Marketing automation is more than scheduling your social media posts. As a CMO, you should be aware of these 5 benefits.

The realms of marketing have changed by leaps and bounds in the last few years.

With companies adopting digital transformation, automation is making waves in the business ecosystem. Marketing automation increases productivity, the reach of the business and increases conversions.

CMO’s are spending large sums of their marketing budget in adopting marketing automation because it saves them time, effort as well as reduces the need for human involvement.

In simpler terms, marketing automation is a technology that manages marketing processes and campaigns across multiple channels automatically.

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A business can use this technology to target and reengage with customers through social media, email, text and web.

They can either be built from scratch, or you can customise an existing platform. Repetitive tasks are tackled by marketing automation to reduce human error and to free up the time of your resources to solve high-priority issues.

Marketing automation helps in lead generation, nurturing them, in online marketing, to streamline sales activities and to measure the ROI of marketing campaigns.

Take a look at these statistics that reflect the power of automation.

According to the latest reports, marketing automation drives up to a 14.5 per cent increase in the productivity of sales and 12.2 per cent reduction in marketing overhead.

80 per cent of marketing automation users observed an increase in the number of leads by using marketing automation software, and 77 per cent saw higher conversions. 91 per cent of professionals who use marketing automation believes it to be “essential” for the success of their online marketing activities.

With the statistics already elucidating the potential of marketing automation, let’s shed some light on the advantages of marketing automation

Automation enables the creation of personalised and timely content

Customers prefer a personalised experience by brands. Automation is the best way to do that. Spray and pray marketing is no longer useful. Reach out to your customers at the right time with relevant content and videos personalised for them.

This includes sending emails and push notifications based on trigger actions such as cart abandonment and account creation. As compared to regular emails, triggered emails have a 2x higher open rate and a 3x higher click-through rate. This increases the chances of conversions.

Consider an example: Amazon sends out product recommendation emails based on the previous purchases of the individual subscriber.

Marketing automation workflows are effective to reengage with customers who haven’t engaged with your brand recently or haven’t made a repeat purchase from your brand.

Automation saves time

By automating social media posts and social network advertising, you can save more than 6 hours a week. Moreover, you can increase the response rate to emails by 250 per cent.

Automation tools help you save up to 80 per cent of the time needed to fix an appointment with clients.

Imagine the luxury of not having to send emails or post on the different social media channels one by one. Automation allows you to plan it all well in advance and focus on your business strategy to yield better ROI.

Automation streamlines your retargeting campaigns

With the help of automation tools, you can impart a consistent experience to your target audience in line with their actions.

Let’s assume you have a new subscriber on your website. You can set up an automation workflow that will automatically send a welcome email introducing your brand along with an incentive for the first-time user.

You can then send out drip email campaigns to nurture the prospect and also employ retargeting on social media channels like Facebook.

Keep your brand on the top of the prospect’s mind and increase the likelihood of conversion. However, ensure that the advertisements do not get creepy and annoying for the reader.

AI and automation: a match made in heaven

Automation leverages artificial intelligence to predict the best time to send a brand message so that it receives maximum visibility over digital and social media channels.

A report from Vanson Bourne found that 80 per cent of businesses use AI in some form and automation is the most common application of this technology.

AI-powered canned responses are a part of a lot of brands’ customer support arsenal. While human empathy is irreplaceable, conversational chatbots assist in answering the frequently asked questions.

For customer support, in the same live chat, you can even include video messages to answer the FAQs for a greater level of personalisation.

You can either place the chatbot on your website or facebook messenger.

The key to balancing AI in customer service is to let the customer representative take over when the bot misses the context of the conversation.

Automation makes you smart

Identify the repetitive tasks and automate them using tools. Although this saves your time in the long run, it doesn’t mean that you will have to do less work. Nor can a CMO or the team afford to lose their focus on innovation.

Your team still needs to create and curate content consistently. You can automate scheduling your social media posts using Zoho Social. Automation allows your team to make data-driven decisions to optimise your efforts strategically.

Collecting data is not tough anymore. The difficulty lies in using this data to create engaging and personalised experiences that customers crave for.

Also Read: 5 content marketing trends you need to heed

Here’s what you can automate in your marketing strategy to drive engagement.

Social media marketing

Building a social media presence for a global audience can get time-consuming.

Let’s assume you are based in India, but most of your clients are in the US. It is strongly recommended that you schedule your social media posts in their time zone for better visibility.

Tools such as Crello help you create images for social media. Hootsuite and Buffer can help you schedule and automate your social media posts. Businesses who have their prospective customers in a different time zone can mainly make the most of such tools.

Capture data about people engaging with your brand on social media. The metrics include demographic information, the kind of content the followers’ download, how often your posts are clicked, liked and shared, and what type of content they are interested in. These help you create and share targeted content to supercharge the engagement.

Email marketing

Email marketing is most effective when you send the right email at the right time to the right person. To follow this marketing trend, you ought to have different automation workflows that trigger emails as soon as the subscriber takes a particular action.

  • Send a series of welcome emails to the new subscriber.
  • Nurture the prospects with drip email campaigns.
  • Send post-purchase email to the customers and ask for their feedback.
  • Re-engage the inactive subscribers with a win-back email campaign.

You can send all these emails with the help of automation tools such as Drip and Zapier. They give you access to the performance of these email campaigns so that you can keep optimising for the best results.

Monitoring CRM with enhanced routing

With the help of an automation tool Azuqua, you can build custom processes for your business without the need for coding any complicated integrations. This platform can link CRM software like Salesforce to social media platforms.

It can also be used to keep track of the online mentions of the brand, thereby following up with the negative mentions instantly and resolving such issues.

Lead-flow processes

Generating leads and setting lead-flow processes can get quite time-consuming. It can take hours to download, format, and upload a single list.

Therefore, automation becomes an indispensable aspect of marketing. Tools like HubSpot and Marketo can assist you with this process. You can integrate these tools with a CRM and email platform and then focus on the crucial marketing activities.

Marketing analytics

It is incumbent upon every marketer to analyse the performance of marketing activities and the ROI. Automation gives you detailed information about marketing analytics from acquisition to conversion to closure. HubSpot’s Marketing Analytics gives you a clear insight into the entire marketing funnel and every interaction the prospect had with your brand.

Over to you…

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Automation has provided an efficient, lucrative, and cost-effective method of maintaining lead generation processes with proper nurturing and scoring.

Have you implemented marketing automation to acquire new customers or amplify customer retention? How has it worked for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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Image Credit: Lukas Blazek