Summary: In this article I’ll describe what marketing automation is and how it’s being used by your competition to gain loyal customers.
So What Is It?
Simply put marketing automation means applying automation processes to get customers.
That’s the simplest possible explanation. When we add any further detail to that description then things get complicated fast. Partly because of the wealth of tools for marketing automation.
Marketing Automation Relies On Software Tooling.
There now exists a vast and complex ecosystem of tool that specifically aim to help businesses automate their marketing. The tools provide different and overlapping features, have different business models, and are in constant competition with each other.
Some vendors provide components that can be used like lego blocks: you can use use their services on their own, or combine them with tools from other providers as part of a larger strategy.
For example you could use Mailchimp for automating dripped email campaigns along with Pipedrive for managing your leads.
Pricing for these “lego blocks” can range from $0 in the case of, say Google Analytics and Mautic, all the way up to many thousands of dollars per month.
Marketing automation is a category of technology that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.
Effective Marketing Automation Relies On Responding To Measurement
The tools themselves are not enough.
You probably already know that just being able to use photoshop doesn’t make someone a designer. A professional designer knows not only how to use the tools. But also how to communicate with her clients and with the clients customers. A designer will know how to read and respond to briefs and have a deep understanding of the mediums across which their work will be published.
The same basic principle applies to the marketing automation: Knowing the tools is not enough
At the heart of effective marketing automation is the ability to measure the impact of tool use, to glean insights from measurement, and to act on these insights.
What Can Marketing Automation Do For Me?
“Marketers know their ultimate job is to increase revenue. Marketing automation can help by generating more and higher quality leads, which will eventually turn into new customers.”
– Gleanster Report
Again there are two answers: a simple one and a more complex one.
The simple answer: effective marketing automation can drive your business growth. It will bring you more customers.
It can bring you more customers on autopilot. And as you iterate through the cycle of ‘automate -> gather insights -> respond to insights -> automate’: your spending on automation becomes increasingly effective.
If your business is online then marketing automation will make you more money.
So How Do I Apply Marketing Automation To My Own Business?
If you want the benefits as quickly as possibly then you’ve got two options:
- Assign existing staff members to create automated marketing processes.
- Bring in external specialists.
Upskilling Your Team.
Both paths have their advantages. And if you have staff who are technically literate, good communicators and fast learners… then the first path can bear fruit quickly. Partly because your existing team already knows and understands your business.
Bringing In The Experts.
Bringing in external expertise can help you get results faster. You can avoid having existing resources being sunk into a learning curve.