Business and finance are ever-changing, primarily due to innovation and technological advancements. Companies need to use both if they want to succeed and increase their annual revenues.
Marketing innovation is one particular area where researchers continue to look for new strategies—the latest of which is marketing automation. Many companies have cited how marketing automation makes real-time analytics data collection and analysis possible, thus improving workflows.
Each year, marketing teams find new ways to use automation in their strategies, and 2022 is no different.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation uses artificial intelligence (AI) and computer software to complete advertising and marketing tasks, such as creating content, collecting customer information, segmenting leads, and automating content management and other monotonous and repetitive tasks.
The technology allows companies to automate email and SMS messaging, social media posting, and advertising on various channels, making their strategies more effective and less time-consuming. Automation also lets them personalize content even if their leads reach thousands in volume.
Why Is Marketing Automation Important?
Automation can help companies understand their overall growth and marketing reach and return on investment (RoI). It improves processes and aligns teams, leading to seamless marketing and advertising strategies and efforts.
Here are some points that show why marketing automation is vital.
Generates better leads
Lead generation is essential, but automating the process can give teams more time to assess their strategies, change specific parts if necessary, and create future campaigns to generate more qualified leads that they can nurture and convert.
Automation can help companies understand user behaviors better, allowing them to pinpoint issues along their customers’ journey and make the necessary changes to develop better strategies.
A marketing automation software can, for instance, track specific customers’ paths through your website so you can determine their interests more accurately. For example, the marketing and sales teams can use this information to craft strategies for prospective customers traversing the same paths.
Sadly, not all leads can be converted into sales. In fact, 50% of the leads you generate do not translate into sales because they are still in the browsing stage of the customer journey.
A marketing automation solution that handles lead nurturing can help you automate scheduled SMS messaging (e.g., encouraging customers to go back to abandoned carts), social media posting (e.g., promoting sales), and customer visit tracking on your e-commerce site. That should free up marketing personnel to focus instead on creating new strategies.
Personalizes customer journeys
Just like lead generation, customer engagement is also crucial. And all customers want the best experiences with a brand. They need to know that your agents are not only concerned about completing a sale; they genuinely care.
Customization can be challenging if the marketing team handles hundreds or even thousands of accounts. Fortunately, automation can make personalization possible to improve customer engagement and provide unique customer experiences.
Marketing automation software can identify what content specific customers consume by tracking their behavior on your site. Their built-in data capture capability thus makes it possible for companies to determine their interests so the marketing and sales teams can adjust their offerings, including recommendations.
Helps companies make smarter decisions
All companies need accurate and up-to-date data to make informed decisions. Manually collecting information is, however, not always feasible.
Marketing automation solutions can automatically gather, analyze, and store data from all connected systems. Most also have a dashboard that lets you see reports that help you make more informed decisions.
The software can measure how effective each personalized campaign is. It can also make predictions based on trends and customer behaviors seen over time. The data it provides can be integrated into marketing strategies to produce better results.
Helps companies understand prospects better
Many companies integrate their marketing automation software into their customer relationship management (CRM) systems to understand their prospects better. The solution combo not only gives them much-needed insights into their customers’ journeys but also their interests, the content that engages them, and what they are looking for.
The solutions also help companies determine what attracts prospects to join their sales funnel. From there, they can customize their approaches to make each customer experience a good one.
Aligns team goals
Automation can bring teams from different departments together. That is especially helpful for creating marketing campaigns and a unified brand messaging.
If teams use the same applications—marketing automation software, CRM system, and big data solution—they can discuss issues and share insights faster, enabling quicker campaign implementation.
What Are the Business Benefits of Marketing Automation?
If you’re wondering how you can benefit from marketing automation, we collated a list for you.
Marketing automation reduces staffing expenses since companies no longer need to hire additional personnel to handle repetitive tasks. It also frees up staff time to focus on more critical tasks, such as content creation or crafting innovative strategies.
Some automation software can also automate social media posting, which can help companies do away with hiring several specialists dedicated to fulfilling this requirement. That saves them some money, not to mention time and effort spent on exams and interviews.
Increased Conversion Rate
Automation can also improve teamwork as no one gets left behind in communications. Collaboration is also a breeze, helping increase conversion rate since you can qualify leads. That said, staff members can prioritize those nearer the end of the buying journey and invest more time afterward on encouraging customers who are farther from completing transactions.
Most marketing software can now generate reports on the fly. The data they provide can then be segmented based on preference, demographics, or even location, allowing you to craft custom campaigns. Apart from getting a bird’s eye view of the entire business, you can also dig into specifics to spot trends and make forecasts.
