Marketing Automation is a software based solution that helps marketers automate their marketing process. This is an ever-evolving field that can help marketers better understand their customers and improve their marketing campaigns.
When you receive a birthday SMS from one of your trusted brands, you must wonder who in the world would take out the time to actually wish you on your birthday through a text message. It’s not that they have a dedicated personnel, who actually keeps track of their customers’ birthdays and sends a text message to each and every one of them. It’s all automated messages sent by brands to their customers to build customer loyalty through these small gestures. This is one of many examples of marketing automation.
The use of various softwares and technologies to implement or create automated marketing actions, which are usually repetitive in nature, is known as marketing automation. It is a powerful and profitable way for brands to grow their networks and produce consistent, high-quality content. Marketing automation also increases efficiency and allows you to spend more time focusing on what matters the most.
Also, it provides an opportunity to develop digital marketing strategies without the hassle of manually sending emails and messages, creating ad campaigns, and managing posts.
Unica (IBM campaign) is the first marketing automation platform created in 1992, which focused on email marketing. Now, we have AI and cloud based automation. The key components of marketing automation are :
– Marketing Analytics
– Lead Management
– Campaign Management
– Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
– Marketing Operations
Importance of Marketing Automation
- Marketing automation can create multiple campaigns, customized emails, set up autoresponders for follow-ups or auto messages. All these save times for the business.
- Personalized approach, quicker response, regular information is all a customer demands. Marketing automation fulfills that demand building a strong credibility towards the business. Marketing automation helps in building sustainable relationships.
- Human efforts are irregular and biased. Automation uses data and software. This allows businesses to schedule the task in a firm manner maintaining consistency with message, approach, content, schedule etc.
- Marketing automation is an integrated system. It incorporates all the other functions and departments and communicates.
- Automation helps to create a detailed profile of customers, potential customers and business stakeholders. Marketing automation creates a detailed profile and predicts the behavior based on the data collected over those profiles.
- Marketing automation is essential for good Return on Investment (ROI). Automation saves time, connects with visitors and makes the most of the leads. Automation optimizes the process, resources with higher ROI.
B2B Marketing Automation
B2B stands for Business-to-Business. This automation is the use of software based solutions in B2B operation. This marketing automation plays a vital role in terms of analyzing and interpreting data along with smoothening the workflow of a company. Workflows can be considered as a set of instructions that may be defined by templates, custom-building from scratch, or modifications made in the campaign to achieve better output. B2B automation, if implemented successfully, can be very beneficial for a strong coordination between the sales and marketing department. Some of the notable examples of B2B marketing automation are as follows;
Lead Generated Sales Notifications
Customers often visit your pages or websites when they’re interested in your product or service. Through marketing automation various leads like the amount of time spent on a website by a user, the number of clicks made, page visits, etc. can be generated. This will often help businesses follow up via notification emails or messages.
Customer retention is an important factor to be considered in order to maintain a stable customer base and grow your business. However, reducing customer churns is one of the main challenges faced by businesses especially if it’s subscription based. Customers often cancel their subscriptions when they don’t find the product or service useful enough. They may also be misunderstood or less informed about it. Hence, in such cases it’s up to businesses to retain these kinds of customers through informational posts or emails. They can also offer discount packages through analysis of the information obtained via automated systems. They can also obtain useful information through generating automated queries on why customers want to cancel their subscription.
Automated Messages and Scheduling on Social Media
Responding to customers’ queries manually, especially when it’s an ad post, can be very time consuming. Similarly, having to manually upload posts on the right time can be a hectic process. Thanks to marketing automation, automated replies and scheduling of posts in optimal times can be achieved.
B2C Marketing Automation
It is very important to keep your customers engaged in your business; especially at a time when they have plenty of platforms to assess their options. B2C marketing automation helps businesses in developing a 360 degree view of their customers. With the help of the information obtained through these automated systems, they can provide a personalized experience for each customer. Here are a few examples of how B2C automation can be implemented to generate new customers and retain the existing ones;
Onboarding Email Subscriptions
There are chances that your customers may not fully be aware about your product or service. They might have discovered your website while browsing through search results and decided to give your website a shot. Now that the ball is in your court, it’s up to you to retain those customers. Now it might not be possible for you to manually send them a welcome email and describe your business in each and every email. That’s where automated email marketing comes into action.
Birthday or Anniversary Messages
Customers appreciate businesses that make them feel valued. Through automation, businesses can keep track of important dates in a customer’s profile, which can then be used to generate messages to their customers. This can play a vital role in building customer loyalty towards your business.
Surveys and feedback emails can be a great way to collect vital information about your product or service. Marketing automation can be used to generate feedback emails after the purchase or use of any product or service respectively. When customers feel their voice being heard, they feel valued by the company.