We live in a society that is highly indulged into automating whatever we can, to eliminate laborious and repetitive tasks for increased accuracy, better productivity and astounding outcomes, same goes for the world of marketing.
Report says, the global spending on marketing automation software will outstretch to $25 Billionby 2023 which proves that marketing automation technology is eminently accepted by the marketers.
What is a Marketing Automation software?
Simply put, marketing automation software is a platform that allows the businesses owners to automate their various day-to-day marketing activities using a centralized management console.
With features like email marketing, content management, data management, campaign development and management, reporting and analytics, visitor tracking, lead nurturing and generation etc, marketers can automate, analyse and streamline all their workflows. This allows business owners to boost and enhance their customer experience to generate more and more leads for better sales, growth and improved ROI.
What are the benefits of marketing automation?
Track customer and access to insightful customer data
Do you know what your customer, visitor and leads are doing on your website? Lead monitoring or tracking is probably the biggest source of insights of your customer interests and eagerness. With marketing automation software you can monitor and analyze your customer’s interaction, buying interest and activities within your platform. This insightful data can help you customize your offering and lead to a higher rate of lead conversion or sales.
Automate workflow and Save Time
Every business wants to get the most advantage out of its resources. Marketers won’t like to spend their valuable time on repetitive tasks instead they would like to save and use that time on more complex and innovative business management tasks for the better growth of their business.
Almost 74% of marketing experts say that automation helps them save their time- no wonder why?
Starting from welcome email to promotional emails, sharing contents on social media, trigger notification etc., there are a series of actions that could be automated with a Marketing Software. This will help reduce potential errors in the workflow management and will help save a huge amount of time.
Boost Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Keeping customers on the frontline has always been the prime objective of business participating in the race game. Are your customers happy? Are they satisfied with your service? These are the questions that come in when you try to focus and crave for boosting your customer lifetime value.
With features like customer’s feedback, customized reports and metrics for every customer, personalized services, loyalty bonuses, cross-sell and up-sell techniques that marketing automation offers, you can help your customers stay engaged with your business and boost CLV.
Real time campaign report
Reports, journey traces and graphs of their marketing campaign is what every marketer would need to get an insight about the next move or to make bold marketing decisions that would make their business stand out from the rest.
With a Marketing automation software you can have in-depth campaign reports in real time that can help you anticipate, monitor and analyze the campaign execution and result. Also you can customize those reports with different metrics, dimensions, time variables etc.. So, you can have a fair idea of what works for your business and what not.
Reduce your staffing costs
A Marketing Automation software allows every person involved in the marketing process to wear different marketing hats. They can handle, schedule, manage, monitor, anticipate, follow-up, reply and perform many other tasks with the help of a single interface.
As a result you can still run a very productive and quality marketing team with just a handful of people compared to your competitor running a giant payroll and still struggling to match your quality and efficiency.
Increased lead conversion and boost ROI
According to a study, 70% of marketers who used automation saw that the number of conversions increase.
Automation helps businesses in nurturing leads, provide the right content at the right time, trigger automated replies to the customer instantly etc. and that leads to better results and conversions
Not only this, automation helps you improve marketing efficiency exponentially by delivering the results with less manual and monotonous work and helps your team focus more on strategies,which in turn improves ROI.
Less repetition and improved productivity
A Marketing Automation Software allows replacing manual repetitive and monotonous tasks with automated campaigns and processes.
Automating tasks like scheduling, lead nurturing, automated emails, replies etc. that require less human intervention allows marketing teams to focus on better creativity and enhancing productivity.
When you start a business with a small customer base, then just with a spreadsheet and word processing tools you can very well provide individualized attention to your customer. But once you grow and start getting a large number of customers, with those basic tools you can no longer be able to focus on your customer at an individual level.
Exactly in such scenarios, a marketing automation software enables your business to focus on a large number of customers still with the individualized care, just like a small company. For example, with the help of different templates which are filled with individual customer specific data (like their purchase history, preference etc) you still appear to provide personalized care to your customer.
Customer retention is a top priority for any business as acquiring new customers is much more expensive than retaining existing customers.
