What is Marketing Automation?
- Difficulty: Medium
Marketing Automation Defined
We like to think of marketing automation as the competitive advantage that all online businesses need to add to their arsenal.
But, what the heck is it? Marketing automation 1 is software that often combines Email Marketing, Social, and Website Actions into a cohesive system.
This system is used primarily to track users, send one off emails and auto responses based on their actions or predefined campaigns.
Typical setups include...
Generally speaking, marketing automation software should have:
- Communication Center. Your software is nothing without the ability to reach your clients. Most marketing automation software have their own or allow other services to be integrated. Examples: MailChimp, ConvertKit or Active Campaign.
- A place to store everything. A marketing automation system is useless if you don't have a database to organize everything you've acquired.
- Customer Relationship Management. A place to store your leads, list segments, and either operate as a CRM or a powerful API that will connect to your pre-existing CRM.
- Analytics. You can market all you want, but blind marketing is just plain stupid. Make sure to have a few different components to calculate your ROI.
Evaluate and then iterate until you are moving in the right direction. It might seem overwhelming, but it is not rocket science.
What it is not or should not be
- A fancy name for email marketing – Not even close. Email marketing is only one part of Marketing Automation.
- A way to send spam or generic duplicate messages – Like anything else, you get out, what you put in. Although it can be used for bad marketing like SPAM - You can develop lasting relationships with your customers if you use it the way its' intended.
- A solution that delivers value without effort – The automation aspect to this means it will be easier in the long run, but it doesn't mean "set it and forget it" either.
It requires some initial configuration and we'd recommend monitoring and fixing over time as well.
Additional components or features
Additional features could include, but are not limited to:
- Email Marketing
- Website Action Tracking
- List Segmentation
- Goal Based Marketing
- Landing Pages with smart Call To Actions
- Lead Capture
- Campaign Management (Think Autoresponders and/or Drip Campaigns)
- CRM Integration
- Lead Scoring and Management
How Can I Maximize My Success?
Your success in marketing automation is determined by 5 major things:
- Your strategy and process
- Your content
- Traffic to your site
- Offline marketing
- You and your staff
The last one is likely the most important
You and your staff must be on board with utilizing marketing automation. It saves time, promotes your content, and ultimately could increase your visibility and revenue potential from your website/marketing assets.
But, like everything...If you and your team aren't invested in the system. It will fail.
But, let's focus on the other 4 really quick too.
1. Strategy and Process
The only thing you can do wrong is simply just not moving forward with marketing automation. A great resource to start with is The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation by the smart people at Quick Sprout. The answer to all of your questions will be answered there.
First things, first. Content is not written once, it should iterative. Keep making tweaks based on what is relevant and providing value to your readers.
Put your epic content on your blog, guest posts, and then share excerpts in your email marketing campaigns.
The power of reusing blog content in your email marketing can make a huge impact and promote users to your site, but make sure you mix in some unique content that won't be used anywhere else because you need incentivize people to join and stay on your list(s).
You might question why you need traffic, but you can't grow your list without the interest of others seeing the content and actually opting into your campaigns.
You can generate traffic in several ways:
- Write shareable content. (Get people to share it)
- Guest Posts / Let Other Sites Guest Post
- Social Media
- Community Forums
Note: Use a healthy mixture of the above items in your approach. If you look at the two links above...WishPond wrote about Quora then shared it to Inbound.org - Both of which showed in the first 2 pages of the SERPS 2
4. Offline Marketing
Offline marketing is not used enough by most businesses.
Depending on your industry — The excuse for avoiding offline marketing is often related to cost, but we would recommend overlooking that.
Remember that most people don't even know that your business exists, let alone your website. You have to get their eyes on your stuff to get them interested.
Offline marketing techniques could be print campaigns, radio/cable advertisements, and trade shows.
In 2020 and in light of the Covid-19 crisis — Trade shows and other live demo techniques aren't readily possible to take advantage of...But, when things open back up...This is a great needle mover for most industries.
Please note: An alternative to live trade shows are virtual ones. Reach out if you want help facilitating your own virtual trade show demo.
This is a lot to do!
If that is what you're thinking - It is, but it doesn't have to be at once.
We approach marketing automation in phases and improve it over time.
Iteration is the name of the game.
Get to a minimum viable setup and just continue to iterate until you have a system that works for you and your team.
Marketing Automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier. Source: Hubspot - Marketing Automation Information.
SERPS: Or Search Result Pages are the pages displayed by a search engine in response to a query by a searcher. via Wikipedia.