Marketing automation is the automation of business processes aimed at improving the efficiency and quality of existing business processes. The automation of these functions helps managers to control and measure the results of business activities. Marketing automation refers to technological systems and applications designed specifically for marketing departments to better automate repetitive tasks and market on multiple channels over the internet. Marketing automation technologies can either be computer-based or web-based, depending on the type of application that is used. Marketing automation applications are usually based on Microsoft Windows, and they can be installed on computers running Microsoft Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, or Google Chrome.
Marketing automation technology can be divided into two general categories: customer relationship management (CRM) and email marketing automation. CRM deals with creating and managing customer databases. This database contains customer information such as name, address, phone number, date of purchase or birth, etc., which is then used to personalize messages and build customer loyalty. Email marketing automation targets spamming, promoting, and follow-up messages. This program automates the entire follow-up process, from collecting email addresses, to sending them to the intended recipient, and to keeping in touch with customers who have chosen to unsubscribe.
CRM measures the success of a marketing campaign by tracking product performance, identifying trends, and measuring customer satisfaction and retention. However, there are some problems with this approach, especially when the focus is solely on the numbers. Most CRM programs only allow tracking on a one-to-one basis, meaning that a single customer experience may not be representative of the entire customer journey. Furthermore, not all metrics used in this type of program are necessarily accurate. For example, measuring customer satisfaction by overall satisfaction rating instead of identifying how satisfied a specific customer was, as determined by a scorecard, may not provide accurate metrics.
Marketing automation tools that use web-based analytics and survey techniques are making it easier than ever to obtain important insights from existing data. Marketing automation software typically performs surveys on a regular basis and can automatically alert the owner or administrator of the program when changes in a particular area are noticed. It can also perform automated email follow-ups to notify administrators when certain actions, such as the receipt of an email, are completed. Using a marketing automation program to send a welcome email at the beginning of a new customer’s account is an excellent way to motivate new customers to take advantage of a company’s services.
Marketing automation allows for seamless integration between various business departments. The sales team can use customer information to obtain leads, send messages to leads, and perform follow-up activities. In addition, sales can use CRM tools to identify leads that are more qualified based on several factors including location, industry, education, and current spending habits. Marketing campaigns can also rely on marketing automation’s advanced feature, known as ad hoc testing, which allows companies to run demographic or product tests without requiring the purchase of new software. These tests can reveal problems with a product that can be dealt with before a large investment is made.
Marketing automation is also ideal for SMEs that have salespeople and staff that engage in lead generation activities but do not have the time to develop meaningful relationships. Marketing automation can automate tasks such as lead capture, which requires the creation of leads, follow-up activities, and follow-up communications. The marketers can use marketing automation’s content-creation tools to create content that will engage and convince the target audience. Once the content is created, it can be distributed to thousands of blogs, websites, and online communities for further engagement.