Automation is having a growing impact on how businesses function and how work gets done today.
Research has shown:
- 31% of organizations have fully automated at least one business function.
- 66% of companies are piloting solutions to automate at least one process.
- The robotic process automation (RPA) market is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of more than 40% up to 2027.
Concepts like RPA are frequently associated with the sort of routine, repeatable processes that are crucial to industries like manufacturing. However, that doesn't mean businesses and individuals whose work is more fluid and less tangible - such as marketing professionals - can ignore the power of automation.
Indeed, studies have shown that more than half (51%) of companies currently use marketing automation, and 58% of B2B firms plan to adopt software for this purpose in the foreseeable future.
There are various ways in which automation can optimize marketing workflows and help your creative staff reach higher levels of efficiency and productivity.
1. Unlock more time
One of the most frequently cited benefits of automation is that it can take the burden of standard, repetitive tasks away from your employees, giving them more time to focus on activities that make better use of their skills and generate value for the business.
Dedicated software can take care of jobs like scheduling posts to go live at certain times on your chosen social channels. With this responsibility off their plate, your team members can concentrate on priorities like planning and producing outstanding social media content.
2. More effective personalization
Personalization is a crucial marketing focus for many brands today. Your customers want to feel that they're being seen and acknowledged as an individual, not that they're simply one of thousands of names in a database or on a mailing list.
To engage with your audience on a personal, emotional level, you must be able to tailor your communications to each individual, and marketing automation can help you do that. Solutions are available to help you execute basic tasks - such as making sure every email you send addresses the recipient by their first name - as well as more complex processes like segmenting your audience based on their past behaviors and traits. This is crucial if you want to ensure the messaging and content you distribute to particular groups accurately reflects their interests and preferences.
3. Compelling email communications
It may be one of the oldest forms of digital communication, but email remains a highly effective way to engage with your audience and maintain strong customer relationships.
Automated processes can play a key role in helping your marketing team get the best possible results from this channel. For example, creating a workflow that automatically sends welcome emails to new customers or people who have shared their contact details with you helps to start the relationship on a positive note. It can also give you an early opportunity to drive revenue by offering exclusive discounts or incentives for customers to make their first purchase.
4. Access to customer feedback
Collecting and analyzing customer feedback is essential if you want up-to-date, accurate insights into how your audience feels about your company, your brand and the quality of service you provide.
The creatives on your marketing team can do their jobs more easily and effectively if they have access to this information. Unfortunately, the processes involved in sourcing and evaluating feedback - such as creating and distributing surveys, analyzing the results and identifying patterns - can be laborious and time-consuming.
Automation can give you the power to complete these tasks with minimal human effort. One useful tactic is to select triggers that prompt the automatic delivery of a customer survey email. This could be anything from a purchase to a significant change in your product offering.
5. Better lead management
Any tool that helps your marketing team get better at generating, assessing and nurturing leads is beneficial for the business.
Automation can help you get stronger results from processes such as lead scoring, based on quicker and more accurate analysis of the data associated with particular leads. Furthermore, it can optimize your lead nurturing through practices such as:
- Supplying relevant information to prospects who have shown an interest in particular subjects, for example, by downloading a whitepaper or signing up for a webinar.
- Delivering follow-up messages to customers who have abandoned their online shopping cart.
- Sending out reminders to users of subscription-based services that their renewal date is approaching.
These benefits can set you on the right course to an outcome that every marketing team wants to achieve: a higher lead conversion rate.
6. Easier and more accurate reporting
Data collection, analysis and reporting are among the most daunting and difficult aspects of marketing. The power of modern technologies to make these crucial processes easier is a key advantage that could help your business decide whether you should be using marketing automation.
There are many tools and software platforms that make it easier for you to evaluate data and generate reports.
As well as freeing up time on your creative team and making your employees' lives easier, this can provide crucial, data-driven insights into key aspects of your marketing operation. For example, if the numbers show that a high proportion of leads are dropping out of the sales funnel at the decision stage, you can tweak your marketing tactics to address this problem.