Why you should be paying attention to automation in 2021
Not making the most of marketing automation? Here are 5 good reasons why you should be…
- 18th February
Automation can be an extremely powerful tool in marketing. It helps streamline the marketing process, drive efficiency, and empower your team by automating individual marketing tasks and even entire workflows. Whether this is simply by automating aspects of your social or email marketing to make your team’s life a bit easier, or automating your complete marketing arsenal, it can make a huge difference to your efforts. This way, the right content gets delivered to your customers at the right time, creating a consistent and compelling experience. But there are still many businesses out there who aren’t taking full advantage of what automation has to offer, despite its increasing popularity. With the impact of 2020 still fresh in our minds, the swift diversion to all-digital means automation is no longer a “nice-to-have” but a necessity if you want to keep up with the big boys.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation refers to the use of intelligent marketing technologies (MarTech) that automate marketing activities across multiple digital channels based on criteria you define. This can include anything from scheduling repetitive daily tasks such as social media posts to creating custom workflows within email campaign platforms that fire based on customer behaviour.
Sounds great right? Well, you’d be surprised just how many businesses misuse it. There’s a fine balance to be achieved with automation. For example, just because everything is automated, it doesn’t give your team an excuse to start spamming your audience with hourly updates about your company’s pets, cute as they may be. Nor is marketing automation a replacement for your team – it’s there to enhance and support their efforts rather than do their work for them.
Getting automation right can be tricky, but once you’ve nailed it, it can completely transform your marketing operations (MarkOps). Here are 5 reasons you should be paying more attention to automation in 2021.
- Define better leads from the get-go
When done right, marketing automation can have a massive influence on the quality of the leads you generate. By formulating your automation strategy based on customer behaviour, you can more easily qualify which leads are worthy of pursuit by the sales team. Some automation tools will even help you lead score so you can instantly identify where leads are in the buying journey, better informing how your marketing touches can be tailored to them. For example, if you’re promoting a white paper and your lead clicks through to download it, you can line up an automated follow-up email that offers them related content such as a video or blog article. Having shown an interest in the topic, you now have evidence of intent that suggests the lead may be ready for further engagement. Marketing automation therefore works best when combined with an inbound approach. This means you’re not only nurturing the leads you already have, but are attracting new prospects with great content too.
- Achieve greater ROI
The best thing about automation is that as your leads improve, so will return on investment (ROI). As your processes become more refined, you should begin to see your marketing budget is able to go much further. The difficulty then becomes accurately proving this improved ROI within your marketing campaigns. Thankfully, a lot of automation software, such as Hootsuite and MailChimp, now come equipped with analytics that can help you evidence that your efforts are working, allowing you to measure click-through rates, impressions, open rates, and more. According to Adestra’s 2017 survey, 41% of respondents said increasing ROI was their most important objective of a marketing automation strategy, so it’s certainly nothing to be sniffed at.
- Get more organised with omni-channel
Most MarTech nowadays can be integrated with your business’ wider systems, such as your CRM, thanks to APIs. By integrating all aspects of your marketing, you can take an omni-channel approach to automation, seeing social, email, and website updates are all scheduled to run simultaneously. This way, your marketing campaigns can be scaled much more effectively, and customers are reassured by consistency across your various platforms. Integration with your CRM also means any important activity from your customer data, such as unsubscribes, is captured instantaneously rather than having to corroborate it manually, which, believe us, is a monotonous task.
- Free up your team’s time
30% of marketers report saving time is the biggest benefit of automation. Because marketing automation does so much of the heavy lifting for you, it can unburden your team of the many tasks they would usually have to do manually, as well as relieving them of the frustrations that come along with them. Marketing teams can even get well ahead of the game by scheduling content for campaigns days, or even weeks, before your go-live date. That means their creativity is freed up to flourish and your investment in marketing is maximised.
- Now it’s personal
Because marketing automation gives you the flexibility to better cater for your audience’s needs, the experience can seem much more personalised. But a cheery “Hello there, Beth!” can only go so far – make sure you take the time to ensure your content is crafted to suit your target persona, rather than sending out the same blanket email to thousands of John Does. Try harnessing AI-powered automation tools to help you do this. By understanding exactly what content customers are searching for and consuming, you can create more opportunities for upsell too. If they’ve recently bought a particular product or solution from you, set up automated rules following their purchase to remind them of the awesome complementary products or services that could take their brand-new purchase to the next level! This degree of personalisation could mean they stay loyal to you that much longer.
According to Social Media Today’s State of Marketing Automation Survey, 75% of marketers say they’re already using at least one type of marketing automation tool. And, with the reliance on digital marketing set to continue through 2021, it’s so important to make sure you’re at least keeping one foot in the door to remain competitive. But where do you start?
We’re here help you maximise the potential of automation in your business and kick your marketing strategy into high gear. How do we do it? We’ll let you in on the secret…