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Marketing automation

A Marketing Automation Guide for Beginners

Marketing is an ever-changing field, characterized by a lot of different trends. One major trend is the use of marketing automation.

Customers have become more demanding over the last years and don’t directly believe all the promises brands are making these days. Thanks to the digital revolution, customers can nowadays find anything on the internet. They can inform themselves whenever and wherever they want to.

The overload of information on the internet makes the decision making process for the customers more complicated than before. There is so much information and not every customer knows how to deal with this information overload.

Additionally, customers don’t like the fact that irrelevant information is pushed to them. These pushed messages are perceived as intrusive.

In order to gain your customers’ attention through your communication, it’s important you act upon every interaction they’re making with you. This means you send them relevant messages at the times they need this information and through the devices they like.

Marketing automation is the perfect tool to ensure you remain relevant to your customers. Today, marketing automation is present in some companies but many companies don’t know its benefits or see it as a huge investment they can’t afford.

But what is marketing automation anyway and is it really that expensive?

A Marketing Automation Definition

Marketing automation is a tool for the marketing and sales department to automate online marketing processes and sales activities within an organization.

This tool automates some of the most time-consuming tasks of todays’ marketing and sales teams. This gained time can be used to tackle other important business challenges.

Marketing automation enables you to store data about your customers, leads and prospects in just one place. Think about the data your audience leaves behind when visiting your website or when opening an email. Marketing automation uses this data to get a full view on each of your customers and to create buyer personas.

These personas help brands to send meaningful messages to their audience in order to successfully guide them through the sales funnel.

More specifically, marketing automation is all about sending the right message at the right time, through the right device. This leads to more relevant and personalized content that accelerates the buying process.

Of course, you still need to make sure you respect the GDPR regulations when using your audiences’ data.

Marketing Automation vs. Customer Relationship Management

An important note is that the terms marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) are used interchangeably, despite their different purpose.

Marketing automation is used to segment leads and to follow them up to become real customers. It enables you to send relevant messages to your audience in every stage of the customer journey.

It’s all about adapting your content to the stage of the customer journey your customer is in. Using your gained data in an effective way can thus be the perfect tool for lead generation, lead nurturing and lead scoring.

CRM is more a platform to collect the information you have about your leads and customers. Both platforms do complement each other, but can’t be used for the same purpose.

Worth your investment?

As mentioned above, marketing automation is quite an investment for a company. Therefore, it’s very important to know the pros and cons of this software.

Pros

To start, marketing automation makes it possible to automate manual tasks that always were very time consuming. This gives the marketing team extra time, e.g. to brainstorm about new campaigns with appealing content.

Besides that, it helps you to create and send relevant content to your audience. This generates more qualified leads and gives you a better relationship with your customers. This also makes it easier for the sales team to close the deal.

Additionally, marketing automation helps you to maximize your marketing return on investment.

Furthermore, the platform enables you to measure your marketing success to adapt your future marketing actions. You can for example use A/B testing before launching your campaign to make sure it evokes the desired feelings.

Cons

As you can read, marketing automation offers many advantages, but that doesn’t mean it’s not involving any challenges.

A first challenge can be the frequency of your messages. It’s important to find the perfect balance.

Keep in mind that what you tell your audience needs to be relevant to them at that given time. If it’s not, they will perceive it as intrusive and will create a negative feeling towards you.

Secondly, marketing automation involves a certain cost. These costs are not that easy to make for every company. It’s all about thinking about the pros and cons to decide whether or not it’s worth the investment.

The good news is that, today, there are many solutions within different price ranges. It’s important to select the right tool since not every tool is appropriate to achieve your specific goals.

Marketing Automation Companies

Marketing automation can be of relevance to any company type, but especially to small business owners. These businesses don’t always have same resources as bigger companies with large marketing departments.

By implementing marketing automation, these small businesses gain some extra time they can use to focus on other key challenges.

Although this kind of software may be suitable for any company type, not every company is ready to implement it. You need to be sure you have the right resources before making this investment.

Besides that, all parties involved should recognize the tools’ value to ensure a seamless implementation.

Conclusion

Marketing automation helps you to remain relevant to your customers at every point of the customer journey. This enables you to build good relationships with them and to easily convert them into real brand advocates.

When the tool is used properly, it definitely is worth the investment.

Start your marketing automation journey here.

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