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Practical & helpful knowledge that makes your daily life with Marketing Automation easier!

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing Automation briefly explained

Marketing Automation is an important tool for the digital transformation in a company. It is a technology to automate marketing processes across different campaigns and channels. A well-known example is an automated newsletter via e-mail.

You can think of Marketing Automation as a toolbox that helps you simplify various time-consuming tasks.
Automation also influences the customer journey: It becomes possible for you to reach your customers at any point in the customer life cycle to provide them with relevant content. Without Marketing Automation, a company gives away many benefits in lead generation and lead management.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing Automation is a technology to supply customers with content in a targeted, personalized and automated way. It enables your company to manage the marketing processes, the different campaigns and the sales activities across multiple channels.

With Marketing Automation you can develop various automated workflows that make work easier on the one hand and support lead generation on the other. This way, your company can establish communication with customers through automated messages. The messages are sent automatically using so-called workflows. Workflows are a series of instructions that are set up according to a template or completely new

What are the goals of Marketing Automation?

  • Establish personalized communication with your target group.
  • Identify potential customers, generate & qualify leads efficiently.
  • Tracking the customers' data in a data protection compliant way to identify the activities that work.
  • And by automating repetitive tasks, efficiency is increased and sales are boosted.
Thus, not only the marketing department benefits but the entire company. The larger & more complex a company is, the stronger the time & cost-saving effects.

How can you use it? 

Step 1: You send an e-mail to a selected list of contacts with an invitation to download the latest blog article as a PDF.
Step 2: Send a thank you e-mail to all contacts who downloaded the PDF.
Step 3: After a few days, send another e-mail to those contacts who downloaded the PDF and offer them an e-book or other inspiration related to the topic.
Step 4: The contacts who have downloaded the content after the blog article will receive a note - it is worthwhile to promote this customer further. This contact is already further in the buying process and therefore a more qualified lead. 

Step 1: A person visits your blog on the website, e.g. through organic search, and finds the blog articles interesting.
Step 2: The person would like to receive more content on this topic and therefore clicks on the Call-to-Action (CTA) attached by you.
Step 3: By clicking on the CTA the person is redirected to a landing page. In order to get access to the desired information, there is a form for the contact details. This form will be sent.
Step 4: After sending the contact form, the person receives the desired information by an automated message.For the company, the visitor is automatically converted into a lead and ends up with the specified data in the CRM or contact database. 

Step 1: After the lead generation you assign the leads in the contact database to lists according to certain criteria. For example, the people will end up in a different list depending on their willingness to buy, demographics or certain interactions with your content.
Step 2: In addition, your company can automatically classify the leads in the database through lead scoring: Depending on how far the decision process / purchase process has already progressed, the lead receives a different point value. These point phases make it clear to every person in the company in which phase the lead is and from when it is qualified for the sales team.
Step 3: Using the lists and the scoring you can more easily tailor the content to your prospects and address them in a targeted manner.

Further features are:

  • Landing pages
  • Campaign management
  • Marketing programs
  • Forecasts
  • CRM integration
  • Social marketing
  • Ressource management
  • Marketing analyses

What does Marketing Automation do?

Marketing Automation is like a toolbox. With the tools it contains, the most time-consuming tasks in marketing & sales can be simplified. Automation is mainly used for repetitive tasks. One example is e-mail marketing: Instead of sending a large number of e-mails to customers manually, Marketing Automation can be used.
Through an automated marketing strategy, your company can save time & resources and increase sales & ROI. With Marketing Automation, your customers are only actively approached when the content and the offer becomes relevant to them.


How does the automations work?

What does means that for the Customer Journey?

A Customer Journey consists of the different cycles a customer goes through until he buys a process or service. This includes all individual & personalized experiences of the customer with your brand. Through Marketing Automation you can reach your customers at every Touchpoint in the customer lifecycle and provide them with relevant content. The goal is to turn the visitor into a customer. Depending on the phase of the Customer Journey, contacts are presented with different relevant content.
Marketing Automation creates relevant content & messages across different channels. For example, you can send e-mail messages with dynamic content and highly personalize the messages. Or you can integrate mobile messages into your e-mail & social media campaigns via SMS/MMS, push notifications & group messages. It's also possible to generate digital ads, allowing you to deliver the right ad to the right person at the right time. Or you can automatically recommend the right products on your website for each individual visitor.

