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What is marketing automation? And how can it improve communication?

Posted by Carina May on Nov 4, 2016

computer.pngMarketing automation leverages software and technology to help you seamlessly market across multiple channels, segmenting your audience and targeting them with personalized experiences. It’s an exciting process that is agile, flexible, and scalable, allowing you to manage your marketing operations in a more efficient and cost-effective way. Because today’s consumers get their information from a wide range of media channels, you need to respond to their various needs quickly, demonstrating real value.

When you automate your marketing process, you get to rapidly leverage data across multiple channels and tailor communications to very specific consumer needs. The right automated solutions will bridge the communications gap between your marketing and sales teams, turning the focus from your internal process to where it belongs, your customers. A recent survey found just how valuable marketing automation can be. Just under 700 small- and medium-sized business marketers reported using automation and said they were nearly three times more likely to have strong communications with sales.

Marketing Automation and You

It’s no surprise that the latest State of Inbound report found marketer’s top inbound marketing priorities to be converting leads and growing traffic. But it’s the new addition to top priorities that has people talking – marketing automation. The study found that nearly 45% of marketers consider automation a key inbound marketing priority. Here’s how to make automation a crucial part of your overall marketing strategy.

Manage a Multi-channel World

Organizations that fail to accommodate mobile devices are in danger of falling behind. As searches on mobile devices take the lead, optimizing your website to adapt becomes more crucial for online lead generation. The most effective marketing tactics are those that use a multi-prong approach to reach potential customers across all channels. With the right approach, you can create a strong strategy that will boost returns.

Use a single source (software platform) that lets you manage all channels; you can post and monitor everything from your blog, social media channels and email campaigns, to landing pages, collection of contact information, and your contact database. A multi-channel dashboard lets you better organize your campaigns in a streamlined manner. Over 60,000 characters for Facebook, but just 140 for Twitter, for instance, can get tricky and require separate tasking. So, too, for targeted email marketing versus the wider reach of content marketing.

Align Sales and Marketing

All the great content and marketing strategies in the world won’t matter if your sales team isn’t committed or knowledgeable enough to close deals. If you want to grow, it’s critical to align your marketing and sales teams. And if you only have a small marketing department, and no sales team, then it's important to set up your activities to take advantage of as much strategized outreach as possible. Yes, marketing automation software provides you with the tools you need for more targeted and effective digital marketing, but bridging the alignment gap between your two teams shouldn't be underestimated. It’s the best way to increase communication and transparency, which leads to better productivity and, ultimately, higher ROI.

Apply to Every Sales Funnel Level

Automation makes it easier to capture and convert leads using your sales funnel. To capture leads 24/7, set up a marketing automation system with your online pages, where you can instantly automate and match responses to the actions users take on your website.

  • Capture leads at the top of the funnel by offering a solution to the user’s specific problem.
  • Nurture leads at the middle of the funnel by focusing on the benefits your product or service offers and urging user to take action by signing up for more information.
  • Hook leads at the bottom of the funnel by rewarding users with an easy, automated way to close the sale.

Demonstrate Value

Expand the value and impact of your content, improve lead-to-sale conversions, drive repeat business, capture lead data, and enhance the overall customer experience with marketing automation. Generate automated reports to stay informed on how your campaigns are performing, and use the software to demonstrate the value of your content. When you connect your content campaigns to marketing metrics, you can clearly show how the campaigns are directly contributing to the success of your business goals.

To realize the full potential of marketing automation, take actions that accomplish at least three things:

  • Create stellar content and promote it through social media sharing and email.
  • Build a strong foundation with A/B testing, lead scoring, and landing pages.
  • Align marketing and sales, use an integrated CRM, segmented lists, and workflows to turn actions into results.

Topics: Inbound Marketing