Marketing Automation, the way forward | Sunday Observer

Marketing Automation, the way forward

Dr. Himendra Balalle
Dr. Himendra Balalle

Everyone has a goal, same as, every business has a goal, it is nothing to hide, may be presented by different terms, however, we should know it as profit maximization. Many companies straggle how alien people, funds, resources, processes without having proper technological advancement.

Marketing automation is the technology that helps companies to streamline processes, automate the activities, and measure the effectiveness of marketing tasks and work flows smoothly by increasing operational efficiency while enhancing profit maximization.

If your company has facilities to send e-mails to customers, you can’t say that your company is automated. However, if you’re marketing team can set time and date to send before the campaign to all customers in the list as whole, without sending one by one, we can say your e -mail campaign has automated. Moreover, if you can see how many customers read your mail and how many of them, how much purchased, which location and repeat purchase amount, duration between transactions, by one touch, you have good marketing automation software.

Benefits of marketing automation

Marketing automation is an excellent time saver. Multiple campaigns can be scheduled way ahead of time and released as per your own settings and timelines; therefore, you can use working hours for other activities. Marketing automation allows to reach each key customer in your business. If you are currently following manual segmentations based on theories you studied in a classroom, you can convert it to marketing automation based solution, which will enhance more precise information and detailed segmentation profiles to end up with tailor made customer products.

It will reduce the number of people involved to the marketing department with an automated solution. A single staff member can execute complex and ongoing campaigns and can connect with many more customers than would be possible manually. Therefore, costs can be reduced too.

Marketing automation provides detailed reports about your business. Automated marketing software keeps track of each email campaign, Facebook post, text message, etc. and provides on time analytics for your decision making. Again, it will reduce the time cost and other resource of report preparation.

Marketing automation reduces expenses and saves money. If you are a small-business owner and looking to efficiently manage the budget, marketing automation is the most suitable solution. By reducing the number of staff and spending, time and effort creating and distributing messages and collecting data, all of these, you can make the most efficient way at a low cost.

Marketing automation helps to follow sales lead easier. No longer, you need to connect with each lead manually, which can be time-consuming. An automated marketing solution can assist to reach out to a potential lead right from the beginning of their interaction.

If a customer visits company website and signs up to receive the newsletters, you can easily connect with them right away with an automated solution. Customer will receive a welcome and confirmation message, and your marketing team can also tell about solution and send new a discount coupon as well as conduct a survey about customer preferences.

Who can use marketing automation?

Large companies have identified the value in the technology, but it’s important to point out that marketing automation isn’t just for big businesses.

In fact, Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up the largest growing segment in the marketing automation industry today. Even Significant number of small companies are using marketing automation and some at the beginning with the business.

B to B business is well equipped with marketing automation and aging B to C industry such as Healthcare, Consumer Electronics, Banking,etc.is also changing speedily. Since C to C Market is playinga remarkable role in international markets, in future, individuals will change to their own marketing automation and run the business. It will encourage the individual businesses like home business, part time business in the future.

Features

Visitor tracking is the key feature to include the automation’s software. The details about the visitor, times spent on page, visiting frequency, etc. are the important points to include.

Tracking prospect customers in every move and trying to get their sales can be a pain and time-consuming. Fortunately, marketing automation has the ability to provide a real-time sales alerts to sales reps as per the set parameters. No more guesswork for the sales team because real-time alerts let reps know exactly when to follow up.

Lead identification is one of the features that’re most important to aligning marketing and sales teams. To alleviate tensions over lead prosperity, lead scoring and grading ensure that prospects match with current product portfolio and sent to sales for follow up. Save time by using marketing automation to automatically assign the sales leads to sales reps based on a minimum score and grade threshold, determined by criteria that has set.

You can build custom landing pages that match customer requirements and of your product information.

It is very effective if you link your marketing tools in your automation system to use as quick downloadable content.

As I describe beginning of this article, marketing automation goes beyond basic email sending. With an automation tool, create email templates that match with brand theme, preview the emails across different platforms and devices before sending to the customer.

Changing buyer behaviour

Before the Internet connection growth, buyers had limited ways to obtain the information about products, so the seller controlled entirely the buyer. However, with the growth of the Internet,buyers moved into better position on the sales cycle. They could access the information they wanted an anywhere and at any time in the world. And they could not engage with selling representatives until complete the full search about product information and pricing.

For instance, how you approach buying a mobile phone. You don’t go to a dealer until you know exactly what model you want, and its price and available dealer shops. Sometime, you will search more details about credit card’s discounts, easy payments, etc.

Self-empowered buyers will search their interest on an own timeframe. If you are unable to provide them unique experience, your product will not be entered to customer’s selection list and criteria. But how do you manage thousands of individual information requests in different timeswithout marketing automation.

CRM and marketing automation

Most of the marketers believe CRM, and Marketing Automations are same, but both are serving two completely different purposes.It can be difficult to figure out where marketing automation ends, and the CRM software begins.

Much of the confusion comes from the fact that there is no clear demarcation; it is functionality overlap within in both software. Both software’s included of capturing basic customer details and prospect information such as name, company, job title, email and phone number.

The marketing automation includes the way to streamline, automate, and measure marketing activity as part of the customer journey. This can be involved everything that is included in a marketing campaign such as emails, landing pages, forms, etc. But when a contact becomes a sale, the details will more from marketing funnel to the sales funnel. This is where the CRM processes starts.

The future

After writing more and more eCommerce-related articles, I noticed that everybody was talking about viral marketing, mobile marketing,etc., Moreover, many eCommerce business owners whom I had the chance to talk, but still they did not convert to marketing automation due to several reasons. Therefore, marketing automation will be a new chapter for Sri Lankan Marketers.

When big data meets automation, with the growth of the Internet,the customer sensors will be everywhere from in a phone to clothing, car, bike, fridge and life accessories.Automation will be used to analyze all this collected data to help consumers in many ways in decision making throughout the consumer life cycle.

Between endless meetings, thousands of emails, and bundle of papers consume the time of marketers. It only makes sense that today’s marketing departments need modernized with automationof their processes as much as possible.

(The writer is Head, Consultancy, National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) 

 

Comments