What is the difference between Marketing Automation and…

CRM systems are absolutely essential for the various sales organizations. They contain some overlapping functions with Marketing Automation tools. However, they are designed and optimized for completely different goals and therefore offer relatively few functions to the marketing departments:
The main goal of CRM is to track opportunities & sales chains and manage sales activities & customer information. The goal of Marketing Automation, on the other hand, is primarily to develop customer relationships, automate marketing activities and measure marketing ROI.

E-mail marketing is a marketing strategy that is integrated into Marketing Automation. Often there are separate CRM solutions and separate e-mail marketing tools so that the e-mails are only isolated. The standardization of communication is missing. Marketing Automation includes all the different points of contact between (potential) customers and the company and can, for example, combine e-mail marketing with social media.

Inbound marketing is also a strategy and not a technology. Inbound marketing is the process by which potential customers are made aware of your company. Often this contact takes place before they want to buy something. To get the most out of inbound marketing, it makes more sense to combine it with other Marketing Automation strategies to turn the generated names into leads & customers.

Both are tactics for building brand awareness and generating leads. However, just like inbound marketing, these two tactics are "top of the funnel" strategies. You use them to draw attention to your company, offer entertainment and information and generate new data. But these leads have to be transformed into active customers and that's where Marketing Automation comes in.

What are some best practices for Marketing Automation?

  • Define & present your goals: Make your goals as clear, concrete & measurable as possible. Use real numbers to show the purpose of an investment in a Marketing Automation platform.
  • Collaborate with other teams: The Marketing Automation strategy usually involves several teams within the company. It is best to include the input of these teams in the strategy right from the start. 
  • Database segmentation & clearing up: Consider your existing customer data and think about who you want to include and why. Contact information is best reviewed regularly to update or remove outdated contacts from the database.
  • Preparation for the content strategy: What content do you want to share with your customers? Create interesting, appealing and relevant messages for the different phases of the customer life cycle.
  • Staggered introduction: By starting testing early, you can continuously adapt & optimize the Marketing Automation. Workflows can be constantly updated to meet new requirements.
  • Continuous analysis: Which activities work and which don't? By measuring some key metrics such as click-through rates, opening rates and timing, you can adapt the Marketing Automation to the results of the analyses.

For whom is it suitable?

Marketing Automation is suitable for many companies as digital transformation processes and digital marketing become more and more important. A few typical examples are:

  • Companies with repetitive and sometimes complex marketing processes.
  • Companies with too many customers/leads to call them personally.
  • E-mail marketing is not personalized to the customers, there are many e-mails without customer reaction and the e-mails are sent manually.
  • Marketing & Sales cannot respond to real-time triggers.

In addition, there are countless other usage possibilities. One question that always comes up is whether Marketing Automation is easy to use:
Yes, the operation is basically simple. Because modern Marketing Automation tools focus on ease of use: You can create campaigns with just one click, manage all the different aspects of digital marketing strategy in one central location, and assemble content using drag and drop functions. It's also possible to perform A/B testing of e-mail campaigns to identify the messages with the highest generated engagement. By setting clear, concrete and measurable goals before the campaigns, you can compare them with the results of the analysis. Depending on the size & complexity of the Marketing Automation solution you choose and your own practice with similar applications, it may take some time to get used to it at the beginning.

Marketing Automation gives a company a number of advantages in lead generation & lead management: Your company can create consistent, networked customer experiences and align and personalize communication to target groups. Recurring tasks can be automated - you can use resources more efficiently. Through the analysis options, your company can better identify potential customers. And by measuring some key metrics, you can see which marketing activities work and which don't. The goal is to deliver personalized, meaningful content to your customers. Thus, aggressive sales strategies are no longer necessary - after all, it is all about providing your own customers with the information they are looking for and interested in.

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Sources image & text content
  • Hubspot Blog
  • Salesforce
  • Book Digitales Marketing für Marketing- und Verkaufsverantwortliche M. Klaas & A. Suvada

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