a large budget for businesses, namely the customer acquisition cost (CAC). Any solution to reduce the amount to be invested will be welcome. Marketing automation is the ideal solution because most work is done automatically.
Drip marketing is an approach that involves sending emails to subscribers or prospects in drips or small doses. It is mainly intended to optimize delivery times, in other words, to send messages at the right time to attract more attention. Nevertheless, it also helps to reduce costs.
In addition, the use of pre-established templates and content saves money. Among other things, automating content creation is one less task and less resource for the company.
Make meaningful analyzes
Data processing is the first and most important step in the whole process. Automation software makes it possible both to collect all the necessary data and to analyze it. This information may relate to customers, sales, turnover, etc.
Automated predictive analytics allows businesses to leverage this data to build new, more effective strategies. Concerning customers, their historical data makes it possible, for example, to determine their preferences or their purchasing frequency. It then makes it possible to personalize the sending of messages by considering this information.
On the other hand, it is also possible for the company to do an automated audit to identify potential sources of problems. The analysis reports, which are always generated automatically, make it possible to improve the various strategies.
The added values of marketing automation
Besides the direct benefits of marketing automation, it opens up other possibilities. First, once the marketing team is freed from certain tasks, they can focus on those that require more expertise. It is a way of realizing their true potential.
In the same way, reducing the CAC makes it possible to reallocate the budget. Process automation means the business does not need to invest in additional staff for prospecting, data analysis, etc. It provides the opportunity to use financial resources in campaigns to get more return on investment. In addition, the company could devote part of the budget to hiring specialists to work on areas for improvement.
Finally, a big added value of marketing automation is personalization. Thanks to meaningful analysis and the various AI tools, it is possible to send highly personalized messages that do not just mention the name of the customers. For example, the company offers instant customer support by integrating chatbots into campaigns.
We also mentioned the ability to send emails at the right time and to the right people. The same applies to advertisements or offers of products or services.
Marketing automation: best practices
If you still need to adopt marketing automation in your business but are considering it, here are the steps to help you get started.
As with any new process, you need to start with a plan. The first step is identifying the tasks to automate, especially the most repetitive ones.
Next, you will need to select the appropriate solutions, such as automation software. There are an infinite number of software available. We advise you to choose those that are specific to your sector. And to be more careful, opt for providers that offer free trials. It will help you learn about the services and understand how they work before you commit.
Another important step is setting up a team. Since most of the tasks will be automated, we are discussing the personnel responsible for the software.
Certainly, there are tools to automate content creation. However, you can define some rules on which to base your software design to create better content for your marketing automation campaign.
The first is knowing the target audience for the entire campaign. When collecting information, it is important to consider all the details to design targeted content.
Always starting from the public, choose the tone that would be the most suitable. The narrative voice selected should always be respected depending on your audience (young, professional, etc.).
Moreover, even if you use software to write the content, ensure the texts generated are perfectly coherent. In other words, nothing should suggest that it comes from a machine. In addition, even if the emails have the same objective, ensure their wording is always different to avoid falling into a routine.
Finally, you can use predictive analytics to identify and adopt trends correctly.
In sum, marketing automation is a way to automate and optimize marketing efforts to save time and money. To get started, the key is to know your subscribers and prospects to implement a more personalized approach. The more the public feels personally connected to a campaign, the more they will be motivated to engage and provide positive feedback. However, remember to evaluate the effectiveness of the automation to spot strengths and improve weaknesses, if any.