What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation refers to a set of software tools that automates your time-consuming, labourious online marketing tasks, allowing you time to focus on the analytics and fine tune your marketing strategies. For example, if you place a newsletter subscription form on your website for site visitors to sign-up, if without marketing automation, it would mean that you have to manually send a thank you email to the new sign-ups. However, with marketing automation, not only you can pre-design a response email, you can plan out a campaign where you have a weekly newsletter automatically sent out by the software, to all who sign up. With this automation, you can focus on the statistics of how many sign up, the number of views, the click through for each email, the demographics of those who read your newsletter.
Types of Marketing Automation and How They Benefit Your Business
Email Marketing is just one type of Marketing Automation. Marketing automation can range from simple tools for sales leads generation or a set of tools and applications to manage end-to-end workflows and campaigns. Besides Email Marketing, here 3 other common types of Marketing Automation:
- Customer relationship management (CRM): Examples are the Hubspot CRM or the Salesforce CRM. The CRM software stores, manages and helps retrieve customer/ lead data, purchase history and other business interactions between the brand and customers. The CRM can be integrated to your website so that when site visitors sign up for a newsletter or ebook, the contact details are stored. Sales personnel can contact such potential customers, and update the interaction history in the CRM. When the potential customer respond via email, that email can be tracked by the CRM and the data will be presented automatically by the software to show the status of such sales pipeline. It gives managers an overview of how many leads are generated each month and hence how succesful their online campaigns are, it also tracks the follow-up actions and notifications can be set accordingly for better management of buyer’s journey.
- Conversion Tracking: Tools such as Google Ads and Analytics allow you to define what is considered as a conversion. For example, if you are advertising online, you can define each time a site visitor make a purchase as a conversion. By defining that in Google Ads platform, the platform will generate a snippet code for you to place in a web page, eg the thank you page. Hence each time a user lands on that page, the Conversion Tracking module can compute how much you have earned versus how much you have spent on the online advertising. In this way, you can have your Return on Investment automatically computed.
- Social Media Posting and Analytics: Although Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and many other social media platforms provide you with free statistics, you can make your social media marketing more efficient with automation tools such as Hootsuite. and Buzzsumo provides powerful feautres such as identifying influential people, track comments and trends so you can respond rapidly, schedule your contents and deeper insights.
- Unified Dashboard– platforms such as DataBox allow you to pull all your KPIs from different platforms (Hubspot, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Google Sheets, Twitter, etc.) together into one dashboard without any coding.
When automation is used effectively to handle repetitive tasks, employees are free to tackle higher-order problems, and human error is reduced. Marketing automation helps with lead generation and nurturing, from automating the lead qualification process to creating a hub for business intelligence. Good automation tools help you identify your audience, design the right content, and automatically trigger actions based on schedules and buyer’s response. Once your have configured your settings, you can focus on more important tasks, analyising and tweaking your marketing strategy based on the performance results. An automated marketing strategy can save time and resources, helping you grow your business efficiently.