Marketing automation is quickly becoming one of the most valuable technology tools for both B2B and B2C marketers. The right tools can save you time and money, and they can showcase ROI faster. However, like with any technology platform, there can be a steep learning curve. Here is what you need to know to get started.
The Power of Marketing Automation
First, let’s take a step back to define marketing automation and how it can improve your marketing efforts. Marketing automation is a platform you can use to plan, coordinate, manage and measure all of your marketing campaigns. Marketing automation technologies and software help brands more effectively streamline relevant and personal communications for customers. These touch points can span multiple channels, including email, social, websites and CRM.
Marketing automation tools can also help automate repetitive tasks and churn out and analyze data more efficiently. The benefit? Marketers can select criteria and outputs for tasks and processes, which the software then interprets, stores and executes. This leads to stronger data and reduces human error.
The tools used in marketing automation can range from email marketing to analytic services and can be software based or web-based. These tools provide reports, analytics and insights into the use of your marketing budget. And, as we all know, marketers are being pressured to show ROI on their programs more than ever before. Marketing automation allows you to showcase your value in actual sales dollars produced. This is the real power in marketing automation.
Create Relevant, Personal Customer Interactions
Marketing automation serves a basic marketing communication purpose, but it does so in a more strategic way—by providing more relevant communications. Customers want to receive personal information, and they want it to come to them instead of having to seek it out. Automation allows marketers to communicate with their customers strategically, and react to customers’ behavioral information in real-time.
It can also control the quality and quantity of information that customers receive, and reduce spam. We are making sure customers receive specific information and are able to control what, when and how much they are exposed to. It helps us lead the conversation with customers and help them form positive opinions about brands. And, because the messages are pre-programmed to happen in a certain way and flow logically, it allows us as marketers to focus on quality of message instead of quantity.
At Harte Hanks we provide marketing automation services to clients both large and small, B2B and B2C. And though many used to view marketing automation as a luxury, it has become mandatory to survival in today’s fast-paced, always-on world, where showing results is crucial to business.
Check back next week for my second blog post on marketing automation where I will share insight into determining the right tools for your business, tips for getting started and how to define success.