Macroeconomic changes, evolving customer demands, and shifting priorities all pose challenges when it comes to scaling a business. This begs the following question: How can companies shield themselves from these threats while driving sales, engaging with the audience, and emerging as the key players? One answer is marketing automation.
Organizations that rely on automation witness an increase in conversion rates of 30%. Marketing automation trims the time needed to perform mundane tasks, increases sales by more than 14%, and cuts down marketing overhead by over 12%.Salesforce
Drawing from more than 14 years in automation solutions, I believe my article will provide value to other businesses looking to embrace marketing automation.
Marketing Automation Takes Marketers’ Jobs… To The Next Level
Marketing automation is not about replacing marketers but rather about boosting the efficiency of their work and streamlining inbound marketing activities. These can include repetitive yet important tasks like email marketing, social media marketing (SMM), and customer relationship management (CRM).
When deployed correctly, marketing automation can nurture potential customers at every stage of their journey to the brand, resulting in an increased number of qualified leads and a better return on investment (ROI). By optimizing workflows, marketing teams can accomplish more, quickly, and with reduced costs.
What Is An Example of Marketing Automation In Action?
To illustrate marketing automation, let’s take artificial intelligence (AI)-powered content experience platforms. Below, we will outline common actions pharma companies take when using these automation tools to launch their email campaigns for healthcare providers (HCPs):
- Arranging digital content – With the help of content experience solutions, pharma marketers automatically can tag all digital content in their repository, from audio files to text messages. This would allow them to later re-purpose the modules that have the greatest impact on the audience and have been approved through the Medical Legal Regulatory (MLR) review. (Pharma companies cannot reach out to an HCP without proving each claim valid with a relevant reference or if a material violates a certain local regulation).
- Generating engaging content – The next crucial step involves generating compelling and dynamic content. The integrated AI model connects with the company’s approved and tagged content to suggest new variants of messages and content modules.
- Translating assets – If a pharma company targets international markets, content can then be automatically translated to desired languages way faster than it would be manually. This is how it works: the solution stores previously translated content, and AI algorithms process it to translate the fresh pieces. As many pharma companies have unique brand-specific terminology and concepts, having their dataset significantly increases translation accuracy.
- Speeding content time-to-market – If content creators are unsure whether all references are in place and all claims have enough justification, they can leverage the content pre-approval engine instead of waiting for feedback from the MLR teams. This automation enables them to understand the likelihood of content approval, spot errors, and consider suggestions for improving the content quality before the formal review approval.
Marketing products in heavily regulated industries like life sciences and pharma is no easy feat. As you can see from the example above, automation solutions are designed to facilitate marketers’ work, revolutionizing how they combat industry challenges and satisfy the ultimate needs of their customers.
What Benefits Does Marketing Automation Bring To The Table?
Moving away from the specific example, it is time to discuss the common benefits of marketing automation tools, regardless of the industry.
Smooth Customer Journeys
Without automation platforms, businesses would have to respond to each action of each marketing lead to promote their products. Automation solutions let customers step into the sales funnel and naturally move down with little to no manual effort from the company’s team.
For example, a user…
- stumbles upon a company’s blog post;
- clicks to download a whitepaper proposed at the end of the article;
- enters their email address;
- gets added to the remarketing list;
- receives a personalized email;
- visits a company’s website;
- gets help from the chatbot;
- makes a purchase.
If a business considers the purchase the end of the customer’s journey, they are sorely mistaken. After converting, a client should receive more emails with relevant product recommendations that would entice them to repeat purchases over and over.
Omnichannel Marketing Campaigns
Imagine marketing teams in the 1950s. Their biggest ambition then was to make the audience glued to television screens whenever their advertisement went live. Since then, there have been a few fundamental changes in marketing – the rise of the Internet and consumers’ constant connectivity.
90% of customers jump between screens and devices to complete their tasks.Google
What this means for marketers is that they now must reach customers with a consistent and channel-appropriate message based on their current needs. Marketing automation solutions combine various marketing activities, such as emails, live chat, SMS marketing, social media campaigns, and CRM, under one roof, helping companies provide a comprehensive omnichannel customer experience.
Marketing attribution refers to evaluating how different marketing efforts have contributed to the desired result. Without an automation tool, it is virtually impossible to connect all touchpoints and track intricate customer journeys.
Picture this: a company has reached a prospect through a LinkedIn post, lead them with a series of blog articles, and targeted them with a personalized email. The prospect decided to purchase a product after receiving the email. Without automation, marketing teams will likely attribute the purchase to this last message, disregarding the importance of all other touchpoints that led the customer to a buying decision.
In the modern world, people expect businesses to deliver personalized services and interactions.
Companies harnessing personalization tend to witness a 40% increase in revenue compared to average players.McKinsey
One way they achieve dynamic, personalized experience is through the use of marketing automation.
Automation software allows users to personalize emails, advertisements, or chatbot replies, going beyond simply including a customer’s name. These solutions are designed to understand how consumers behave, what they prefer, what motivates them, and even what makes them anxious. Then, businesses capitalize on this data to offer tailored content and unique experiences that set them apart from their rivals.
Key Factors To Consider When Choosing Automation Software
Before you go ahead and buy a subscription for that new tool recommended by a business leader from Forbes Global 500, it is important to take the following factors into account:
- Your business needs: Your choice of a marketing automation tool should heavily depend on the current needs of your business. With this said, you must take into account your industry, business type, and what you want to accomplish with a new solution. A good way to start is to ask yourself why you need automation software at all. Do you need an advanced tool to generate dynamic content, or is a less complex solution for scheduling social media posts more appropriate? Will this product help you capture new leads or track the existing ones until they convert? Answers to these or similar questions will help you find a tool without turning over every stone.
- Integrations: Integration capabilities are another important consideration for a seamless user experience. Think about solutions you plan to use with your marketing automation platform. If you manage to find a tool that connects with all your email service providers, engagement platforms, or live chat software, chances are you will be able to optimize your marketing process and boost teams’ performance.
- Customer support and learning resources: Even if a solution boasts a range of valuable automation features, they are of little use when customers navigate with pain and friction. If the solution is complex by its nature, make sure there is excellent customer support and guidelines available by hand to get the most out of it. Live chat, video tutorials, online documentation, introductory guides, or courses all play a critical role in preventing users from feeling annoyed right from onboarding.
- Pricing: Last but not least, don’t forget to check out the prices of different tools to make sure you get the best deal. Some marketing platforms offer advanced features, which often cost a hefty sum. If you do not need most of them, it is a smart move to search for less feature-rich and expensive software that better aligns with your current needs.
Automate Your Way to Business Growth
Undoubtedly, businesses have a ton on their plates, handling tasks ranging from sales and conversion to engagement and productivity. Marketing automation has become a game-changer, optimizing workflows and giving marketing teams more time to nurture customer relationships more efficiently and creatively.
Yet, with many solutions flooding the market, it is essential to ensure that the software you choose is user-friendly and makes sense for your specific business.