Automation is what you’ll hear from everyone when you’re looking for solutions to your ever-increasing workload as your business grows. It is easy to manage clients on a small scale but when the numbers grow big, tackling tasks becomes a major hurdle in everyday projects. Marketing Automation takes care of repetitive tasks, such as sending texts, emails, and automating a few other website actions.
It became a buzzword after 2000 when the internet availability and accessibility increased across the industry. Automation spread beyond email marketing and involved various other areas, such as webinars, landing pages, campaigns, A/B testing, social marketing, and so on. The market of marketing automation will see a rise in spending on the tools which is expected to be $25.1 million annually by 2030. But what is marketing automation and why is everyone talking about it? Let’s give you the crux of this powerful tool!
As the name suggests, marketing automation is something that automates your marketing tasks for you. It does everything from automatically sending a pre-written welcome email to the new visitors, informative content to prospective leads and engaging content to your customers to sending an invoice, stock refill reminders, offers, information about new products to the buyers, etc. If you look at the factsheet, marketing automation has done wonders. By increasing the sales productivity by 14.5%, qualified lead generation by 451% and reducing marketing overhead by 12.2%, marketing automation has proven to be a miracle for the business industry. The global market will only grow in the upcoming years and more investments will be made on marketing automation tools.
When your business has just started to grow and you are trying out new ways to foster it, jumping to investing in a new software might sound daunting. But trust us on this, marketing automation software, when used to its full potential, can multifold your business’s ROI. When the business is ready to rise up, you will definitely need a platform from where you can track the progress of all the teams, lead transfers, campaigns, projects, products, content, and everything that you have put into marketing your products and services.
But, what will happen without automation? John McTigue at Kuno Creative explained what happens when you’re not using automation.
“It’s like shooting an arrow in the dark. It would be just a guess, a hope that whatever you are offering might be liked by the leads. But we all are aware that the buyers in today's world need more information, and more specifically, the right kind of information, something that they are searching for and not a random sample of products that they don’t even need.”
Evolution of marketing automation helps you identify and segregate potential buyers. From here you start generating qualified leads, nurturing them with personalised and relevant content to keep them hooked, and finally closing them into a customer. Now you know why we are vouching for it. Before launching any campaigns or program execution, it is necessary to plan the whole process because once you hit the go button; the whole process should be smooth and the campaign should run on its own. And that’s where marketing automation comes handy. This is how:
Getting your marketing and sales team aligned from the very first step is crucial to avoid confusion later. Both the teams should have a clear idea of their definition of a qualified lead and focus on their nurturing and closing them when they’re ready. With the marketing automation software, it gets easier for both the teams to track results and create high-impact changes whenever needed on a single platform. The sales team can define their perspective of an ideal lead while the marketing team can generate campaigns to attract visitors and hand over the leads that match the criteria. Goals should be set at this stage where the number of sales-qualified leads that need to be generated by the marketing team and handed over to the sales team for the anticipated conversion is decided.
There’s no denying the fact that content is the most important factor of any marketing campaign. It’s the way you communicate with a huge audience, ensuring you reach them at the right time. If you have something great to offer but your content is not doing justice to it, it will be difficult to win over the market. So, yes! Creating compelling, informative and relevant content to drive in traffic and keeping the ideal leads is crucial at each stage of the customer journey, be it awareness, consideration, decision or delight. Three times more leads are generated with content marketing than with paid search. Generating content is the task of your creative heads but how and when it should reach the right lead or customer is where marketing automation takes over from.
Since you’ve aligned your sales and marketing teams, they will be able to agree upon the characteristics of the leads they want to focus on. Once you’ve generated the leads, to nurture them, relevant content and information is sent through emails, texts, blog posts, social media posts, and so on. This is usually done through CRM integration. CRM integration ensures that the right messages are being delivered at the right time to the right customer through the right channel. After nurturing, we move on to lead scoring. A score is assigned to the newly generated leads based on their likelihood of closing into a customer. The better the score, the more qualified your lead is. These leads are then transferred to the sales team for closing.
