The possibility to access a limitless amount of information, from any device at any time, has deeply changed the means and ways customers buy and interact with companies. As a consequence, companies have started re-thinking their assets, capabilities, and strategies in order to keep up with competitors and to serve their customers with a relevant and unique value proposition. In today’s setting, differentiate your business by establishing core differences with your competitors might be outdated. Your customers are demonstrated to be far more empowered, self-aware, and attentive, and they expect high-quality experiences when interacting with your company, tailored solutions modelled on their needs, and to have access to information on a wide spectrum of devices and almost in real-time. Therefore, the relevance of your marketing efforts, your commitment to customers’ needs and expectations, time-sensitiveness, and your presence both online and offline, are strategically crucial, and they surpass the more traditional marketing concepts.
Particularly, the stress has to be put on customer experience, their set of impressions about your company, throughout their journeys. For an experience to be consistent and relevant across channels, and to build an overall positive journey, it is mandatory to constantly have highly personalized contents configured into an omnichannel perspective. Furthermore, it is necessary for your content, journeys and ultimately offered experiences to be highly flexible, in order to adjust and to deliver a variety of marketing efforts within a fast-changing environment. It is recommended to co-evolve with the competitive landscape your company operates in while undergoing a restructuring process adopting a customer-centric approach, heavily relying on data-driven decision-making and starting to aim to higher personalization, in order to reach improved customer journeys and ultimately experiences.
However, to maintain and sustain such a goal, and achieve superior performances, it is necessary to scale up all these strategic efforts, and to constantly test-out and learn at a fast pace. The most profitable and effective solution is to invest in marketing technology and particularly into marketing automation.
Marketing automation essentials and benefits
Marketing automation can be defined as the set of technologies, platforms, and tools mainly used to automate all your marketing efforts, especially repetitive tasks and workflows, such as emails, web content, and actions. Automation supports your company’s marketing department to streamline all your successful efforts, especially within a fast and sensitive time span, scaling up your initiatives across channels. Intuitively, marketing automation is the most sustainable and effective way to achieve scaled personalization, customer-centricity, and improved customers journeys and experiences. By adopting the right marketing technology and software, your communication goals can be speeded up and simplified, improving your overall performance, while optimizing all your marketing efforts. Above all, marketing automation offers a solution to improve your marketing strategy, providing more efficient and more effective processes and operations. Moreover, automating your marketing initiatives allows your company to prioritize and execute tasks in a more structured way, ultimately establishing a clear and bigger picture, yielding higher control over both internal and external circumstances.
Marketing automation encompasses campaigns management across channels, email marketing, landing pages, lead management, social media marketing and communication, online content and actions, online and traditional initiatives while relying on data, measurement, and constant monitoring. It supports your company in integrating solid data and insights with your existing capabilities, structuring informed decisions with their immediate implementation, almost in real time. Furthermore, it combines different assets and departments, such as your CRM, content management, IT and web analytics platforms, into a single system working cross-functionally with a common goal: align with your customer’s needs and expectations.
Companies adopting such a solution are demonstrated to generate and deliver highly personalized initiatives for their customers, and as a consequence higher conversion and advocacy rates. Marketing automation also impacts on fostering leads throughout the whole customer journey, which results to be high quality and truly personalized, positively affecting customer experiences. The right automation technologies, integrated with a strategic, structural, and organizational processes alignment, is the most profitable way to wrap up all marketing initiatives: from your email marketing to your most recent campaigns, your current landing pages, and your channels management. By adopting a marketing automation technology your company and your marketing department will benefit from better lead generations, segmentation, lead nurturing and scoring, and improved customer lifecycle. As a consequence, marketing automation typically generates increased sales growth, which results to be boosted, improved revenues, and higher marketing ROI. In a nutshell, marketing automation would drive and deliver superior value to your company, armouring it with a flexible and highly responsive set of processes, which are easily scalable and repeatable.
Is marketing automation a valuable engine?
Although the benefits of setting up a marketing automation system are numerous and would yield superior results for your company, it is quite demanding to be executed as a strategic initiative, and it first and foremost requires constant monitoring and improvements, even after its implementation. When it comes to implementation, at an early stage, your company needs to start reconsidering its strategy and its main goals, with a focus on your segment and customer-base. It is not a matter of automating processes for automation’s sake, and adopting such an approach could be dramatically detrimental. As every other marketing initiative that configures in the digital landscape and era, automation has to be tailored to those tasks, workflows, and operations that are most likely to simplify and accelerate your company interactions with your customers.
Therefore, marketing automation has to be implemented with regards to your current marketing strategy, in order to provide valuable content that is fully aligned with your customer needs and expectations, otherwise, all the efforts concerning building up a consistent customer journey, with individual and highly personalized experiences, would be jeopardized. In order to support your marketing operations in generating, modelling, delivering, and monitoring relevant content to your customers, automation needs to be aligned with the current strategic status quo. Additionally, to implement a successful marketing automation process, your company requires a central marketing database. The latter has to be configured as a place where all your data, detailed prospects, insights, and customer interactions are collected and easily accessible, in order to simplify and justify every single current and future segmentation and retargeting of contents, messages, offerings, to each customer. Secondly, an engagement marketing engine is as mandatory as a database, since it would grant your company with a convenient and efficient environment for the creation, management and final automation of processes and conversations across channels, both online and offline, orchestrating all your initiatives, creating and delivering a whole experience that is more than the sum of different parts. Finally, an additional must-have is an analytic engine that would allow your company to constantly test, measure, and optimize marketing ROI, and finally your company revenues’ growth. Such an engine will support your company in understanding almost in real-time which initiatives worked, their impact and influence on your performance, which one needs improvements, where to focus your future efforts in order to achieve optimization.
Marketing automation represents a significant investment, and it is compulsory for your company to start setting up and move forward on technology platforms supporting this suitable strategic approach. Nevertheless, carrying out this investment also implies that your company has to undergo other collateral ones in other areas, opting for a comprehensive approach, especially when it comes to your strategy, processes, content and customer lifecycle, and your organizational structure and employees. Notwithstanding, marketing automation is a very promising opportunity for your company to deliver superior value and reach a considerably improved marketing ROI, and your company should consider if the effort required is worthwhile.