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What is Marketing Automation?

Introduction

Marketing automation is a form of technology that has one goal in mind; to automate the marketing process and make it easier for marketers to accomplish their goals. This helps marketers become much more effective and efficient in their work. It takes repetitive tasks such as social media and email blasts and automates them. This allows marketers to spend more time focusing on other tasks and to-do items they have, rather than having to remember to do the same thing again and again.

One question you might have is, “Does marketing automation interfere with the authenticity of the message my company is sending?”. The answer is no. The goal of marketing automation is to continue to produce authentic and helpful content to customers, without having to take up more of your time. It will help you reach your goals faster, and will still ensure your customers are still receiving quality content they would expect from your company.


How to Use Marketing Automation

Effective marketing isn’t creating a general email and sending it to as many people as possible. That doesn’t make the customer feel valued, it makes them feel like another number or another customer that a company doesn’t care about. You want to make the customer still feel like they’re important to your company, and that your company cares about them.

Rather, effective marketing is creating an email targeted at a specific audience and sending it to them, following up with them after the initial contact, and at the end, thanking them for their time. Your customer doesn’t want to be sent a generic email with a product or service your company offers. That feels impersonal and they can tell a thousand other customers got the same email. They want something that feels tailored to them, and feels like someone took the time to craft for them.

Using marketing automation allows you to still effectively market without having to sacrifice more time crafting content and following up with customers days later. Instead of having to remember to follow up with the different leads you reached out to, marketing automation will do that for you. It allows you to focus more of your energy on other marketing campaigns.


Three Categories of Marketing Automation

Marketing Intelligence

  • This tracks codes to see what customers interact with online. Marketers are able to see and analyze this data for patterns or behaviors that can help with a campaign

  • Business Development

  • This focuses on moving customers from the top of the sales funnel to the bottom. Essentially, this brings them from the interested stage to the buying stage. This category focuses on utilizing behaviors and attitudes of customers and closing the deal based off of those. A marketer might use SEO, social media, and blogs in order to achieve this goal

  • Workflow Automation

  • This category focuses on internal processes. Some of these are budgeting, calendars, etc.


What Does Marketing Automation Help You Achieve?

There’s a lot that marketing automation can help you achieve. Here are some examples of what it can do for you:


  • Generate more leads

  • Prioritize your efforts and to-do list

  • Nurture leads to become customers

  • Manage email campaigns

  • Reflect on the success of campaigns

  • Better customer relationships and retention rates


It also helps you achieve a more efficient workflow and helps you generate more revenue for your company. Leads are also of higher quality if you use marketing automation.


What Should You Do with Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation can do a lot of things. However, in order to get the most out of it, here are a few things you should do with marketing automation:


  • Combine marketing automation with your inbound marketing efforts

  • Inbound marketing is all about creating tailored content for targeted audiences. This main goal shouldn’t change by adding marketing automation into the equation. They should work together to still create that tailored content, but then taking over after the initial contact

  • Send tailored content to a target audience

  • Don’t just create content without an audience in mind. Along the same lines, don’t send content to everyone you know. You want to create content that aligns with a customer’s wants and needs. By doing this, the customer feels like the company cares about them and will be more likely to use your product or service

  • Create customer engagement campaigns

  • Once you close the deal with a customer, you don’t want to just forget about them. Make sure to create content specifically for them and still engage them. By nurturing those relationships, you’re guaranteeing that they’ll keep coming back, and they may even recommend you to people that they know


What Shouldn’t You Do with Marketing Automation?

As with anything, there are a few things you shouldn’t do with marketing automation. Here are a few things you shouldn’t do with marketing automation:


  • Don’t start automating without double checking your goals

  • Marketing automation makes things much easier, however, with that, sometimes it’s easy to not keep an eye on it and make adjustments as needed. Take the time to revisit your goals and ensure your marketing automation is staying on track with them

  • Don’t send generalized emails to everyone

  • Sending the exact same email to everyone you can think of is one of the worst things you can do. It wastes your company’s time and effort, as well as your customer’s. The success rate of just sending an email blast is almost nothing. Create content for specific targeted audiences to get the best out of your marketing efforts

  • Don’t forget about your customers

  • Being focused on getting new customers and generating revenue can sometimes make it hard to remember about your current customers. Remember them and engage them. It’s not easy to gain them back if they feel like you only cared about their money and not about them as a consumer


If you’re just starting with marketing automation, keep going even though it can be lengthy. It’s worth it in the end! If you haven’t started using marketing automation, start now!

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