A workflow defines the entire customer journey based on the triggers that the users pull. These triggers could be a form submission, social media or email clicks, page views, content downloads, and other similar things. These workflows are automated and personalised, which helps in managing a lead through the entire process, such as adding a contact to the list, updating the stage of the journey, removing and transferring a contact from one workflow to the list, and other administrative tasks that enable your marketing strategy to reach your leads effectively. A sample workflow is given in the picture below.
There are different types of workflows that are used at different stages of the customer journey, such as welcome workflow, re-engagement workflow, feedback workflow, cart abandonment workflow, anonymous user workflow, topic workflow, lead nurturing workflow, upsell workflow, renewal workflow, etc. On the basis of who you are trying to target and at which stage, you will be able to initiate the right one.
Through campaign landing pages, you can attract more leads and in exchange for relevant content, more information can be collected on their characteristics. Marketing automation can analyse the behaviour of the user at every stage of the campaign and helps you focus only on potential buyers. Also, through marketing automation, you get a detailed analysis of the processes running both at the marketing and sales level. The campaign pretty much runs on its own. However, periodic optimisation is necessary to ensure the smooth running of the campaign and achieving targets on time.
Yes, with marketing automation in place, you can easily analyse the performance of various processes by means of measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and goals. Analysing everything is important as to see how effectively your strategies are meeting your leads’ and customers’ expectations. ROI generated from using marketing automation is both tangible and intangible. First of all, it increases conversion rates and hence, more customers generate more revenue. Second, you don’t have to outsource your creatives because marketing automation software allows you to generate your own campaigns. Since it automates your marketing, less manpower is required and human errors are prevented.
There are many marketing platforms available in the market which are affordable, intuitive, stable, responsive, and innovative. Starting from HubSpot, Pardot to Salesforce, Marketo, and Ledsquare, these top marketing automation platforms are ruling the marketing.
One of the most widely used platform, HubSpot is intuitive and its analytics make it easy for businesses to understand what's working for them and what's not.
Acquired by Salesforce, Pardot is known for its great pre and post implementation customer support, apart from its great features.
Right from real-time processing abilities, friendly interface to cloud based structure, Salesforce is a marketer's dream come true.
Marketo boasts of many powerful features such as CRM integration, lead nurturing and scoring, email marketing, and more.
Known for all kinds of B2B and B2C businesses to track, nurture, and manage their leads.
|Why||B2B Marketing Automation|
|Focus||Lead generation, high user engagement, low bounce rate|
|Tactic||Lead nurturing with the help of the right content, to the right prospect, at the right time|
|Goals||Shorte sales cycle, more efficient marketing efforts, business growth, overall increased revenue|
When it comes to B2B, the marketing challenges are different than those of B2C. Right from how to grow your customer base, how to keep them engaged, and how to have them for life to setting the budget and resources, everything could come flooding to you if you don't have the right solution in place. That's why - marketing automation for B2B! Its scoring and grading system can help both, marketing and sales teams, to evaluate and understand their lear activity and behaviour and prioritise quality leads in real-time. At the same time, lead nurturing helps marketers be more engaging with their potential customers and send out personalised messages to keep them interested in the brand. Here's how we go about it
PAID MARKETING CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT
Marketing Automation Strategy
The marketing automation software is so comprehensive, it can do almost everything but where to begin? The answer is hidden in the process that you usually employ for a project and therefore, it has phases of initiation, planning, execution, controlling, and closing.
Initiate things by getting a clear idea of your goals, targets, and the team you’re going to have on board. Setting goals will give you a clear idea of what you want the marketing automation software to do. Having a strong team that can operate the automation software gives all the support you need to get things right. Get your skilled, inspired, flexible, and resilient lot on board in the very beginning to make important decisions.
At the planning stage, develop a good “Work Breakdown Structure” to list what you need to do and assign various tasks to the persons best suited for it. To get a fool-proof plan, divide your project further into small sub-projects. These subprojects can be further broken down into other task categories and a team member and a deadline for each activity could be assigned to get the work done in time. Make provisions for tracking all the tasks and measuring performances.
