We all have those days where we are so run off our feet with meetings and appointments that we can barely think of eating, nevermind getting down to those urgent emails or writing up and posting the new blog article. It sometimes feels like there is simply just not enough time in the day to get everything done.
Wouldn’t it be delightful to be able to sit back, relax, and have have your marketing sorted out for you? Well, luckily there is something that can now handle your marketing for you – to some extent. Marketing automation is probably a term that you have heard bandied about on the regular by now, and the great thing is that not only can it do much of the work for us, it can do it without seeming like a completely mechanic process.
So what is marketing automation? To make this short and sweet: marketing automation is software that efficiently and effectively handles marketing tasks for you. For a more in-depth look at marketing automation and what it entails – have a look at this “What is marketing automation” blog post from Hubspot.
Is marketing automation always the best solution?
Used correctly, marketing automation can greatly benefit your company, save you time and contribute hugely to a successful lead generation strategy. However, many companies simply don’t know how to implement marketing automation in the right way and in some cases this can do more damage than good to your marketing strategy. There is both good and bad marketing automation and the effectiveness of it all depends on how you use it. Have a look at these 5 myths of marketing automation.
What is bad marketing automation?
Much like any other type of marketing, marketing automation is bad when it relies on purely traditional (and mostly outdated) methods. Traditional marketing automation is severely limited and normally relies on a time delay or on the click and open rates of emails. While these can be effective when utilized with other methods – simply using data from emails is simply not enough to create a comprehensive lead nurturing strategy.
It fails to give the marketer enough information about the prospect such as who they are, where exactly they fit into the funnel, and what their interests and inspirations are. All of this combines to result in an unenjoyable and relatively poor user experience.
What is great marketing automation?
Marketing automation that really works is aligned with the values and principles of an inbound marketing methodology. This is when the prospect as the whole is the focus and data is not just collected from emails. All channels, such as social, email, pricing guides, catalogues and pretty much everything in between are used to gather as much information on the prospect as possible.
Studying the behavioral inputs of potential and existing customers allows marketers to understand the challenges and interests of customers, which allows them to lead and nurture prospects down the funnel. Inbound marketing automation not only uses all channels to gather information but also to disperse it, in order to get the relevant information to the right people at the right time. This all assists in creating a better user experience all-round.
When is the time right to invest in marketing automation?
Marketing automation isn’t a quick fix and is best implemented when you have a strong inbound marketing strategy that is generating tons of new, organic leads that have to be lead through the funnel. New, qualified leads gives you the right prospects to work with, and any marketing automation relies on having a healthy number of these. Your sales team may also be a bit run off their feet with the pure number of quality leads they have to deal with, and marketing automation will take some of this pressure off their shoulders.
It is time to implement marketing automation into your company if you have your omni-channel marketing strategy running smoothly (link to previous blog), when your content strategy is well thought out and mapped to your customer’s journey, and when you have an excellent lead nurturing strategy that simply needs to be scaled. If you haven’t got all these things in place, then marketing automation simply may not be worth the hard work until you get them sorted out.
The key in marketing automation is that as a marketer you are scaling your personal approach to consumers. Only if you keep a test-and-learn (hypothetical) approach and invest the freed-up time in improving, is it going to show positive results.
At Rise + Shine we create and implement lead nurturing and generation strategies that help companies reach the optimum point in their inbound marketing strategy. If you are interested in learning more about marketing automation and other lead nurturing strategies, download our new and exciting ebook 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks and Ideas.