Just a few years ago, marketing automation systems were only used in large and wealthy companies. Today, they have become much more common and scalable – even for those small and medium-sized companies. In 2021, automation is the key to building a competitive advantage and achieving the best business results.
If you want to find out what marketing automation systems are, how they work, what features they have, and why more and more companies choose those tools – this blog post will help you find answers to these questions.
Marketing automation – what is it?
In short, marketing automation is using software to automate marketing, content and sales activities. By using advanced systems, it allows marketers to reduce time spent on tedious and repetitive tasks. It also gives a chance for better results by analysing massive databases containing crucial information about leads, preferences or customer behaviour.
In practice, the main goal of marketing automation is to reach potential users and generate sales leads.
Companies can create automated advertising campaigns via text messages, emails, social networks or websites, and many more, thanks to marketing automation. These tools have several features, such as creating personalised messages or choosing the best time to send them based on previous campaigns.
They allow automated marketing activities to work in the background while marketers focus on other projects.
Why do companies use marketing automation?
As many as 80% of marketers have seen an increase in leads after using marketing automation software
- Increase company revenue – by improving the effectiveness of marketing and sales activities.
- Increase employee efficiency – effective automation that offloads repetitive tasks allows you to reduce “human errors” and enables marketing and sales employees to focus on more critical and exciting assignments.
- Build relationships with customers – by sending personalised messages that maintain the contact between the company and the customer.
- Track potential sales – sending follow-ups to customers who browse the site, abandon a shopping cart, or even submit a question to customer service can help you finalise a potential deal.
- Track the customer’s path to purchase – you can check the average time or information needed to complete a purchase by your clients. You can also analyse what marketing activities result in the highest performance.
What is marketing automation software, and how does it work?
Marketing automation systems are advanced tools to help marketers generate new sales leads, increase marketing effectiveness, analyse customer behaviour and campaign performance.
Marketing automation systems monitor user activity across various channels, such as a website, app, digital product or email campaign. Then, based on the behavioural data obtained, they create targeted and personalised content tailored to a specific individual. These messages can be sent via email, social media, SMS, or displayed as notifications on a website or web app.
By using behavioural data, marketing automation software can help create personalised experiences. For example, they can broadcast ads based on recent browsing history or send emails with a personalised list of products that may interest a specific recipient.
These systems use advanced technologies such as machine learning and predictive analytics to process vast amounts of data to take the most relevant action possible.
Marketing automation systems — key features
1. Integration with CRM
Thanks to this feature marketing campaigns can use information about the user throughout his life cycle. CRM systems contain a large amount of information about the customer. Thanks to them, marketing automation systems can identify whether a lead is heading towards the end of the sales funnel.
Moreover, to get the best results, marketing automation software should also interact with the CRM system. It allows information to be automatically updated in both tools simultaneously, based on any activity identified in any of these tools.
2. Lead management
When anonymous visitors turn into potential customers, they enter the marketing funnel. Therefore, another important feature of a marketing automation system is managing the leads. With it, you will be able to:
- identify potential customers and acquire leads,
- map their traffic within the sales funnel,
- monitor and track potential customers,
- personalise content, increasing the chances of sales.
3. E-mail marketing
Email marketing is an effective and well-known method of reaching out to current and potential customers. However, to be effective and not take up too much time, it should be properly automated. The most important features include:
- creating personalised emails that increase engagement and support customer retention
- scheduling optimal time of sending messages
- prioritisation of email groups – for sorting, categorisation, etc.
- tracking email campaigns to validate and reduce the bounce rate
- registering communication and customer behaviour through the number of opens, clicks, etc.
4. Social media automation
Social media automation is a feature that helps to schedule posts in advance, so you can easily optimise the effectiveness of your efforts. You can use social media automation to:
- Schedule posts in advance, creating the impression that you are always available
- Respond quickly to customer questions
- Track the performance of social media campaigns
- Manage the performance of activities across different sources with a single tool
- Gather feedback and monitor mentions of your business
- Create more effective advertising campaigns
5. Analytics and reporting
With the ability to analyse huge data sets, marketing automation software helps marketers make informed decisions based on a number of collected customer information.
Such tools also help in generating relevant reports depending on the needs of different individuals. You can use them also to monitor campaigns, measure performance and ROI to adjust campaigns accordingly.
In what industries are marketing automation systems especially useful?
Marketing automation can bring many benefits, which is why it will work well for almost any company. However, several sectors have rapidly increased their investment in digital marketing through automation over the past few years – to meet demand and increase ROI. Some of the most prominent of these include:
3. Media and publishing
Marketing automation systems tailored to your organisation’s needs
There are many off-the-shelf marketing automation solutions on the market that significantly help automate everyday marketing activities.
However, no worries if you cannot find a tool that fully meets your company’s expectations. WEBSENSA team has experience in creating custom marketing automation systems based on our clients’ individual needs and preferences.
Contact our experts to find the best solution that will allow your company to achieve the highest level of automation.