Why You Need Marketing Automation

Why Do I Need Marketing Automation

Why Do I Need Marketing Automation

The internet has transformed the world of marketing: digital marketing is more measurable, dynamic and personalised, making traditional outbound marketing look clunky and ineffective.

However, for all of the opportunities that digital offers, there is an important impact on the resource of marketing teams. More opportunities not only mean more financial resource, but also more time being spent on marketing.

That is why you need marketing automation. Not only is it an opportunity to save time, but you can also step-change your marketing, making it more effective. Here is why you need it:

Consistency – One of the pitfalls of increasing the number of marketing tools you use is that your consistency can suffer. This is a challenge being faced by millions of organisations every day with social media. But with marketing automation, you can control the tone of voice to a large number of communications at once.

Finds your audience – For most companies, your target audience will spend at least some of their time online: the difficulty is finding where they hang out and where they would be receptive to your message. Finding your audience on social media, by using a tool such as Socedo, and managing the interaction that you have with them (automated of course) will help to move people from prospects to customers more efficiently than ever.

Customer management – Ensuring that new customers get all of the right communications at the right time can be difficult to manage. But marketing automation can deal with that for you. For example, you can send a welcome email, confirmation of order and any series of marketing messages direct to that customer dependent on their behaviour. And if you do it well, it will feel personalised and not automated at all.

Makes money – We are not talking about automation making a saving to your headcount budget: automation should be viewed as an opportunity to embrace new marketing ideas. If you are choosing the right ones, then this will have a positive effect on your revenue growth while keeping your headcount the same. And for the best automation tools, you don’t need to be technically gifted to work it, they are simple and intuitive.

Better results – Well, I can’t actually promise better results, but what marketing automation does offer is better reporting and if this is analysed well, then the actions taken will result in better results. A lot of marketing automation tools are able to integrate with the most popular CRM systems (MS Dynamics, HubSpot, Marketo, etc.) meaning that joined up reporting is a possibility at last.

What is your experience of marketing automation? After adopting it, what changes did you note within your team? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

How Not to Use Marketing Automation

Social Media Automation

Social Media Automation

When I am speaking with fellow digital marketers, one of the factors that is often brought up is the lack of time: ‘I spend all of my time updating the website or running reports when I actually want to spend more time developing my marketing’.

Sound familiar?  Well, marketing automation is for you.  It does exactly what it says on the tin (sorry).  For example, you email your prospects informing them of a new product.  For those who click on a link in the email and then go on to download a brochure on your website, you send a thank you email and your sales team get in touch with that prospect.  Doing this manually would be very time consuming, but many email providers offer this automation service.  Remarketing is also an example of a popular marketing automation tool.

But while automation can save you a lot of time and help you to spend time developing your plans, it does need to be handled with caution.  So, what should you avoid when automating your marketing?

Generic Broadcasting – The time that you save with marketing automation should be used to not only improve your content in the first place, but also to personalise through segmentation.  Consumers in all market places are becoming more and more sophisticated, and can spot poorly executed marketing automation.  And their perception is likely to be that you don’t care about the communication.

Being a Spammer – Automated emails are a great way of engaging with recipients who have shown an interest in your email, but you should still spend time focusing on the quality of your communication.  Avoid the usual spam trigger words and don’t go sending an email to thousands of people all at the same time.  Marketing automation can increase the risk of spam, but a good email provider will help you with this.

Bad Time Automating – Automated communications are tricky: you’re writing them at a time where the context of how the communication will be received isn’t known.  Most of the time, this is absolutely fine as you are only scheduling a few hours ahead, but beware of shifting events.  Inappropriate scheduled communications during events can seem very insensitive.  Also, companies that send the same response to all tweets are open to abuse (just ask Bank of America), and quite apart from anything, it is very poor marketing.

Communicating Constantly – With marketing automation, communications with your audience should become a lot easier.  But don’t get carried away.  If it is easier, then the temptation will be to communicate more often, but this is as off-putting for a recipient as communicating poorly.  It can also have a detrimental effect on the size of your audience.

Send and Forget – One of the objectives of most communications is to elicit a response.  Whether that is an open from an email, a click on an advert or a reply / share from a social media post.  So when you are automating, you should always have a process in place for monitoring their impact – you should be able to set this up as an email or smart phone notification.  Ignoring this can result in recipients not talking (positively or negatively) to anyone, something to avoid at all costs.

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