With digital marketing, the consumer is in charge. As marketers, we therefore juggle daily with tools and channels such as social media, Meltwater, MailChimp, Google Analytics, Google Trends and Google AdWords. Manual marketing has been superseded. To keep all balls in the air and generate relevant leads, as well, you need marketing automation.
Marketing automation not only saves time and energy; the software also helps you reason in advance and communicate more effectively. All contact moments – on social media, on websites, in mailings, CMR systems, etc. – are included in one platform. So you know exactly what interests your contacts and you can therefore reach them when and where they, themselves, wish, respecting their privacy. The result? More insight, higher productivity and higher-quality leads. The main reasons why automation is now indispensable in marketing:
1. More qualitative leads
Marketing automation works on the basis of the inbound philosophy, with lead scoring. Your contacts' data and their behaviour at and next to your website are scored. When someone visits one of the main pages of your website, clicks in an email or shares your website on social media, they are channelled further into the marketing funnel. So you know exactly who is ready for sales and when.
2. Far-reaching segmentation
Effective communication necessitates segmentation. Thanks to marketing automation, you can create lists based on interests, sector, position, company size, company name… in one and the same platform.
3. Dynamic content
Dynamic content allows you to fully adjust the content of a campaign to the profile and behaviour of the recipients. This means you can approach contacts as if you knew them personally: you can adapt the main item in your newsletter to pages they have visited, share events according to their location, announce a webinar based on their knowledge or interest level and much more. Marketing automation enables you to use such content in forms, at websites, on landing pages and in emails.
4. Effective A/B testing
The effectiveness of an (email) campaign, landing page or form depends on more than the message alone. Marketing automation software permits you to test two variations of the same campaign and then automatically send the better version to the rest of your contact list. Try a different subject line, image, button text or button colour, for example, and see which version gets the most clicks.
5. Dynamic campaigns
Campaigns are shown as processes (work flows) comprising various steps. Each step is activated by the recipients' behaviour (triggers). If they click on a link or a button in your first email, then they can be channelled to the next step. If they don't open the mail, then an interim step follows in which, for example, the subject line is amended. If this fails to elicit a reaction, then the message is reformulated. You, yourself, can decide just how your campaign progresses once you have mapped out a process. Campaigns can follow in succession until each contact is following an individual path.
6. Stronger sales
Marketing automation bridges the gap between marketing and sales. Eloqua can be linked to the CRM program Salesforce, for example. Once contacts have been defined as sales-qualified leads, then your commercial colleagues can be informed. And they can see exactly what each lead is interested in.
7. Higher productivity
With all marketing activities being managed and directed centrally, less time is spent on planning and coordination. As soon as you have defined a process, you can make time for something new. Your marketing team can then act faster, more flexibly and more efficiently, garnering new leads almost in their sleep.
8. Better client insight
Thanks to marketing automation, you know exactly what action your leads are taking before they proceed to buying. Each behaviour at your website is registered in an individual customer journey map: the pages your contacts visit, the forms they submit, the mails they click in, which news they follow… This gives you more insight into your target group, so you can choose the right contact moment.
9. Measurable result
To measure is to know. The number of people you have reached, who, which pages they have visited and shared, which buttons or links they have clicked on, which events they have participated in, which news they have subscribed to… at the end of the campaign you have a clear report of the results. You can co-relate that data with other marketing activities, enabling you to analyse and predict behaviour within the context.Marketing automation is a tool for getting more out of your marketing. Its strength lies in hyper-personalisation and centralisation: with the right platform you can improve the customer experience, increase your team's productivity and generate more qualitative leads. It is, naturally, just technology, though – you still need (hybrid) marketers for elaborating on and analysing your processes. Our tip: think big, start small, grow fast.