Business automation is a growing trend that can provide exceptional and even essential benefits to smaller and larger enterprises alike when processes are adopted strategically. One of the more exciting automation trends to focus on is in the area of marketing. Automation software and solutions for marketing campaigns have been available for many years, but the recent influx of solutions as well as their increased affordability and user-friendliness have made marketing automation more attainable. Furthermore, because automated marketing solutions are increasingly prevalent, today’s businesses must be aware of how they are impacting their industry.
Understanding What Marketing Automation Is
Before exploring why marketing automation is important and how to begin implementing solutions in your business, you must have a clear understanding about what it is. Marketing automation does not typically generate leads. Instead, it eliminates the hands-on attention that your marketing and sales teams give to your leads without producing negative result. In fact, when completed effectively, marketing automation provides numerous benefits. These benefits can bolster your company in essential ways.
There are numerous marketing automation solutions available that have unique features and functions. As you explore the options, understand that the best solution may be a seamless one that tackles all of your needs comprehensively. These are leading effects that you can expect from the right automated marketing solution for your business.
Nurturing Leads Effectively
Once your business has obtained a new lead, it must generally flow through the sales funnel. This is a multi-stage process that involves awareness, interest, consideration and decision-making. The length of time that a lead remains in the funnel before the individual makes a purchase varies dramatically. However, one fact holds true. The lead must be nurtured across every step, and this is done through regular and thoughtful touches. Consistency and personalization are likewise critical for successful lead nurturing, and the right marketing automation solution eliminates the stress and challenges associated with hands-on, human nurturing.
Conserving Valuable Resources
With hands-on nurturing, such as what may be common practice in many businesses currently, skilled team members must actively maintain relationships with leads through various efforts. This may include broad marketing campaigns, such as with social media posts and blogging. It may also be through direct or personalized touches, such as an email to touch bases. Ranking and prioritizing leads is also completed manually. Automated solutions are now available that can complete many of these tasks on your behalf. By doing so, they free up the valuable time and energy of skilled workers, and these resources can be allocated for more effective purposes that actually require human interaction and attention.
Building Your Brand Image
Each outgoing communication from your team impacts your brand image. Through marketing automation, you can plan a strategic, well-rounded marketing campaign that builds your brand effectively. The messages will be dispatched in a timely manner, which can establish trust and convey professionalism. The outgoing messages will be cohesive rather than disjointed. Your brand image directly feeds into your sales, profitability and market share. Therefore, the ability to potentially improve brand image while also simplifying processes should be not overlooked.
Simplifying and Personalizing Interactions
Many people associate automation with a lack of personalization. They believe that they will lose touch with their customers or become disconnected. Some assume that this will reflect poorly on their business and jeopardize sales. An effective, comprehensive marketing solution will actually have the opposite effect. Advancements in marketing automation enable simplified segmentation and scoring of leads. Some solutions identify when specific leads should be bumped up in terms of scoring or relocated to a different segment. The customer experience can be tailored specifically to that individual’s needs or interests. More than that, automation enables a personalized message to be sent to the customer using the right channel and in real-time. This is impractical to accomplish without automation.
Getting Started with Easy Marketing Automation Solutions
As effective as marketing automation is, it may seem like a major leap to move from a current position to a fully automated position. The best way to get started with marketing automation solutions is to research the current technologies available. Compare their ease-of-use and capabilities against your needs. For example, some solutions only offer email marketing automation, and others may integrate email, blogging, social media posts and other components together into a multi-channel solution. Look for solutions that can grow with your company as your needs change, but remember that more effective solutions may be available in a few years as well. This is a rapidly changing area that will require your regular attention going forward.
Your competition may already be taking advantage of marketing automation solutions, which means that your business may be falling behind. Now is the ideal time to begin exploring marketing automation solutions and to learn how their features and benefits may specifically apply to your business model.