Companies are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency within their internal processes in order to become more profitable and better at what they do. There are a lot of areas within a business that can benefit from updated processes. These areas include project management, communication within the organization, and how client acquisition and coordination is handled. When it comes to communication outside of the agency, i.e. communication with prospective and existing clients, marketing automation can be a powerful tool that streamlines existing processes and simplifies even the most mundane and repetitive tasks.
Put simply, marketing automation is the practice of using technology or software to automatically execute marketing actions. Different types of marketing actions include CRM management, email marketing, and moving prospective clients through a sales funnel. Marketing automation also exists to further streamline social media activity by scheduling and monitoring feedback in a simple and concise way.
While the concept of marketing automation isn’t new, it certainly is gaining traction among companies and agencies. In fact, marketing automation platforms have seen a significant amount of growth year over year as more businesses take note of the benefits they offer.
So why is marketing automation growing as a practice among the nation’s top companies? We have outlined some of the benefits that marketing automation provides below:
Increase Productivity and Efficiency
Companies of all sizes are constantly trying to improve efficiencies in order to pad margins and increase their bottom line. As a concept, marketing automation is designed to do just that. Both organizational and marketing tasks take time, no matter how simple they are. That’s why eliminating the need to manually execute repetitive processes is so important when it comes to freeing up employees to focus on broader strategic goals, rather than spend their time in the weeds clicking around software programs.
What does your business do with a new lead that enters the sales pipeline? Many businesses undergo the manual process of entering the information into a CRM. Marketing automation turns this into an automatic process that populates the necessary information and adds the new contact into a specific stage within the sales funnel. Companies start seeing the value of automation almost immediately as even easy processes like this will add time to an employee’s day.
Automate Existing Workflows
Workflows of all types exist within a business. When it comes to sales and marketing, these workflows ensure that prospective clients in all customer lifecycle stages are being moved along at the correct time and pace. Marketing automation works hand in hand with inbound marketing efforts to ensure that landing pages, calls to action, and conversions are all part an overarching process.
As an example, when a prospective customer lands on a landing page, clicks on a call to action, and submits their information to lead capture form, automated workflows ensure that this is a seamless process. The prospective client is added into the necessary stage of a given sales pipeline and set up in an automated email track that is designed to nurture this lead into a customer.
Marketing automation also serves to notify the correct members of an organization when a prospective client enters a sales funnel, and as they move through it.
Help Drive Sales Efforts
When a potential customer is first introduced to a company, often times through a visit to the company’s website, there are many factors that determine when and how a prospective customer becomes an actual customer. Marketing automation helps make this process easier as it nurtures potential leads along a predetermined path. While this concept is also intrinsic to inbound marketing, it is marketing automation that allows sales teams to execute the necessary components needed to nurture a lead into a customer.
For example, marketing automation allows for a set number of emails to be sent to a new lead at given stages of the sales cycle. Previously, this was accomplished by having a sales team manually send these emails while simultaneously moving leads through a sales pipeline. Through automating this process, the sales team is able to spend its time actually selling the product or service instead of spending time on meticulous tasks.
Improve Customer Retention
Customer retention is a staple of running a successful business. The old adage of it being more expensive to acquire customers than it is to keep them is truer than ever. Marketing automation allows companies to engage with their existing customer base more frequently. It allows for better two-way communication between customers and a company’s customer service team.
Workflows can be put into place that ensures customers that meet certain criteria are contacted about specific promotions or relevant offerings. Marketing automation can also be used to contact new customers about how well they are enjoying a product or service. Another example would be to reengage customers that haven’t had contact with the company for a specified length of time.
Acquire Measurable Results
The last benefit, and certainly not the least, is that data associated with a company’s marketing automation efforts is accessible and can be easily digested. Since marketing automation is run through software, the results of campaigns and different workflow processes can be closely monitored for effectiveness. This is especially important when trying to determine changes to an ongoing process.
Data will be able to show if certain processes within a company could use improvement. It will also allow companies to run tests on different workflows to determine the best way to engage their prospective and existing customers. In doing so, a business has the ability to further improve efficiencies that are already in place.
Marketing automation, while still a fairly new concept, is very much on the rise. If you have questions regarding marketing automation and how it can benefit your company, contact us today!