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Digital marketing is the core of a business—a set of measures to promote goods or services and make a profit. If we say the same, but in simple words, it is the ability to sell profitably for both the business and the target audience. It can be different depending on the tasks that the business faces. So, in one company, a marketing specialist is responsible for researching competitors and consumers; in another, they are in charge of organizing a social media advertising campaign; and in the third, they are in charge of business development support. At the same time, some marketing tasks must be performed only manually, while others can be automated. Gathering campaign performance metrics, generating reports, sending invoices, posting to social media, and more that would otherwise take a lot of time and effort can be streamlined and simplified. How do you do it? Welcome to the world of automated digital marketing services.

Marketing automation isn’t just a good strategy; it’s the new standard. Automation tools can help with everything from email marketing to content marketing and chatting. They will not replace marketing specialists but will help save company resources, provide detailed analytics, support sales at a high level, attract new customers, and even minimize possible risks. With so many marketing automation benefits, it’s no surprise that business owners want to implement it to maximize business productivity. If you are one of them, then you will find something useful in this article. Today we will answer the questions of what marketing automation is, how it can help your business and what tools you should use, and also share automation recommendations.

What is Marketing Automation, and How Can it Help Your Business?

The best definition of marketing automation is using software to simplify the work of marketers, streamline business processes, reduce the use of human labor, and increase profitability by automating the user journey and sales funnel. This includes mass mailings, creating online marketing campaigns, monitoring website traffic, and even keeping an eye on social networks or positioning (SEM).

For example, you can set up an email reminder to update your billing information when a customer’s credit card expires. Or use a social media scheduler that automatically converts and reposts your most popular content. These two are just examples of marketing automation because, in both cases, you perform marketing tasks without the use of manual labor. Robots take over repetitive tasks in whole or in part, leaving marketers time for other more important issues. Let’s take a closer look at benefits that businesses get with an automated digital marketing strategy.

Benefits of Implementing Automation

Automation is not just a trend, but a tool to improve business efficiency and profitability. Specialized helper services can be embedded in various processes, thereby gaining many marketing automation benefits. Let’s get acquainted with some of them below:

Attracting More Potential Customers

Increasing sales and marketing activities are the most obvious applications of a marketing automationsystem. Social media activity, website visits, downloads, submission forms, and other data may be collected to better engage potential customers. By collecting this information, marketers can evaluate and prioritize leads, then create automated messaging, personalized emails, and even custom social media posts. With this type of personalized consumer journey, companies are more likely to attract more leads and turn them into repeat customers.

Saving Money and Time

The most important part of the market is time, and time is money. One of the marketing automation benefits is that it helps to significantly save this resource because it works continuously. It will take more than one hour if you need to collect data about an advertising campaign or information about applications, send letters to a specific customer segment, or collect behavioral data in one table. Any marketer who takes on similar tasks would need a break—the programs do not require this. You can complete all the common, repetitive chores with the help of marketing automation, saving hours of manual labor.

Improving the Effectiveness of Marketing Efforts

Working smarter, not harder, is made possible by integrating marketing automation with social media, Google advertising, blogging, SEO, and email.By relying on digital marketing automation, marketers may devote more of their day to coming up with original ideas and strategies. Additionally, it aids in aligning the management and marketing teams. By reducing the workload of repetitious marketing duties and offering feedback, discrepancies or miscommunication between these two departments may be prevented. Furthermore, the efficient and accurate work that marketing automation software ensures reduces the danger of human error even further.

Myths About Marketing Automation

Automated marketing is a step forward for businesses. However, automation will bring benefits only with a holistic approach and a well-thought-out strategy. Let’s dispel prevalent marketing automation misconceptions and stop believing them.

Everything Can be Set and Forgotten

Even cutting-edge systems have not mastered operating independently of human supervision. Solutions for marketing automation can monitor user behavior and give data, but they are unable to make decisions or think through strategies on their own. Campaigns are planned and created by a person who sees the big picture and knows how marketing is related to other channels. Marketing automation solutions will improve the number of actions performed in a given amount of time, but this requires the manager’s expertise, time, and ability to track and rectify. When asked which campaign produced more or fewer conversions, the respondent will indicate which campaign and why.

Automation is Only for Large Businesses

The market for SMB-specific digital marketing automation tools was previously modest. The software was too expensive for small businesses. But today’s small and medium-sized firms can operate with enough automation technology. It is easier to implement automation in a small company than in a large one—there are fewer departments with different sets of data and fewer people to train, as compared to a company with thousands of employees. Also, implementing cloud technologies is easier because companies don’t need extra resources like equipment or technical staff.

Automation Will Solve Marketing Problems

Automation will make marketers more effective and streamline their work processes, but it won’t be able to improve marketing across the board. Marketing automation is not an effective tool without a competent strategy. It’s like a car: if you know how to drive it and choose a route without traffic, it will speed up getting from point A to point B.

