Is your business online? Yes? Then, it would be best if you automated your marketing activities immediately. An incredible fact of 49% of the companies worldwide is using marketing automation. If you are particularly interested in the B2B industry – that’s 55%. Hence, if you haven’t incorporated marketing automation into your daily activities, you are already late. But it is better late than never. So, if you are planning to start, you are at the perfect place – you will learn all you need to know from this post. Let’s begin.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is the process of automating all manual marketing practices into automated digital activities. For that purpose, there are platforms and tools one can use to create a wholly automated, streamlined process of the marketing prospects. Some of the biggest and most popular choices are Marketo, HubSpot, Oracle, and many others with a lesser scope of service they provide.
There are a lot of activities that can be automated. These include email campaigns, social media posts, marketing workflow automation, lead generation and management, customer behavior tracking, sales automation and reporting, and analytics. Of course, to integrate this automated process into your business system, you must have a skilled professional with a certificate or learn how to do it on your own (more on this in para How to Learn Marketing Automation).
Benefits of Marketing Automation
When it comes to the benefits of marketing automation, the list is long. Let’s begin with the biggest ones.
1. More Time & Energy
First and foremost, you start with marketing automation to free time. To automate the marketing activities, you need one or two days (depending on the campaigns you are planning) to set up a plan and put it into motion. For the rest of the workweek, you have plenty of time to think outside the box, put your creative hat on, and work towards further growth and development of your business.
If you are a marketer, you know that you need to be completely focused on creating engaging content and work out the strategies that will bring you the results you need. If you stray from that creative process by doing the manual technical job of sending emails by hand, setting up posts on your own, or manage the data (which is likely that you will fail in doing so), then all of your time will be consumed by these repetitive tasks that take out the energy from you not leaving you those creative vibes you need.
2. Effective Distribution of Budget Money
When you choose marketing automation, you save time, and since time is of the essence when it comes to money, you will save money. What will happen is your budget will be freed from unnecessary labor costs, and you will be able to use this money for better purposes like bringing your company to the next level.
You need one person to lead the marketing campaigns, as they need to follow the automated processes and thus, have a plentiful of people free to do any other activities. Not only will you be able to distribute the money budget to segments effectively, it is more needed, but you will also effectively distribute the labor force to various tasks. In the end, the result will be a positive ROI, given that marketing automation was successfully implemented.
3. Closer to the Target Audience
Marketing automation tools have features that allow you to get closer to your target audience. You can refine the marketing processes and visualize the customer journey while making the ideal clients aware of your existence on the market. Moreover, you will be able to nurture your leads and help them transfer quickly on the journey of conversion.
The target audience needs to be engaged in order to react to your services or products. Since you can’t personally tend to their needs (in fact, you can, but only for the first couple of dozens – what about all of them?), marketing automation allows you to meet their needs all at once across multiple channels.
How to Learn Marketing Automation?
As stated before, you will probably need a certified expert to make the transition to marketing automation since it is not an easy task to do, especially if you don’t have experience in the field. If you still need to be in charge and lead the whole integration process, there are many ways to acquire the necessary knowledge. Let’s go over some of the most successful ones.
1. Take up a Course
There are many courses online you can register to take that will introduce and lead you to and through the world of marketing automation. First of all, you need to choose the marketing automation platform or tool you will be using and look for courses specified for that platform.
For example, look for Marketo courses if your choice is Marketo. Usually, these courses offer you the Marketo basics, which include learning about the fundamentals of how Marketo automation works and how Marketo handles all the processes. Then, it covers helps in the development of your best practice Marketo structure that mostly suits your business. Next, it can show how to master the lead database and how to keep optimal hygiene of the data on your servers. All in all, the basics of everything you need to know about running successful marketing automation in Marketo will be covered.
On the other hand, if you prefer the features of, say, HubSpot, you can look for a HubSpot course that will teach you the basics of this CRM platform. You will learn how to use the tools that HubSpot puts at your disposal and how to utilize the whole software to optimize the funnels for your marketing efforts.
2. Read Articles Online
It is always better to register for a course and have an expert explain to you quickly and simply. Of course, for that kind of service, you will need to pay. Without a doubt, that is an investment completely worthy of your time and money. However, if you don’t have the luxury to invest in a course at this point, you can do a lot of the learning on your own by reading relevant articles and tutorials online. You can find hundreds of free materials, but you must be selective and intuitive and focus only on the sources that will bring the most significant benefit to you. All you need is a strong will, motivation, and ambition to succeed on your own.
3. Bring in an In-house Team Member
Finally, if you feel too much pressure getting it all done by yourself, it is better to leave it to the pros. Bring in an expert in your team and have them take care of what they know to do best. Their experience and skills will be enough to tackle the challenges at the beginning of marketing automation, and later, when everything is under control, they can tutor you or someone else you want to be responsible for the marketing activities.
To sum up
Marketing automation brought considerable changes in the way businesses use digital channels to get popular, make more leads, and more money. With the constant development of technology and new trends coming up every couple of weeks, you must hop on board as soon as possible. It won’t become easier; it will become more complex and, without a doubt, it is better to learn the basics now than to struggle to keep up with it in the future.