Although marketing automation occupies some of the latest headlines in top marketing publications, this technology has actually been around for a few years now. Despite that, it has not been fully adopted — even by those who have already decided to invest in it.
According to SiriusDecisions, around 85% of B2B marketers are not using the full potential of their marketing automation platform. If you happen to be one of these marketers, or perhaps a business developer, thinking of ways to leverage automation even more, here are the top 3 marketing automation benefits you should know:
1. Campaign-Based Marketing
Maintaining the bare minimum of marketing activities — social media posting
, blogging, PR, and email newsletters
—is a must. But that’s the bare minimum …
One of the main beauties of marketing automation
is the organization of all efforts under a single umbrella … a campaign. So, if you aren’t organizing your efforts into one campaign, your efforts probably lack proper strategy and direction.
In a non-automation context, campaigns can mean special events or occasions you create or use as a marketer to capture your target’s attention (and hopefully their information). While the idea mainly remains the same, there are a few differences when it comes to automation. Think of campaigns as offers; you create an offer, like a coupon, an eBook, a free service, a new product catalog, etc. Then, you start building your marketing efforts around that offer.
With marketing automation, campaigns are a collection of marketing activities that are connected to one another by the offer. For instance, a company offering new hot tubs can create a campaign based on their monthly catalog to attract both browsing visitors and those who are ready to buy. Then, they can create the following sub-campaigns to support the main offer:
- Email: nurture your leads by giving them exclusive early access to the new catalog
- Content: attract new visitors and engage with those who return by publishing blog articles about the new designs and product comparisons
- Social Media: start conversations, receive feedback, and inspire your readers on Pinterest and Instagram
- Keywords: build a targeted keyword list meant specifically for that campaign
- Advertising: set a budget and establish your targeting criteria for the offer
Campaigns are highly flexible when used with marketing automation. You can build simple, one or two-channel campaigns or plan massive, multi-dimensional campaigns that evolve based on your readers’ reactions. But to execute a truly epic marketing automation campaign, you need to plan well.
2. Planning Never Ends
Planning is always a part of the job, but when you’re utilizing marketing automation, the planning phase truly ends when the campaign ends. Apart from the initial planning and strategizing, you can make improvements to your campaigns as they happen. Different automation platforms allow different types of interference, but most of them will let you upgrade content or change details that your target does not react to.
You can call this monitoring or making improvements, but anything that is not producing results should be changed, and you don’t have to wait for the end of the campaign. This way your company can adapt its marketing strategy to the buyer’s journey and the engagement habits your readers are displaying.
3. Follow the Customer’s Pace
In traditional marketing, we used to set launch dates, decide when announcements were going out, establish when certain content was being sent to an email list, and so on. Unfortunately, this kind of process aligns far better with pace of your company while it completely ignores the pace of your consumers.
If you’re trying to establish long-term relationships with your buyers rather than trying to sell at them, you will want to respect their pace and plan your activities based their needs. Marketing automation will allow you to calculate timing and your readers’ reactions to find the right time for a specific message. Monitoring your contacts and their activity on your website, lead scoring, interests they are displaying … all these are keys that can be used to unlock the biggest business dilemma — answering, “What do our customers want?!” — at any given time.
So, although 67% of best-in-class companies have already invested in marketing automation (source: Aberdeen Group “State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce”), we still don’t know if they are embracing the core strategy behind automation. Are they regularly planning and monitoring their campaigns? Are their marketing efforts organized, tracked, and analyzed? Are they imposing their marketing onto visitors, trying to catch a customer based on mere luck, or is their logic and data behind their efforts? We can’t know that, but we can make sure those points are checked for our clients.
If you know your marketing efforts have room for improvement, start with the Zero Moment of Truth — a crucial part of the buyer’s journey. Get started with our free e-book below.