Automated Marketing is a Trend That Will Soon Pass

Information overload permeates our reality constantly. Since quick action is the new currency, it’s best to personalize offerings and respond right off the bat. Marketers are learning new skills, embracing innovative digital marketing services, and taking on more than just a few years ago. Without marketing automation solutions, they will merely drown in the monotony, taking the companies they work for with them. The quantity and complexity of communication routes and information sources are both growing. The only method of marketing without data loss is automation.

What Marketing Tasks Can be Automated?

Among the main tasks of digital marketing are the following:

  • Increasing lead generation indicators
  • Ensuring effective communication with clients
  • Implementation and management of advertising campaigns
  • Processing of customer data (segmentation, personalization of offers, etc.)

Marketing automation systems can be implemented to simplify each of these tasks. Among the main tools that help digital marketers in their work are CRM systems, chatbots, SMS and email newsletters, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), online connectors, auto-posting, and advertising management services. Well-configured workflows for various functions will help you achieve better results. Let’s dive deeper into what can be done with marketing automation tools.

Marketing automation system: the benefits of implementation, tasks that can be automated, and suggestions

Mailings 

First of all is to automate various mailings. Did the client open the email? Click on a link? Did you complete the intended action? Without follower activity tracking, you don’t understand the outcome of your strategy and therefore don’t get results. Platforms such as PostcardMania, Gunderson Direct, PrintingForLess, and others not only automate emails but also provide you with analytics that will help you improve your marketing performance again and again.

Consider the scenario when you wish to send a welcome email to someone who subscribes to your site. A visitor who hits the “subscribe to the newsletter” button will get a letter of introduction or a confirmation of their subscription in the mail right away.

Content Management

For effective promotion, constant activity on social networks is important. Publishing posts manually is a long and tedious process and can take a significant amount of time, especially if you post them through multiple channels or have a large amount of content. Here are some examples of marketing automation tools: Brandwatch, Loomly, Sendible, Iconosquare, and others to make it easier to create content and post it on social media.

Also, email remains one of the most important channels of communication with customers. Emails can be used to deliver company news, generate personalized offers, inform about loyalty programs, and trigger more complex interactions. To work with this communication channel, it is convenient to use email automation services, for example, RafflePress, Constant Contact, Sendinblue, ConvertKit, etc.

Launching and Managing Advertising Campaigns

A marketing automation system is useful for launching targeted digital advertising on different sites, for example, contextual advertising on a search engine or social media targeting, as well as affiliate programs and more. For each of them, there are a lot of tools that optimize the launch, coordination, and analysis of campaigns. Here are some examples of marketing automation:

  • Auto-bidders—software for contextual advertising bidding (Google Ads automated bidding)
  • Parsers—data collection for analysis and audience identification (SimilarWeb, Social Mention)
  • Services for automatic testing of ads (Kantar Marketplace, SurveyMonkey)
  • Platforms for monitoring advertising campaigns (Linktrackr, Peerclick)
  • Connectors for loading statistics into analytics services (Adobe Analytics)

Working With Website Traffic

There are also a lot of tools for converting traffic from the site: lead catchers, pop-up windows with a newsletter subscription offer, personalized content, and more. With the help of marketing automation, you can set up the transfer of information from the site (for example, from a completed form) to the CRM system. Following that, CRM will automatically fix the client’s request made through the web resource.

Converting Leads Into Customers

When a user subscribes to a newsletter, they automatically enter the sales funnel. Now the leads need to be constantly warmed up so that they return to the site or follow your offers on other internet channels. To communicate with them, you can use email newsletters, push notifications, chatbots, and instant messengers.

Analytics

After you have built the system, you need to implement analytics services that will help you track performance. Marketing automation toolscan collect, control, and analyze metrics from different channels, generating statistics and graphs showing the success of the marketing techniques used, which helps to find and focus on the most effective, while at the same time not wasting money on ineffective ones. Also, these frequent reports keep your stakeholders informed and help you build stronger ties with them.

Suggestions For Marketing Automation

Marketing automation system: the benefits of implementation, tasks that can be automated, and suggestions

Several best practices can help you create automation to improve conversion rates, increase productivity, streamline workflows, and improve customer relationships. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when developing your digital marketing automation strategy:

Automate Repetitive Tasks

When you’re evaluating your business processes for automation, look for repetitive tasks that can be time-consuming for your team. This could be updating customer relationship management software or manually tracking new leads. By automating these operations, a marketer can accomplish them faster and more effectively than a human, reducing the possibility of making costly mistakes.

Automatically Evaluate Leads and Notify Sales

Lead scoring allows you to gauge their interest in products or services. This understanding facilitates the transformation of ordinary customers into buyers. For example, using marketing automation tools, you can track your potential customers’ messaging interactions, follow their behavior on your website, and create touch points across multiple platforms, from social media to email marketing.

Segment Your Potential Customers

One of the most important strategies for successfully automating your marketing is segmenting leads as they come in. The recommended way to start is by having your marketing automation software tag customers based on how the lead was generated. For example, if they were added after purchasing a certain product, they might be interested in something else in that or similar categories. Or, if customers signed up to get some goods for free, they might be interested in related products or services.