To execute your plan, give ample amount of time to the team to understand the process, pull in resources and make necessary arrangements before they’re ready to go. Execution will signify how effective your planning was. Keep a check on every task to prevent overlapping.
The controlling phase is about regularly checking the status of set targets, team performance and budget consumption. Having control over the entire process will tell you if you’re moving any closer to your set goals and targets and keeping the stakeholders informed.
This is the last phase where a cross-check of all the things is done - the targets and goals are met, team members have carried their responsibilities, and data validation has been carried out as per your plan.
By now, we hope you have an idea of what marketing automation is and how to get started with it. But how do you get the most out of it so that your business sees the growth and success that you expected?
When you get new leads, the next step is to find the best leads who are potential buyers. Most of the times, marketers do not segregate their leads and a lot of time is wasted in following those who do not have any intention to buy. According to HubSpot, 42% of marketers do not target audience through targeted emails. You can segment your leads based on demographics, behaviour and interests, and lead source. To segment the best or high-profile leads, get answers to these questions to identify them:
Conducting an online survey on your website may get you more information. Once you identify your ideal leads, focus on nurturing them with recommendations, and modify your products or Automation services to fit their needs.
Having a focused sales funnel will help you increase conversion rates faster. Losing a prospect during this process is something we can’t afford. So, when the prospect is primed by signing up or subscribing, giving them some discount or free trials besides what they want will motivate them to convert. Your funnel should be simple, without multiple options or unnecessary content so that your prospects can understand how to proceed further, otherwise, they will opt out.
A large list of leads looks tempting but it is important that you filter out the ones who are not responding to you. Getting the analytics for your list will definitely tell you how your time and resources are not getting well utilised in following up on dead or non-responsive leads. When you focus on the qualified ones, you will get better at deliverability and reputation. But how to filter them out? It can be done by removing or correcting bad domains shared by leads, removing distribution accounts and avoiding sending emails to large email groups, removing spam or inactive email addresses, and using data checkers when a lead signs up. The leads that are not good for the sales funnel are called NINAs (No Influence, No Authority).
Marketing automation fixes all the holes in the funnel through which the leads could leak. To identify the leaking areas, map out the lead lifecycle, warm up the cold leads and close them. You can prevent lead leakage by using lead scoring and sales alerts. The sales team is alerted with each qualified lead generated and it is passed on to them for further action. Optimising your marketing automation to get information on when and where a lead score is changing and handing them back to the marketing team for nurturing will prevent lead loss. Also, monitoring your results and tracking changes in outcomes followed by making the necessary tweaks in the process is the best way to keep things going smoothly.
There’s no denying the fact that marketing automation software makes it easier for marketers to handle tasks, save time, focus better on strategies and campaign launches, gain more leads, and loyal customers. 63% of the companies that use marketing automation outgrow their competitors. If you’re not using a marketing automation tool for your business as yet, it’s high time that you do.
To increase your sales activities, you employ more salespeople and to enhance your marketing efforts, you employ more marketing assets, to be able to match the needs of your growing business. So, if you are in a position that you can no longer follow up on each and every sales lead and your marketing team is jampacked with new leads, then this is the right time to adopt marketing automation. It is a very feasible alternative to constantly track and nurture your leads and to give them exactly what they are looking for, without getting in their way.
Transfunnel Consulting, the first and only HubSpot Platinum partner in India, help you get the most out of the resources available to you, which ultimately leads to increased sales revenue. Your marketing and sales teams can do more important tasks at hand and gain efficiency, while we help them automate their individual efforts, at the same time, making sure they are getting the most out of their marketing automation platform.
Your marketing team can finally focus on generating high-quality leads and your sales team can focus on selling to those high-quality leads. - without indulging in any kind of repetitive tasks!!
As HubSpot certified and among the top few partners, our knowledge, experience, and expertise can help you grow your business manifold, as per your desired expectations and more. Get in touch today for a free marketing automation consulting session with one of our experts!