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Thanks to digital transformation, businesses are running 24×7. The website is always up, e-stores are always open, and social media accounts are running ’round the clock. Due to this, businesses now have a prospect pool that spans across cities, countries and time zones. Therefore, every marketing opportunity missed is a revenue lost. Marketing automation can help you avoid it..
Salesforce defines marketing automation as: Technology that manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns, across multiple channels, automatically. With marketing automation, businesses can target customers with automated messages across email, web, social, and text.
Prospective customers, or leads, interact with your business through different touchpoints and at different stages in the customer journey. Marketing automation allows marketers to be able to nurture these leads at the right place, at the right time and in the right way. Let’s understand this better.
The customer journey, essentially, is a map that enables you to understand your customers and create wholesome experiences for them. It encompasses all customer interactions across all channels, devices and touchpoints throughout every stage of the customer lifecycle.
The customer lifecycle describes the various stages a customer goes through before, during and after they complete a transaction. The various stages of the customer lifecycle and how to navigate through them are shown below:
The goal for your content, marketing, sales and CRM teams should be to take leads and convert them into customers, and then provide them such an amazing experience that they start advocating your business.
Now that you have understood the various stages of the customer journey and the goals for each stage, you need to understand how marketing automation helps enhance your marketing efforts.
The way marketing automation software works is that it mechanises the processes that lead up to each touchpoint. For example, if we take the website as a touchpoint, the marketing automation software manages the various SEO, Advertising and content campaigns that are being run by the brand.
In case of forms for subscription or order placing, the software would capture and organize the data collected from leads. In many cases, the software also captures user data such as their search history and browsing patterns, as well as computes a site heat map for optimum placement of CTAs or Ads.
Another important function that the marketing automation software performs is lead scoring. Lead scoring, as the name suggests, is the process of assigning a numerical score to each lead for the actions it undertakes. These scores are later cumulated to classify leads into MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) and SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads). Based on these scores and classifications, the content provided to these leads is also determined and distributed by the software.
Essentially, marketing automation allows the software to act on behalf of the company and interact with multiple leads, providing them as customized experience as possible, with the goal of converting them to customers and advocates.
As you can tell by now, marketing automation has various benefits. These are:
● Better lead management – Since the marketing automation software performs lead scoring on the basis of the touchpoints accessed and actions taken, they evaluate the stage of customer journey better, and can thus manage leads in a more effective manner.
● Nurture leads – Marketing automation software manages the process of taking the customer through each stage of the customer journey with the right kind of targeted content distributed at the right time, thus nurturing leads better.
● Save time – As the more clerical tasks such as sending emails, checking entry touchpoints, scoring, data sorting, etc. get automated, marketers can focus on what really matters – being creative and innovative.
● Unite sales and marketing teams – Marketing automation softwares have many customizable dashboards and provide a platform where both marketing and sales teams can come together and manage MQLs and SQLs more effectively, generating better results for the company.
Some of the top marketing automation tools available in the market are:
Therefore, marketing automation can be the best tool in your arsenal, especially if you are working on tight budgets and are in the lookout for a one stop solution. To know more about marketing automation, check out this mini-class by Tarek Reda – Founder of Blue Pencil Digital Marketing, and Digital Marketing instructor at AstroLabs:
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