Marketing automation refers to the technology that allows marketers to automate a myriad of mundane, time-consuming marketing processes. This can range from defining a customised lead nurturing workflow, to ranking various leads on the basis of interest. Marketing managers don’t see automation tools as their robotic rivals; they see them as their partners. They can automatically track, manage and nurture leads for them, allowing them to focus on the more crucial aspects of their jobs.
Marketing automation even keeps the sales guys happy. They don’t have to spend all their time chasing cold leads, when they know there are hotter ones ready to be pursued. They can also have access to a list of interactions that leads have made with the company, which allows them to engage on a more personal level with every potential customer.
The marketing cycle consists of generating traffic, filtering out potential leads from that traffic, nurturing the leads, and then finally converting those leads into customers. A modern marketing software usually comes in handy in all aforementioned stages, except traffic generation. Let’s have a look at a few undeniable features of one:
Arguably the greatest feature of a marketing automation system is its ability to automatically categorise leads and send relevant emails to targeted groups. Instead of sending the same email to every single one of your prospects, you can define a workflow that allows you to nurture leads on a personal level, and overcome their specific barriers to purchase. This way, you only talk to the ones that are listening, and you only strike when the iron is hot.
Automatic Lead Scoring
The biggest cause of conflict between marketing and sales teams can be the provision of cold leads from the former to the latter. Marketing automation software tend to eradicate this problem by scoring your leads. Obviously, you will have to specify the criterion which indicates a lead’s “goodness”, but once you have done that, you will always be able to tell a good lead from a bad one. Modern marketing software even allow you to send alerts to your sales teams as soon as a lead’s score crosses a certain threshold. This way, the age-old, dispute-ridden marketing-sales rivalry gets put to bed.
Personalised Interactions and Segmentation
A marketing automation system can help you gain valuable insight about your visitors, by analysing the interactions/actions they take when in contact with your business. For instance, it can help you identify the website pages a potential lead clicked on, their geographical location (based on their IP address), and their buying preferences etc. This can also help you categorise customers into different segments, which makes targeted marketing a whole lot easier.
Enhanced Accountability of Sales and Marketing Teams
A marketing automation tool gives you a holistic overview of your business’ pipeline. Clearly defined workflows allow you to identify precisely where the bottlenecks lie. For example, if your landing page has helped you capture hundreds of leads in the last few weeks, but the marketing team failed to nurture any of them into sales-ready prospects, then as a manager, you will know that the marketing team needs a talking-to.
Enhanced Customer Retention
By offering a seamless customer experience across all customer touchpoints, a marketing automation tool allows you to enhance customer retention. By knowing precisely when a customer last came in contact with your company, you can know when they are most likely to make a purchase. Moreover, you can also create a feedback loop where you prompt the most loyal customers to share their feelings and views about the company; this can allow you to improve in accordance with the desires of your faithful.
A marketing automation tool can be a game-changer for your sales, marketing and customer support teams, in terms of productivity and efficiency. Whether you are a budding startup or a giant conglomerate, you can definitely do with one!