As customers interact with your company across multiple channels and traditional decision paths diverge to become increasingly more specific to the buyer, your business needs a way to keep ahead of these changes and stay completely engaged at every point of the customer journey. A marketing automation platform can be an incredible tool to support more agile marketing efforts that result in valuable customer relationships and higher sales volumes. Let’s walk through five ways marketing automation benefits your business and your bottom line.
1. Save time, money and stay focused on the bigger strategy
Marketing automation simplifies the management of time-consuming repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, lead management, and scoring and content management and updating. Automating the administrative parts of these outreach efforts opens up time for your team to focus on broader growth strategies, concentrate on creative campaign development and be more responsive to market changes and evolving customer demands. A marketing automation platform also provides a single place to capture, measure and analyze intelligence about campaign performance, customer interactions and overall engagement with marketing efforts. Reducing the cost and complexity around marketing and customer metrics improves visibility across the customer journey, strengthens lead qualification efforts and helps pinpoint which outreach efforts produce the greatest ROI.
2. Move beyond targeted to tailored
By tracking customer behavior and interaction with outreach efforts, such as website visits and social media activity, and automatically translating those interactions into actionable insights and scores – marketing automation expands your view into the customer journey like never before. With a more detailed understanding of the customer’s specific interests and position in the buying process, you can better customize specific, more relevant content that’s tailored to increase engagement. This concept in action could be suggesting complementary products to the product being researched on your site or sending the latest asset you have available on recently reviewed content. Tailored, more personalized messages take marketing efforts to a level beyond broader targeting that increases customer engagement with your brand and helps move the customer toward conversion.
3. Nail the nurture
An effective nurturing strategy can help your company develop long-term, more viable customer relationships that increase immediate revenues and also contribute to ongoing growth. Marketing automation helps your business cost-efficiently manage nurturing programs and keep them in motion across the customer journey. Your marketing automation platform also captures and stores the datapoints and customer intelligence to enable your business to precisely map nurturing efforts and ongoing touchpoints. For example, marketing automation provides insights into where each prospect is on the buying journey which enables your business to provide unique messages and offers that correspond to specific levels of interest at a specific point in time and help develop a prospect into a fully active customer. With a strong nurturing campaign, your business can better customize and personalize customer interactions, build affinity for your brand and help shape decisions along the customer lifecycle. As customer relationships mature, nurturing programs can help uncover cross-sell and up-sell opportunities and drive additional revenue on those routes.
4. Capitalize on content
Your marketing team puts a lot of time and money into developing informative content to promote your products and brand. Marketing automation can help maximize the return on that investment by easily disseminating content across multiple channels and customer touchpoints. With effective marketing automation, you can design, test and deploy new content very quickly without the delays and downtime of manually managing every facet of the process. This helps ensure your content is consistent, current and presents a cohesive message across multiple customer interaction points. An example of this is quickly leveraging an infographic across LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook while simultaneously promoting it on your website with a landing page.
The data element of your marketing automation system also strengthens content management by returning performance metrics and immediate feedback on new content pieces and outreach campaigns. With intelligence about the performance and click-through and download rates of certain pieces, you can see what’s working, what’s driving greater interest and where your content approach could use some adjustments. This level of intelligence supports a more agile, responsive approach to marketing and can help maximize the impact of the campaigns and content you’ve put so much effort and money into developing.
5. Strengthen sales support
Marketing automation is a powerful tool for developing and nurturing viable leads for your sales team. Automating scoring and lead assignment saves time, increases the number of available leads and accelerates the sales pipeline. The feedback and insights you can garner from your marketing automation platform helps inform the level of customization of various marketing touchpoints. As an example, you can assess the level of interest in a specific product or the number of visits around a specific topic and proactively provide that information to sales with the initial lead so they have more insight into the buyer persona and correspond accordingly. This increases the efficiency and efficacy of sales efforts which in turn leads to market share growth and greater revenue generation.
The real magic and true value of marketing automation happens when you integrate your marketing automation platform with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. By integrating marketing platforms, your business can achieve a more detailed, holistic customer perspective which opens up opportunities to fully synchronize sales and marketing efforts and drive efficiencies and synergies across the sales cycle. The level of customer visibility you can attain by integrating these platforms enables your team to reach the customer with very specific, customized messages and outreach that supports the exact stage of the buying journey they are in. This level of insight can help shape buyer decisions as they move to a converted sale and eventually build a level of customer loyalty that results in long-term, repeat revenues.
Growing market share and generating more revenue is at the heart of many shared goals between the marketing and sales functions. Marketing automation delivers the tools and technology to support a more cohesive, well-informed approach to the buyer’s journey and foster stronger, more results-driven collaboration between marketing and sales.