In this post, we want to look at the role that marketing automation tools play in being a successful digital marketer and why any business serious about growth should consider it as part of their strategy.
What is marketing automation?
An online tool that centralises all of your marketing actions. It enables tactical marketing content distribution, that assists lead generation, lead nurturing and overall community building. Most good automation tools cater for the following:
- Campaign management
- Social Media scheduling
- Social listening
- Detailed analytics
70% of all businesses today use some marketing automation elements
It is not a coincidence that successful companies work with marketing automation
Every business is constantly looking to improve, to get better, to grow, to be more profitable etc. Hence it makes sense to examine what class leading, successful companies are doing.
- 91% of successful marketing automation users say marketing automation is ‘critically important’ to the overall success of their marketing across all channels
- Best in class companies are 67% more likely to use marketing automation
- 63% of successful users plan to increase their spend on marketing automation
It is interesting to note the language being used in these data points. For example ‘successful users’ – this is such an important point. There are many businesses that activate a marketing automation tool, but a significant portion of these companies do not succeed or take advantage of the power of the tool. The main barriers to success are:
- 52% report a lack of understanding on what an effective digital and inbound strategy requires
- 42% report a poor understanding or a complicated automation tool
- 38% felt that poor contact data was responsible for ineffective results
- 32% feel their skill set was not up to standard to deliver
- 31% felt that poor content was the main factor in failure
61% of surveyed companies felt that implementing a marketing automation strategy was difficult
What type of marketing technology is being used?
When you examine the sort of marketing activities that companies carry out, it gives a good snapshot into why working with an automation tool can be useful. There is a mix of email, social media, crm, content management, search marketing, data management and these technologies cater for the spectrum of different content types – written word, graphic design, video, animation, audio etc. But without automation, this is very often managed in silos and very disconnected.
Benefits of Marketing Automation:
For medium enterprises there is always a struggle with the investment and resourcing needed to activate a marketing automation strategy. For many of these sized companies they will have a marketing budget but are not big enough for a marketing team.
One of the key barriers to succeeding with marketing automation is failure to plan properly. This includes underestimating the resource required and the training needed to get active with whatever tool you choose.
Consider partnering with a specialist inbound marketing agency:
Partnering with an expert will help you execute in the following areas:
- Strategy: How to plan your strategy, what tool will work best for your strategy and business? How to manage your team in and around the automation tool, will also be valuable
- Content: ensuring that you create great content that reflects your uniqueness. Deciding what content will perform best and which will fit with your needs, resources etc – you will need to develop a mix of content across the spectrum: written, graphic, video, animation etc
- Website: your website should be your core focus and your best marketing tool. An automated marketing tool with smart web features has to be a key consideration. A good partner can help you to plot the sales journey and reflect it in your website architecture
- CustomerData: You need to understand the journey you are bringing your audience on. You want to attract visitors to your site and entice them to download more detailed content that they are interested in. From here they can become a lead that you want to nurture into a customer. Your marketing automation tool will capture your visitor details and behaviours and feed them directly into your contact database. But you need to ensure that you act quickly on this data as you mine it. A partner that understands the tactics required during the lead generation to customer phases should be considered
- Landing pages: A crucial part of the marketing automation tool will be the development of these special pages designed to convert your visitors into leads. Building these pages outside of your website allows you to see what content is generating leads and what are not getting traction
- Built in SEO: Tags, links, meta descriptions etc. Your marketing automation tool will ensure your pages are optimized for the search engines. Built in keyword tools are an excellent way of ensuring that your content is always consistent with your keyword strategy
Marketing automation tools are fast becoming a must have element of the marketing machinery. Some of the benefits you will see include:
- Getting rid of your customer data silos and having an all in one solution and hub
- Cleaning up your contact data (massively important if you are serious about digital marketing)
- Email marketing integrated with your analytics
- Detailed analytics monitoring all your activity
- An integrated CRM
- Social Media planning and listening
- Blogging publishing and tracking
Be clear about your strategy:
In conclusion if you are serious about growing your business, you have to have a digital marketing strategy. Any business ambitious about growth should consider activating a marketing automation tool to manage their marketing activities. You should be looking to achieve the following:
- Make your website the central element of your marketing activity
- Collect valuable leads and customer data by offering valuable content
- Understand your sales journey and create marketing elements, which reflect this journey so that you can nurture your leads through the funnel. Create a series of staged emails to help this nurturing process
- Survey and interview customers regularly to get the ‘temperature’ and ensure your insights are correct
- Create great blog content – this will be your engine
- Share your content and engage on social media
- Track your website visitor activity and learn to understand what content works and what doesn’t
63% of companies that are out performing their competitors use marketing automation
You can scale your business and marketing activities easily when you have the right marketing automation tool. You can personalise your marketing to ensure better more focused leads are developed for your business. You can finally align your marketing and sales teams so that you are all working to the same agenda of growth and delivering great customer experiences.
Once you have successful activated this strategy you will begin to see other benefits:
- You can manage complex marketing programs from a single source
- You can be consistent with content and your publishing timings
- Your analytics will give you valuable actionable data
- You will generate more accurate and deep lead generation
- You will convert more of these leads into customers
You will grow your business