Accurate analytics can thus help you ensure your strategies are based on real-life scenarios and would fit your target audience’s specific needs.
Better Data Management
Marketing automation solutions, as mentioned earlier, help you track leads and customer engagement and interactions. All the data they provide is updated in real-time, enabling you to take action quickly. On top of that, all pertinent information is kept in one place, making it accessible to all users from virtually anywhere at any time.
Real-time data means quick actions. With automation’s help, companies can easily modify strategies based on their effects. For example, if one campaign works for a particular demographic, that doesn’t mean it will work for all others. Even the most minor changes can thus have significant results.
Probably the best thing automation offers is the ability to personalize customer experiences, which has become a must. Marketing software allows you to automatically segment markets based on accurate customer profiles gleaned from purchase histories and consumer preferences.
While you can get the same information from surveys and customer feedback, those take time.
How Does Marketing Automation Affect Customers?
By now, you may be thinking that only sellers benefit from marketing automation, but that’s not the case. It also benefits consumers.
For one, automation resolves some customer pain points quickly. For example, they no longer have to wait to get answers to their product-related questions. That allows them to make decisions faster. They also feel more appreciated since they receive customer service and support, not to mention better experiences on the vendors’ sites.
Here are specific ways marketing automation makes life better for customers.
More Relevant Content
Who wants to see content they can’t relate to, right? Marketing automation can do away with that by looking into customer behaviors to serve them only content they would find helpful.
Consumers are more likely to open emails, click in-app ads, and respond to text messages they find relevant. On the opposite end of the spectrum, they’re likely to unsubscribe to newsletters if they can’t relate to what they’re offering.
Better Customer Service
Customers will always have questions about the products they’re eyeing. And automation can give them what human-to-human interactions can’t, at least not instantly. For example, chatbots now give consumers responses to simple questions in mere seconds. And if they can’t, they can direct you to human sales agents who can.
These days, customers want answers immediately, so the more responsive you are, the better your customer service rating is.
Seamless Customer Experience
An average person can access at least 10 connected devices in their household. And it has become quite normal to switch from your computer to mobile phone in a matter of minutes. But wouldn’t it be much nicer if you could always pick up where you left off?
Automation allows consumers to do that—enjoy a seamless customer experience— with omni-channel marketing’s help. The data automation software collects can come from any device the customers are logged in to. And they will be able to access their favorite vendors’ sites, including their e-commerce shops. That would allow them to continue with the checkout process on their mobile app, even if they added items to their shopping carts via their computers.
12 Marketing Automation Trends to Grow Your Business in 2022
Given the various benefits of marketing automation to businesses and consumers alike, it is not surprising that the technology will continue to enjoy increased use among companies, regardless of size. In fact, many if not all businesses today already employ some form of automation in their processes.
This year, marketing experts predict that we’ll see the following marketing automation trends unfold.
1. Integrated Omni-Channel Marketing
This strategy uses various marketing channels and platforms for advertising brands or products consumers may have previously shown interest in.
Automation in cross- or omni-channel marketing plays a role in managing content creation to fit every customer journey stage. As such, it helps marketers predict when and how customers will interact with their brands.
It will thus allow businesses to craft and release personalized content and ads that fit all channels without changing the overall messaging simultaneously. The strategy lets them leverage websites, emails, ads, and social media posts all at once, allowing them to reach thousands in one go no matter what stage of the customer journey they are at.
2. Hyper-Personalization Using Funnel-Optimized Content
As we’ve established, personalization is vital in creating effective marketing content. In the future, the need for tailored recommendations and offers will only grow, ushering in hyper-personalization.
Companies will use more customer behavior, engagement, and interaction data in content creation to match them to where each consumer is in the buyer’s journey. And marketing automation platforms can help with that since they automatically track, collect, and segment customer data. In addition, they can use that information for account-based marketing campaigns too.
3. AI and ML
AI and machine learning (ML) have made it possible for many businesses to explore the effectiveness of specific strategies even before they are implemented, identify customer pain points, and forecast future trends. The technologies also allow large-scale content automation.
4. Automated Inter-Department Processes
Miscommunication between departments is probably one of many companies’ most significant issues. And it happens a lot between the marketing and sales teams.
Automation can help departments and even their teams align their efforts, processes, and strategies. It will also aid in standardizing data collation and customer engagement so they will focus on enhancing customer experiences.
