At one wonderful moment, you won't be able to perform your marketing tasks efficiently and deliver the same level of service to all your clients. Taking care of 10 clients is an easy job. Whenever a person enters your website, writes you an email or purchases your product; you are always there to help. When your business is growing the chaos begins.

Think about marketing automation as a robot that helps you to organize, track, nurture leads. It takes your repetitive tasks and performs it according to the algorithm you choose.

In this blog we will talk about marketing automation features, how does it work and what downsides you should expect.

Let's start from the beginning.

Many businesses realized the hidden potential of content marketing and CRM systems. Indeed they positively affect the bottom line and overall customer experience.

Difference-between-CRM-and-Marketing-Automation

But even with an established CRM system, you are facing the following problems:

1) Lack of personalization of your emails thus low open rates.
2) No leads prioritization, as a result, you cold call people who are potentially not interested in your products.
3) Impossibility to track engagement of every client and personalize strategies taking into consideration what he/she might likely be interested in.

Marketing automation software collects leads' data and uses it to create more successful campaigns and convert them to loyal customers' more effectively than a human. The essence of platforms lies in software that is able to sort leads, and then analyze each one of them and send a personalized campaign he/she would want to receive.

Marketing automation software performs tasks without human intervenience, thus saving your precious time, that can be reinforced into creating new strategies and more important tasks.

At their core, automation platforms:
1) Speed up marketing and sales operational processes
2) Collect data and consolidates it from various sources
3) Improve the relevance of your email and content marketing
4) Improve customer support
5) Increase conversion rates

In short, automation platforms bring simplicity to marketers daily routine. They bring consistency to marketing channels and improves customer journey.

Related article: 5 B2B brands that took content marketing to the next level

How does marketing automation work?

Automation software merges 3 main marketing operations. It makes possible to send a personalized message to the right person at the right time.

In the platform, you will be given specific tools to set a workflow, which is a combination of messages, segments, and timing. By using these tools you will select multiple scenarios of your consumer journey and will set an algorithm of how the system should work.

An example of a scenario is shown in a picture provided below:

marketing-automation-workflow

After a workflow is set, marketing automation software will run by its own.
The software collects every persons’ interactions with your website or content, analyses which steps a person has taken. After that, it segments your audience according to their buying behaviors, interests, and readiness to purchase.

For instance, if a person (let’s call him Dave) added a product to a basket, the system tracks from which website page he has made a decision to buy and then analyzes triggers that convinced him. Those triggers will determine what exactly Dave is interested in an ideal scenario the system should run him through.

Timing plays a crucial role in marketing automation

Timing-in-marketing

Not all messages should be sent instantly. In some cases, the systems wait for perfect timing when a client is more likely to respond to the message positively. For example, if a prospect performs a certain action on your site, systems wait for a specified amount of time and checks if a person will relate to a trigger. If the system understands that a visitor is not interested in your product, then it won't send a message.

Depending on a scenario you set in settings, you can send an email after a few hours or days if the user hasn’t performed the desired action. Delays range from a couple of seconds to several days or absent altogether if the buyer's action doesn’t require an immediate response from you.

Different people come to your site, with different goals and interests, and it is obvious that you need to communicate with them in different ways in different time zones.

There are many triggers that can be used to catch a lead. If Dave is leaving your page, without paying for items in his basket, marketing automation software will show Dave a pop-up window with the goods in his basket.

Alternatively, you can launch a welcome pop-up with an offer to leave an email in exchange for a discount. Automation software can show this pop-up to those visitors, whose emails it doesn’t know.

email-marketing

Perfect timing is vital in sales. As a human, you won't be able to track 100-1000 customers and remember the perfect timing of each client. In some cases, the ideal timing could be 45 days after the last order, or a few seconds after purchase, a few hours after a person has subscribed. Marketing automation tracks everything and knows when to send messages.

There are hundreds of possible alternatives and scenarios. Until we develop a sophisticated artificial intelligent understanding of different scenarios, marketing automation will continue following the algorithms you set up.

Why marketing automation doesn’t always work?

We don't want to misinform you about a magical tool. Marketing automation is not a typical software that you establish, set up in minutes and it works by itself. Unfortunately, technologies are not at that level yet.

Marketers have to prepare for investing a drastic amount of time and financial resources as the software is not cheap.

Following this, you need to review your current content and understand whether it needs to be improved upon – before feeding it through your marketing automation workflow.

Most marketing automation software is designed to integrate seamlessly with your CRM, and this makes life a lot easier. But you’ll still have to do the groundwork when it comes to setting up campaigns and programs.

There is more software in the market that you can possibly imagine. And the price range is significant. We highly recommend to take your time and consider what parts of marketing automation do you actually need in your company. High price tagged software might not be the best ones. One can suit one business and not the other one. So prepare for a challenge of finding the right software and setting it up.

Marketing-Automation-Matrix

Marketing automation requires a big database with good lead data. If you are currently not receiving enough leads every month, the software won't impact your business. The software needs high-quality leads data.

Make sure you're planning for the software setup, training, integrations, campaign planning, content development, and ongoing management required of any stand-alone marketing automation platform. It is indeed a long but rewarding process.

In a conclusion,

Currently, 100 people come to your website every day. You can communicate with them, learn their names, know how to approach them. Marketing automation is equivalent to hiring 100 more sales and marketing managers. But if you still have daily 100 visitors, does it worth it? Make the investments when you need it.

Implement software when you can't physically monitor and personally take care of every customer.

Marketing automation is a powerful tool but only in the right hands and at the right business life cycle stage.

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