How does automating marketing communications help organisational effectiveness
Marketing automation can be a misleading term because it seems to imply that marketing becomes somewhat automatic. In reality, rather than replacing marketing employees, it reduces inefficient tasks and creates a need for additional skillsets. However, the software benefits extend far beyond automatic processes because the software is really a set of tools designed to support an overall inbound approach. A better way to explain marketing automation’s strong suit is to say it increases organisational effectiveness.
Marketing automation software was originally designed to help B2B enterprise-level organisations manage leads in a more efficient way. As technology advanced and competing vendors added an array of ever-more-useful software tools, marketing automation became a platform-based solution with capabilities valuable to many different businesses, both B2B and B2C. As adoption of marketing automation grows, businesses utilise the tools in increasingly creative ways to grow business and work more efficiently, which leads to continual feature development within the marketing automation platforms.
Ultimately, efficiency is attained through a combination of powerful features that make certain marketing tasks automatic and allows the marketing and sales teams to determine which leads are the most valuable. The idea of quality over quantity is something that existed in theory but was difficult to put into practice without behavioural tracking, a key component of marketing automation software. Today, by tracking behaviour and scoring it based on various criteria, marketers and salespeople can communicate in the most relevant way possible with their leads. Salespeople can spend their time with the highest quality leads and marketers can nurture leads that aren’t ripe with automatically triggered, long-term campaigns. Leads aren’t lost or neglected and messaging is designed to emphasize what each individual needs to hear in order to eventually close.
Automating internal workflows
Automated workflows are the typical way marketing automation technology increases organisational efficiency. Internal processes can be automated with the software the same way that campaigns and other consumer-targeting processes are. Campaigns are essentially automated workflows and they can be used to do things that would otherwise be done manually at the expense of an employee’s time (and management):
- list building based on specific characteristics
- task assignment based on lead ownership
- regular custom performance and predictive reports
- transactional purchase emails
These automated processes don’t eliminate the need for marketers- they free up marketing brainpower for tasks that need it more, like content brainstorming and campaign creation.
Automatic triggering based on behaviour
The software also supports an inbound approach, making it easy to provide the best information to each individual prospect in a scalable and efficient way. Upselling products in an effective way (think of Amazon’s ‘you might also like’ suggestions) is easier because historical data can be combined with real-time behaviour so that recommended items have the highest likelihood of being relevant and resulting in another purchase.
Discount offers can be sent automatically when a shopping cart is abandoned for more than 4 hours, a success story case study can be sent to everyone who visits your pricing page but doesn’t reach out or close, etc. Inbound marketing is all about relevance and timing. Instead of sending ‘batch and blast’ emails to everyone on a list, emails can be triggered automatically for specific behavioural and demographic data.
Real time behaviour triggers
The ability to automatically trigger events based on real-time behaviour and to branch emails mid-campaign is what makes even the email marketing feature within marketing automation software vastly more powerful than the email marketing offered by companies like MailChimp and Constant Contact. Add in all the additional features and it becomes clear that this suite of tools is completely different from an email service providers..
Ineffective organisations communicate poorly internally and externally, contributing to a stagnant growth cycle. Marketing automation software changes the way communication is handled so messaging is relevant and workflows are streamlined. This powerful software has led to a marketing paradigm shift — a shift that focuses on inbound practices and a more holistic approach to the buying cycle. The universally accessible behavioural and demographic data allows members of each team to contribute to the pipeline and glean new insights that, in turn, catalyse success and growth. Contact us to find out how we can help.