Don’t Forget About Personalization

Personalization is one of the hottest trends of recent times. But it is worth remembering that personalization leads to the complication of a number of processes: decision-making, management, and optimization. Use automation to customize your communications based on the facts you know about your clients to make it simpler to develop people-centric content.

Start Small and Expand

When you first get into digital marketing automation, start with small, simple tasks, especially those that your marketing team already finds tedious. Once you understand how to use your automation software, you can expand the areas of your marketing that you automate and improve results.

Produce High-Quality Content

Marketing automation tools are very effective in helping you determine which leads to communicate with, the best time to communicate with them, and how to deliver the message. However, one of the most important components to ensure the success of this process is the provision of quality content. Make sure you only create quality content to connect with your audience.

Monitor the Effects

Tracking results is an important part of a digital marketing strategy and one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks at the same time. However, you need to analyze workflows every month, quarter, and year. Your marketing automation needs to change with your business.

How to Choose the Right Marketing Automation Software

Marketing automation system: the benefits of implementation, tasks that can be automated, and suggestions

The most significant marketing automation advice is to provide the following information before implementation: 

What are your goals? What processes can you automate to save time and boost productivity? Which tactics will boost your ROI? Once you understand your goals, create a marketing budget. If your team does not yet have a marketer, it’s time to hire a competent specialist. 

What does your audience want? What are your client’s dreams about? What do they want? What do they lack to improve their quality of life? Describe your buyer persona before implementing marketing automation.

What data do you have? A condition or event sets automation in motion, so make a list of data points you can use and act on it.

Does it work for your company? Run a trial before making final decisions. You need to test marketing automation software to see how it works, whether it will be beneficial to your company, and whether it is worth the investment. After checking, you can see all the flaws and future problems.

What is your plan? An important point in introducing automation into a business is the sequence of actions. Think about your steps, what you will do, so that you have enough time to test them.

Do you have enough money to automate? Your budget is an important element that you should keep in mind before you buy anything. Make sure your software fits your requirements as well as your budget.

Essential Metrics for Tracking Marketing Automation Success

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are benchmarks that measure the success of your marketing. Monitoring them will help you determine progress toward your inbound marketing and sales goals. It also allows you to improve your processes and communications in the future.

KPIs are usually in line with your company’s goals. While the digital marketing metrics to keep an eye on vary from business to business, here are a few universal ones you can use for your marketing automation strategy:

Return on investment or return on marketing spend, also known as ROI, is the most valuable indicator not only in the world of marketing but also in any business environment. What does this metric mean? The effectiveness of advertising investments. In simple terms, ROI measures how much profit a business has made from spending on marketing.

Click-through rate is an important indicator for evaluating the effectiveness of a business in a digital environment. It is measured by the ratio of the number of clicks on an ad to the total number of impressions. A high click-through rate indicates a successful marketing campaign, as it means that a large number of potential customers who encounter your ad will be interested in it. This way, you will always know which ads you should change and which ones to focus on, as they will intensively bring you leads.

Active followers are contacts who have interacted with your brand recently, while inactive followers are those who have remained inactive for some time. Monitoring the amount of both will help you determine if your campaigns are working and will give you an idea of who is most likely to make a purchase.

When publishing content on social networks, you are most likely interested in how effective your work is. The only way to know is to measure the results. You need to analyze the difference between the posts with the highest and lowest scores. Find out why some are better than others—for example, if your videos get more comments than photos, it might be better to target video content.

The higher the interest in the newsletter, the more effective communication with customers will be. Interest is indicated by the reaction of subscribers: how often letters are opened, how actively they follow links, and whether they make purchases. Efforts to develop the newsletter will be wasted if it is not seen. That’s why you need to track the open rates for each email campaign and compare those rates over time.

The cost of acquiring customers is critical for all businesses, but it is especially important for start-up companies. These are the funds needed to convert a potential customer into a buyer. This includes all costs for marketing and direct sales activities. If the cost of attracting new customers increases, it might be worthwhile to reevaluate the methods for attracting new customers or focusing on finding a different, cheaper target audience.

Final Thoughts

Marketing automation includes more than just email marketing. It also collects data for analytics, personalizes ads, publishes content, works with engagement, and builds relationships with clients. Marketing automation takes on routine tasks and simplifies the work of a marketer, but it will not solve all marketing problems and will not replace a person. Automated marketing is a set of actions and a strategy that remains the domain of experts.

For automation to bring maximum benefit, the coordinated work of all services is necessary. Many programs easily support integration with other services. There are also pre-packaged tool kits that you can purchase all at once, so you don’t have to worry about how they all work together. But the best option would be to turn to professional developers who will help you with the creation and configuration of services for automation.

Marketing automation is suitable for all areas of business and companies of any size. Modern systems are affordable, even for small businesses. Implementing marketing automation is a step forward in business development and gaining a competitive advantage. The future is automation.

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