What is marketing automation? Why should I use it and how do I set it up to be successful?
Marketing automation (MA) refers to software platforms that enable businesses of any size to effectively and affordably market their products or services without having to hire a large staff. MA has revolutionized the way businesses communicate with their customers online and offline, freeing up more time for higher value activities such as strategy development, content creation, data analysis, etc.
MA is typically used by companies to streamline repetitive tasks, reduce manual errors, or save on costs associated with these processes (such as hiring a large number of employees). MA can also help marketers better understand customer behavior and give them more insight into the needs of their target audience than would be possible with traditional marketing strategies alone.
MA consists of many different software solutions that allow companies to automate repetitive tasks, such as email campaign management, lead scoring/nurturing, social media monitoring, etc. For example, an MA solution can integrate with an existing customer relationship manager (CRM) or enterprise resource planning system and use the data generated by these systems to create targeted marketing messages. In addition, many companies are using chatbots to engage customers on their websites, another way to use MA tools to increase efficiency.
Why should I use it?
MA is useful because it gives companies more time and resources to focus on higher-value activities such as strategy development or content creation. Also, by automating repetitive tasks that used to require a large staff, companies can save on the costs associated with these processes. Finally, MA tools can give marketers valuable insights into customer behavior to better understand their needs.
How can you set yourself up for success?
MA is not always easy and requires the right resources from both an internal (human) and external (technical) perspective. The first step to successfully implementing an MA solution begins with understanding your organization’s goals. This will help you determine which aspects of marketing should be automated.
Next, ensure that data collected from existing systems such as CRM or ERP can be easily integrated with any future systems. Finally, once an MA solution has been selected and properly implemented (either internally by your IT staff or by an outside vendor), proper training of all relevant stakeholders is required.
MA enables organizations to better understand the needs of their target audience while reducing manual errors, saving costs associated with repetitive tasks, and freeing up more time for higher value activities such as strategy development, etc. MA requires a comprehensive understanding of your organization’s goals to be set up successfully. However, once you take the right steps to implement it, it can prove to be an effective way to automate marketing processes that were previously too costly or labor intensive.