What is Marketing Automation? – Introduction and first steps
Take the Leap into Marketing Automation now - where to start?
What is Marketing Automation? The benefits of Marketing Automation and first steps to get started with Marketing Automation.
What is marketing automation and how does it benefit your business? Marketing automation is often understood as just a software solution. However, marketing automation is much more than just a new tool decision.
Automated marketing combines technology with content and data. So that you can derive and develop successful and individualized marketing strategies specifically for your target group. Marketing automation provides you with the tools to understand the needs of your target group and to address them at the right moment. With marketing automation, you can observe and interpret the interactions of your target group and then create further personalized interactions.
Definition of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation thus helps us to understand the needs of our customers and to address them in a personalized way at the right moment.
“Marketing automation is the IT-supported execution of recurring marketing tasks with the aim of increasing the efficiency of marketing processes and the effectiveness of marketing decisions.” Hanning, 2016 (Translated)
What are the benefits of marketing automation?
How exactly does marketing automation help you achieve your business goals? First of all, marketing automation gives your company the possibility to inform the target group according to their needs. Your customers receive the right message at the right time and repetitive and time-consuming tasks are automated for you.
Secondly, marketing automation allows you to connect communication across different channels such as emails, banner placement and landing pages. This enables you to attract target customers with needs-based information at the right time for the product or service.
MarketingSherpa’s Marketing Benchmark Report looks at the challenges facing companies today. They note that the challenges are primarily related to reducing customer acquisition costs and continuously improving sales activities. According to Swieczak’s (2013) study, a well-designed lead nurturing program can help you tackle these very challenges. With its help, you can increase lead conversion rates by up to 50% while reducing lead acquisition costs by up to 70%, according to Swieczak’s study. Now, would you like to learn how you could achieve these numbers and how to set your business up for successful marketing automation?
First steps with marketing automation
There’s no denying that marketing automation has a certain complexity. But just as each step brings you closer to your goal, these first steps can bring you closer to successful marketing automation.
1. Mindset is Key
Marketing Automation is based on the mindset of agile marketing. This means working and thinking from the perspective of the target group. Agility also means constant testing, measuring and learning. This requires a corporate culture that approves of targeted experimentation and a culture of error.
2. All you need is..Content
In order to successfully establish marketing automation in your company, you need the necessary knowledge about content marketing. After all, content is the oil that feeds the (search) engines. A certain amount of experience in interpreting and analyzing data makes it easier for you to develop new opportunities and strategies from the collected marketing automation data. To create the right content, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and know the challenges and needs of your customers. This leads us to the next important point.
3. It is all about the Customer Journey
The end customer is at the center of the process and it is therefore relevant to deal with the interests of the target customers in order to develop content that is relevant to the target groups. In order to further develop the target groups of your company, personas are created and the purchase decision process of the target customers, i.e. personas, is represented with the customer journey. Another decisive factor is whether the target customers have a sufficiently high affinity for the Internet so that automated marketing can collect the necessary data.
4. Buget, Ressources and Goals
Setting up and running an automated online marketing solution requires resources and budget. Since marketing automation encompasses all market-facing business units, it is essential to establish common goals between marketing and sales. It is also beneficial to align processes and key performance indicators (KPI). Then the challenges can be jointly defined and focused solutions developed.
5. Last but not Least – the Marketing Automation Tool.
The more the existing systems (CRM/ERP) in your company are networked with each other, the more they can exchange data and interact with each other, and the more cloud solutions are used, the easier it is to integrate an automated marketing tool into your existing system.
Marketing Automation Summary
Here’s a quick reminder of the benefits marketing automation can have for your business: When you choose marketing automation, it’s not just about the software, it’s also about the approach. Marketing automation allows you to view your data in real time and continuously optimize and adapt it to the changing needs of your target audience.
Author: Adrian Schimpf
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