What is Marketing Automation? In layman’s term, marketing automation refers to programs or software used by companies to automate sales and marketing tasks that normally takes time when done manually. For many years now this method of automating repetitive tasks has been part of many companies system whether big or small and regardless of what kind of online business the company is engaged. It is an indispensable tool that serves to systematize the gathering of data and communications with existing and potential customers as well as streamline the processes involved in completing the tasks of both sales and marketing departments.
Understanding the use of marketing automation
Just like other platforms used by companies to generate leads, a marketing software has as one of its many purposes giving the business owner the opportunity to reach as many targeted customers as possible with minimal effort. The best example of this is email marketing where the sending of emails to prospective customers is automated. If sending emails will be done manually, it can consume a lot of time for the business as there could possibly be thousands of messages and campaign ads to be sent. With automation, the software does it automatically at the touch of a button. It also gives the opportunity to send emails automatically on periodic basis depending on the type of software being used.
Automation to streamline marketing processes is also one of the objectives of the developers when they introduced the software to businesses. It also enables the business owner to see the key performance indicators (KPI) and to decide from there when and where to make adjustments if necessary. Used at the same time with other platforms, automation of marketing processes produces an overall ideal environment for the conduct of the business.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
The continued growth in the use of this software only goes to show that there are indeed many benefits to using it. Below are just some of the benefits online businesses can derive from this type of software.
- Ability to get the needed information from customers. If before the software was limited only to getting the email address of the customer and storing it in the database, now more information can be gathered. This gives the business owner the time to determine what the customer needs are.
- The opportunity to respond in a timely manner to customer concerns.There is now the opportunity to give timely feedback to inquiries and concerns of customers.
- Ability to track, manage, and make improvements to digital campaigns. When there is a need to revisit the marketing strategy, the information provided by the system can be used to make the needed adjustments.
- Improved customer leads. Since more information can be gathered from the customer especially when it comes to their preferences, it becomes easier for the business to specifically target customers’ needs to increase the chances of closing a sale.
- Multi-channel availability. Marketing automation software can be used across different platforms and therefore makes it versatile.
- The opportunity to maintain relationship with customers. Customer satisfaction is the concern of many companies and marketing automation helps a lot in this regard.
- Alignment of objectives for different departments like sales and marketing. Just one software is needed to control and manage the entire sales and marketing processes. Sales and marketing people can make the needed adjustments in the campaign for instance without asking for an IT assistance in most cases.
- Saves on labor cost. With automation, the need to have several people to do the job is taken out of the picture and therefore saves the company a lot of money in the long run.
- Improved bottom line. When push comes to shove, business owners will always decide based on the possible ROI. In the case of marketing automation software, its continued popularity is testament to the effectiveness of automation platforms as many companies increased the return on their investment using the software.
The value of customer centered approach
More than making the life of marketers easier, the automation of marketing strategies must be centered on giving the target market better experience. While the initial intention was to make the program convenient and with the ability to reach as many prospects as possible for the business, now the focus of developers is to take also into consideration what the end-user really wants. This is now the focus of many marketers and software developers to improve and get better results using automation software. While it may still be far from attaining the ideal results, vendors and marketers of automation software are optimistic that it is very much possible and that soon they can get there.