What is Marketing Automation and Why You Should be Using it

Marketing has changed

The marketing landscape has changed; it’s bigger, reaching into sales and customer relations, yet it’s never been more important to micromanage your marketing and communications. And don’t forget the increasing need to demonstrate results. No return on investment equals no investment when budgets get a hair cut.

Marketing automation will help, but you need to pick the right solution and use it wisely. It’s important to understand that marketing automation is not a substitute for clear marketing strategy but can be a brilliant way to apply one. One platform can manage your database, emails, social media, lead nurturing; the essential and often monotonous modern-marketing tasks that take marketing resources away from genius creativity and turn marketers into administrators.

Any good marketing automation platform will run a form of:

Email marketing – Sending personalised mail-shots to contacts and leads to help keep your business front of mind, share content like blogs, spread sales and new product information.

Data capture – the lifeblood of modern marketing, key to new leads and so lead nurturing.

Landing pages – a web page for capturing data that allows potential customers to express their interest and opt-in to being contacted by your business.

Social media campaigns – scheduling social media (i.e. Facebook and twitter) activity to build your brand and communicate product or offer information and drive traffic to your website.

Campaign management – capability to launch and run campaigns across multiple channels.

Lead generation – initiating consumer interest in your business for marketing and sales, especially the gathering of contact information from interested parties

Lead nurturing – the effort to develop a relationship with leads and convert interest into sales by guiding potential customers through the sales funnel.

Customer relationship management – analysis and management of interactions with customers, including sales and service, to improve sales and customer retention.

Analytics – It is vitally important to recognise what your customers are engaging with so you can repeat success and move on quickly from failure. Analytics features will gather the results of your campaigns and may interpret them for you.

So much dazzling functionality, there has to be a ‘but’, and there is. Some of the more sophisticated marketing automation systems are difficult to use and could need significant coding, Html and analytics expertise to program and make the most of them. If you don’t happen to have an expert on the staff then inconvenience and cost start creeping up again. But if your business is growing – or you want it to – marketing automation can help. It will take the pain out of scaling up and do important jobs you don’t have time for as well as helping make sense of your results so you can see what works and what doesn’t.