Companies can use a customer relationship management (CRM) system, for instance, to automate data gathering from all sources, store all information in one place, and automatically segment customers according to their stage in the buyer’s journey, all to improve lead scoring.
With all that data on hand, it would be easier to retarget customers, reviving ailing or even lost brand-customer relationships.
5. Chatbots and Conversational Marketing
Encouraging marketing personnel to communicate with customers seems easy enough, but having hundreds of leads could make it impossible to have face-to-face conversations with all of them.
Automating the process can help. Chatbots, in particular, can ease two-way communication by answering queries that don’t really require human intervention. They can quickly respond to frequently asked questions and open up conversations that human agents can then continue to close deals.
6. Retargeting and Customer Retention
Today’s marketers are expected to use data-driven models and first-party cookies to help their companies improve the efficiency and performance of their personalized campaigns. To do that, they need to track customer behaviors. Only after can they retarget existing and future campaigns to suit each customer’s needs.
7. Automated Mobile Marketing
Mobile usage continues to increase every year. In fact, a majority of the global population prefers to use their mobile phones not only to communicate but also to buy products, conduct business, and accomplish errands.
Companies would thus do much better if they not only focus on implementing email and other computer-based marketing strategies but also automate their mobile marketing. This approach can increase customer interactions through in-app ads, push notifications, and SMS messaging.
They can also optimize their websites to make them more mobile-friendly, allowing them to engage with a broader user base.
8. Customer Life Cycle Marketing
It’s true. Companies that provide better customer experiences often have higher customer conversion rates. And one way to improve customer experience is to know customer lifetime values (CLVs) or the total amounts consumers spent buying a specific brand’s products from their initial engagement to the present.
Marketing automation software lets businesses segment customers based on their CLVs, allowing them to focus more on those who are more likely to convert. They can even use predictions to funnel-optimize content to suit each consumer’s preferences and needs.
These strategies can help companies increase their number of repeat customers, who may become loyal consumers in the future.
9. Automated Social Media Marketing
Social media are no longer just for meeting people and communicating with friends and family members. In fact, millions of people troop to social networks each day to get the latest updates on their favorite products and services.
Automating social media marketing, especially on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, will help businesses reach specific demographics and target markets. In addition, specialized marketing software can help companies create personalized messages and push notifications that can automatically get sent following a predetermined schedule for particular audiences.
Putting up videos and images on platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram can also increase their Gen Z user bases. The good news? You can automate this process, too, as some software even tailor-fit content to target demographics, apart from easing editing and uploading.
10. Real-Time User Profiling
As said earlier, marketing software can collate and analyze customer traffic in real-time. In addition, the data can be used to create profiles just as quickly, allowing companies to modify marketing techniques on the fly to suit target audiences better.
11. Dynamic Marketing Discounts and Offers
Real-time data also means dynamic offers. The up-to-date information that automation provides can help companies create dynamic brand offers and discounts fast. Best of all, each promo can be made to suit each customer too.
This marketing strategy is beneficial if you want to encourage customers who have yet to complete their buyer’s journeys to do so.
12. Automated Sending of Browse Abandonment Emails
Cart abandonment is already one of the most formidable challenges companies face. However, it gets worse when customers leave your site after only finishing the browsing stage.
Some marketing solutions can now automatically notify you when potential customers leave your e-commerce site before they can even add items to their carts. They can even send browser abandonment emails or text messages instantly.
The Future of Marketing Automation
As the need for real-time data grows, so will the need for marketing automation. As such, we can expect the market user base and revenue to grow.
And so long as companies continue to go digital, we will see more of them explore the benefits that automation promises—cost efficiency, higher conversion rates, increased productivity, and more. They will, for example, increasingly rely on AI and ML to fulfill consumers’ unique needs.
At the end of the day, all businesses want to grow their revenues. And the best way to do that is to give customers what they need and want. So what are you waiting for? Take the first step by choosing the best marketing automation software that suits your company’s strategies and requirements.
The marketing automation industry is one of the fastest-growing IT sectors and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.55% this year.
More than 51% of companies, regardless of size, already use marketing automation platforms, with 58% more planning to adopt them by 2023 and beyond. As such, industry experts forecast that the market value will reach $25.1 billion by 2023.
The act of running surveys and feedback emails and text messages is an example of marketing automation in the business-to-consumer (B2C) market. The questions they ask aim to collect data to gauge how customers see your products, what they think of your customer service, and more.
Marketing automation is growing because many companies value the technology’s efficiency and productivity. With its help, business owners hope to increase their RoIs aided by the exhaustive data set their marketing software collects, analyzes, and makes predictions from.