Marketing automation: The whats, the hows and the whys

It goes without saying that technology has made ultrapersonal, individually tailored content possible. Gathering this type of individual, personalized information better enables businesses to nurture leads and convert them into customers.

Imagine receiving an email or social media message from a salesperson who works at a company where you’re considering doing business. Unlike an email blast or public social media post that has likely been sent to hundreds — if not thousands — of people, the message you’ve just received is relevant to the information you’re seeking and focused on your needs.

Almost 70 percent of businesses say converting leads is their No.1 priority. According to HubSpot, businesses that have integrated automation software into their marketing strategy generate twice the number of leads than those using blast email software.

The ultimate mission of marketing automation is two-fold:

  • Drive more and better leads and convert them to sales.
  • Encourage repeat business and turn existing customers into loyal, raving advocates.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation refers to software platforms, technologies and tactics that nurture prospects with ultra-personalized, tailored content that turns them into customers — and turns customers into happy customers. Marketing automation software, specifically, automates aspects of a business’ marketing process — repetitive tasks, for example, such as emails and social media posts.

Eighty-nine percent of businesses say that email is their primary channel of lead generation, according to HubSpot. With marketing automation, email flow takes on an entirely new meaning. “After the click” behavior tracking — a principal capability of marketing automation software — allows businesses to discover a lead’s interests based on webpage clicks. Understanding a customer’s interests allows businesses to communicate with prospects one-on-one based on those interests.

How does a business succeed?

Integrating a new component into your marketing strategy can be nerve-wracking. Mind these helpful tips to ensure your marketing automation is successful:

  • Clearly define a strategy. Know the direction you want your marketing automation to take from the get-go.
  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of your audience to help turn prospects into leads into customers.
  • Ensure the content you are pushing out is smart and informative at every stage of the conversion process.

Why does it matter?

For any business, understanding the wants and needs of their audience is the straightest path to success. This has rung true long before technology made ultrapersonal content possible. Marketing automation takes it a step further, though, by allowing marketers to nurture leads throughout the entire buying process — from the first click and beyond.

Consider this: Most people are 60 to 70 percent of the way through the buying journey before even speaking with a salesperson. Imagine having the opportunity to intercept a prospect immediately after his or her initial interaction with your business’ content. Then, it’s easier to customize content on his or her behalf. Marketing automation makes this a reality, leaving you the time to focus on other things.

When properly executed and managed, a marketing automation strategy will help you turn prospects into customers.

 

Kelly Borth is CEO and chief strategy officer for GREENCREST, a 27-year-old brand development, strategic and online marketing and public relations firm that turns market players into industry leaders™. Kelly is one of 35 certified brand strategists in North America and works with companies to establish brands and build brand value for their businesses.