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What Is Marketing Automation: Definition, Benefits & Uses

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation refers to the use of software to automate the tasks within day-to-day marketing, such as email marketing, ad placement, making social media posts, and sending SMS marketing messages. These tasks prove inefficient to accomplish manually.

Automation doesn’t turn your marketing efforts into impersonalized messages. Instead, it easily provides a method for you to customize messages without hampering productivity. You can use marketing automation to increase your marketing ROI and increase customer engagement.

You can automate marketing across channels to better create satisfied customers. These software programs aren’t hard to find, but you may need to weed through many options to find an appropriate program. You can turn to venerable manufacturers like Microsoft for options though, which does reduce the risk of choosing an inappropriate product.

When you automate, you can link the marketing messages to your CRM to create nurture campaigns that automatically follow a customer from first contact with your company through the sales funnel, sending them just the right email at just the right time to provide sales-ready leads. Automation means you free your salespeople to focus on high-value, strategic tasks that move forward your business.

While you can’t automate creating your digital marketing strategy, you can automate the steps and collateral used in the digital marketing strategy to implement it without needing to manually execute any item.

By using the automated method, you also get to feed information back into your CRM to build upon for future marketing campaigns. That’s because using automated digital methods such as email newsletters instead of postal mail letters lets you automatically draw in data. This data helps you better target your audience and build your advertising audience.

While the precise function of each program varies, you can find programs that provide one or more of the most common uses of marketing automation software:

  • Generating and qualifying leads: You can personalize content, so you provide each customer with what they need to result in generating more leads for your sales department. The process of lead scoring helps your sales staff determine which leads would most likely result in a purchase.
  • Identifying audiences: Automation software helps you locate the appropriate audience for each campaign. When you maximize a campaign’s effectiveness, you generate greater sales.
  • Content design: Marketing automation software helps you keep multi-channel branding consistent. You can use pre-built templates, customize them, or create your own templates from scratch to further customize your outreach efforts.
  • Demand generation: Use automation software to help create better CRM profiles of each customer. This helps you further nurture them for sales and works with the CRM to manage a sales prospect’s interest. Since marketing automation software sends its messages via multiple channels, it also provides information relevant to lead and data management on each of the same and helps you to integrate that data for future use.
  • Campaign delivery: Automation lets you plan and create a campaign during downtime, then launch on a pre-determined date. This enables you to launch a campaign during your busiest time of year and adjust it quickly. If you sell out of one item, you can update your nurture campaign immediately to alter all future messages, so customers know which items sell quickly and when you will have them restocked. This keeps your customers happier than if they showed up to the store to make a purchase and then found out that you had sold out. When you manage campaigns automatically, you can get detailed metrics regarding the campaign pieces resulting from the best performance.
  • Scheduled workflows based on customer behaviors: Related to the above benefit, you can set up the next steps automatically. You set rules similar to how you would in a database that provides emails or SMS messages automatically based upon a customer’s actions. This frees your sales team from sending follow-up emails or SMS text messages. Since customer action triggers the sending, you always know you are on top of the sales message.
  • Event management: This one may surprise you. You can use automation software in event planning and management. It helps you coordinate both online and live events to positively impact the marketing of your business.
  • For the Customer

For your company’s customers, this results in a customized message that helps them by providing relevant information. Like an advertisement for a product, your automated marketing tells how to solve a problem important to the user or customer. By automatically sending nurture campaigns, you build on the information already sent and educate the customer as to how your product or product line helps them solve problems they have. These messages that address pain points you can easily automate using this software.

Automation helps you interact with customers in a way that is convenient for them. That means you use mobile, web, or email. Using the method, also called a channel, that the customer prefers reduces friction in their buying journey and you make a sale. Your content marketing helps you make the sale and build a better relationship with your customers.

Tips for Designing A Marketing Automation Strategy

Marketing automation software isn’t an instant fix. In order to be successful, it needs to be combined with a solid marketing automation strategy that takes the entire marketing and sales process into account. If you’re planning to add marketing automation to your marketing strategy, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Plan out your lead stages: Mapping out the stages in lead and prospect nurturing makes it easier to determine which actions will be most effective at each stage.
  • Come up with a lead scoring process: This makes it easier to prioritize sales resources and focus effort on the most promising opportunities with the highest probability of success.

Come up with a lead scoring process: This makes it easier to prioritize sales resources and focus effort on the most promising opportunities with the highest probability of success.

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