Marketing automation allows you to automate welcome email, subscriber’s email, special offers, personalized emails based on customer’s interest etc. and these things will help you with customer retention and keep them coming back to your business for more.
Focus on success
By automating Workflows / Campaigns and monitoring them realtime, it will be much easier to quickly identify which strategies are contributing to success for your business and which are not. Then you can spend more resources on winning strategies, so “more wood behind fewer arrows”.
Features of Marketing automation software
Leads are probably the most valuable assets of any business for acquiring new customers. But it can be a real concern when you start losing these most valuable assets because of ineffective lead management. For a small business may be an excel sheet is enough for lead management but as your business grows, you need to have a proper lead management tool to capture, process and nurture these invaluable assets of your business.
An effective lead management system can help you identify, capture and attract your customers and nurture them with targeted and relevant ad campaigns when the time is right, thus ensuring your sales team is approaching effectively and efficiently. You can also trace their activities to get a sense of what your customers are upto and can monitor their activities as well.
An effective Lead management module must have
Automated Lead Capturing
Lead routing / assignment
Lead Activity Tracking
Lead Reporting and Analysis
In marketing, Campaign management allows you to create, monitor and measure outcomes of your marketing across different platforms / channels like : emails, SMS, social media etc.
If you have a small business or large enterprise business, in both cases you need to have a proper plan to successfully execute the marketing campaigns across different platforms. Like : a well known brand can run multiple dynamic campaigns across different locations. On the other hand a small company with limited staff could run their top 5 most successful campaigns for years. That's why every business requires its own customized Campaign Management tool within the marketing automation software which will address their business specific use cases.
An effective Campaign management software should have:
Campaign workflow automation
Interactive campaign calendar
Multi channel interaction
Customer segmentation across different demographics, preferred channels, previous purchase history etc.
Campaign template management
Tracking and monitoring campaigns
Report & Analyze Campaign Results
Social media marketing
In 2020 there are more than 3billion social media users around the world. So, to increase your brand awareness within your customer or to boost your sales, Social Media should be one of the most essential components within a Marketing automation tool.
For example, social media automation allows you to schedule posts at a specific time on a specific platform which can optimize posting time as well as it will increase the consistency of your marketing process.
Must have functionality of a social media marketing automation tool:
Automated post scheduling
Social media monitoring
Reports and Analytics
In marketing automation, email marketing allows you to schedule automated emails to your subscribers, or broadcast emails based on pre-defined triggers or events. As well as it allows to manage and track overall email marketing performance in a centralized platform.
According to Hubspot, 80% of business professionals believe that email marketing increases customer retention.
Lets say, you may run a successful restaurant where you need to send “Special offer” emails to your customers on their birthday or some other special day. OR where an IT enterprise company may want to send bulk promotional emails regarding their “Top most services” to their different clients, vendors or stakeholders. In both cases email marketing automation allows you to do it in scale and with efficiency.
Email marketing type not only depends on different industries, there are several types of email marketing which could be automated, like : order confirmation email, transaction email, promotional email, behavioural email etc.
An Email marketing tool should allow to:
Create segmented mailing list
Personalized emails to engagement and promote customer retention
Track email opening rates
Track link Click-Through Rates (CTR)
Manage un-subscriptions request
Manage bounce rate
Reports and analysis of email campaign effectiveness
Analytics and Reporting
Every marketers crave for good reporting- this allows them to judge their work and help them plan about the next moves. Almost 70% of the companies want to go for data driven decisions and not hit and trials methods.
Marketing reports help organizations to measure overall marketing campaign progress, analyze success rate and most importantly it helps you to take actionable steps to improve overall marketing performance, hence improving ROI.
An Analytics and Reporting dashboard should have:
Data filtering, sorting, grouping, blending option
Static and dynamic reports
Chart and graph based reports
Mobile compatible reports
Ability to create custom reports as per unique business need
Ability to export reports in different formats
Real-time Alerts and Notifications
Timing is the most important factor when it comes to sales and lead generation. Real time alerts can make a considerable difference in any business operations by providing real-time visibility of all the tasks that require immediate actions.
