Should You Be Using Marketing Automation?


Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Marketing automation can support and inform your campaigns and strategy, offering a range of benefits in the long-run.

Article 5 Minutes
Should You Be Using Marketing Automation?

Within both B2B and B2C marketing, there are some tasks that are tedious, time-consuming and don't really need to be performed by an individual. If you have the right technology and software in place, these can be taken on by marketing automation, freeing up time and streamlining processes.

Marketing automation can be used across all channels, allowing you to tailor it to fit your marketing campaign and needs. Systems can be used to help align marketing efforts across social media, email and online, as well as direct mail and phone.

While the way you use marketing automation has a big impact on how it performs, including it in your marketing strategy can provide a lot of benefits. Here are some of the reasons you should consider incorporating marketing automation into your campaigns:

Lower staffing costs

As Venture Harbour points out, the first big benefit is the fact that you can reduce staffing costs. With marketing automation able to take on a lot of the mundane and repetitive tasks, this means there is no need for a person to be fulfilling the same role.

While getting to the point where a lot of your marketing efforts are totally automated may take a few months, over time, it will mean you need fewer people included in specific areas of the business.

Even if you don't reduce staffing costs, it means that those who would previously have been performing tasks now taken on by marketing automation software will be able to focus on other aspects of a campaign. This means a better allocation of skills, which can ensure you see the best results.

Increase in leads

Marketing automation allows you to create and develop better campaigns, especially in the long-run. It means that you are better able to create a sustainable connection with each of your prospects by making it easier to personalize content.

The right software can also mean you can run campaigns that cover the entire length of the buying cycle, rather than needing to produce individual campaigns for each stage. Not only does Beanstalk Marketing report that this leads to higher open and click-through rates and sales conversions, it can also mean a 451 per cent increase in qualified leads.

This could ultimately take six months to a year to achieve, but the continued use of marketing automation will be rewarded with a rise in the number of inbound leads your campaigns create.

Improve engagement

All marketers know that getting the leads isn't the end of the hard work, you also need to keep them engaged. Business 2 Community explains that marketing automation is key for helping you to do this in a successful way.

The right software can allow you to automate drip email campaigns that are organized based on the interests and specific actions taken by leads. You can create separate email campaigns based on this information, loading them into your software to let it do the hard work and keep those leads nurtured.

You can also use marketing automation to create interest among old leads that have not engaged in a while. Campaigns can be created with the goal of renewing interest in a brand, with any future activity following this helping to categorize leads into other groups for content types and other campaigns.

Marketing and sales alignment

Using marketing automation can drastically improvement the alignment of your marketing and sales departments. The software can help to ensure that leads are passed onto sales at the right time in the buyer cycle, improving the chances of conversion, explains Salesforce.

While you will need to create criteria to help define when leads are ready to be passed on and are high enough quality to imply conversion is possible, marketing automation allows you to collect data that can do this. Data can allow you to set benchmarks that let you to improve your lead scoring processes.

Ultimately, this can reduce the amount of time being spent on leads that are not at the right stage in the cycle or not high quality. It also means the sales team can better prioritize the leads that are more likely to convert, saving wasted time and ultimately seeing better conversion rates.

Doesn't work 9 to 5

One of the biggest benefits of marketing automation is the fact that your software can be running at all times. While marketers only work between set hours, your marketing automation technology will continue capturing data and posting relevant content, points out The Marketing Eye.

This ensures that social posting continues beyond work hours and that reactive emails are still being sent out in order to continue all marketing efforts. It also helps to remove issues with things like holiday and illness cover, ensuring the human element of marketing doesn't cause issues.

As well as ensuring posting is still taking place at all times, marketing automation software also continues to capture relevant data, meaning there will be no gaps in the information you are collecting, which can better inform future campaigns.

Put the work in

Of course, not all of this happens overnight. Work is still needed to set up your marketing automation software and ensure it is functioning in the best possible way for your strategy. This can take time and you may not see results instantly. However, putting the work in means that you'll experience each of these benefits and more.

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