Let’s say, in a B2B business, you have an onboarding lead who is surfing a special service offer page and shows a need to learn more. If you have real-time alert, your salesperson can instantly view the lead activity and approach with other relevant information according to user pace. Which can transform the user to a successful lead!
A notification and alert management system should have:
Ability to prioritize alert and notifications based on business needs
Configure Alert escalation matrix for your business team
Push notifications for mobile devices
Alert console for centralized management
Color coding for alert classification and easy visualization
Marketing Automation tool is used by large firms to small business owners to automate their business promotions which could be done through several channels like : emails, SMS, newsletter, print media advertising etc.
These marketing automation software allows you to customize templates for different platforms / channels as per unique business need.
An efficient template management system should have:
Ability to create static and dynamic templates
Adequate pre-built templates for different channels like SMS, Newsletters, emails, print etc.
A/B testing analytics
Providing customers with better services has always been the major objective of any business.
According to a report, Businesses Lose $75 Billion Due To Poor Customer Service. CRM has proved to be a powerful weapon in terms of efficient approach and building relationships with the customers, hence effective customer service!.
CRM integration allows your marketing tool to access the customers’ interest / purchase history and automatically upsell or cross sell to those customers by sending the most relevant content, related to their needs and interests.
This can reduce the sales-cycle and significantly improve the sales process. Integrating CRM With Marketing Automation will ultimately increase your customer retention which will boost your business ROI.
CRM integration should allow:
Selective integration for user specific behaviour (like : user response behaviour, purchase history behavior etc.)
Business rule implementation
Bi-directional integration like : whenever a customer related data will be captured by the marketing software system it will automatically insert the data to the integrated CRM database.
Want to know who visited your sites? from which campaign they landed your website? how long did they stay?what other content they were exploring? Sure you can, if you have a visitor tracking tool within your marketing automation software!
Visitor tracking is one of the most powerful features that can help you to track and analyse your individual customer’s actions and activities which help you make informed decisions on how you need to boost your website in order to attract more visitors or convert visitors to leads.
Visitor tracking tool should have the ability to:
Record visitor’s activity
Notify concerned person on live visitors
Initiate direct chat with visitors
Set triggered actions
Analytics and report
Loyalty bonus and referral
Selling your product to your existing customer is always easier than attracting new ones. In marketing, loyalty bonuses are generally offered by the retailers to reward customers to retain and frequently make purchases.
For example, if you give a reward or loyalty incentive to the customer who visits your online gadget store every month or at least by-monthly, naturally that visitor will keep purchasing your product unless he gets another attractive offer / bonus by your competitors.
With marketing automation software you can easily set up referral and loyalty bonus programs that reward your customers whenever they try out your products or refer to your services.
An effective loyalty bonus tool should have:
Dynamic customer segmentation
Ability to setup personalized incentive
Ability to redeem points
Setting up rules for automatic offer push as per customer behaviour
In marketing, a content management tool allows you to create, manage and share your digital content to your targeted audience as a part of building your brand awareness.
From small to large, more than half of the businesses invest time and money in content marketing. Large companies may require a robust content management tool with rich editing functionality, collaboration etc. But at the same time a small sized company may not require that much robust functionality in terms of collaboration, but they will need much stronger scheduling and multi-tasking tools.
A successful content marketing tool should have:
Robust content template
Advanced content approval process
Rich content editing functionality
Ability to schedule your contents to post on a right time to right platform.
Track and manage scheduled content and related assets
Shared content calendar
Analysis and reporting
With features like advanced analytics, campaign management, lead management, customer data management etc., you can enhance your customer experience and improve retention ratio which in turn gives you a better ROI.
Once you have evaluated the company, you can now collect all the points and decide whether working with the company will be worthy or not.
Once the research and planning is done, one must start the hunt for the marketing software development company that can help you with the custom software solution for all your business needs.
After choosing the company, you can discuss your project along with all the needs and requirements, cost, time etc,with them so as to proceed with the project.