Marketing automation is the process of reducing creative output and marketer resources by using software to complete repetitive tasks such as social media posting, email communications, and notifications.
An example of marketing automation would be a flow of emails that are sent to a customer after certain trigger actions are completed such as a welcome email with a discount code to thank someone for signing up for the email list, a reminder email about the discount code if it hasn’t been used before expiration, or a cart reminder email if a customer leaves a checkout process uncompleted.
There are many different software options for marketing automation but all function under the principle principle that a large amount of upfront work from a marketing team can create brand presence and responses to customer actions without a human needing to connect the trigger action and the response.
There are many benefits to marketing automation but the main one is that it allows brands to deliver a curated and consistent customer service experience without burning through creative labor resources on repetitive, mundane tasks.
Most marketing automation software offers a variety of capabilities from managing customer communications to website enablement, and scheduled social media posts. The core functionality of any marketing automation is the ability to map workflows and respond to trigger actions along the customer journey with appropriate touchpoints and then track that data for analysis and insight.
The key difference between customer relationship manager (CRM) software and marketing automation is that CRMs tend to be more useful to sales teams, while marketing automation is more focused on marketing itself. While sales departments and marketing teams often work together with complementary strategies, they focus on customers at different points of the sales funnel. Marketing automation tends to be more helpful for implementing strategies that raise brand awareness, generate leads, and cultivate potential customers through the consideration phase, CRMs are often more useful for conversion strategies. Most successful brands use both customer relationship management software and marketing automation tools to create and maintain workflows.
Marketing automation can reduce labor costs and employee fatigue by taking on repetitive and mundane tasks while providing clients with a consistent brand experience. Though setting up marketing automation often requires significant investment in time, money, and creative resources, the benefits far outweigh the costs for most businesses. Saving time, money, and effort, providing personalized messaging, creating a consistent brand experience, and gathering customer insights are all benefits of marketing automation.
When done well, automated marketing can provide prospective and repeat customers with a positive, consistent brand experience that feels personal, attentive, and appreciative. Overall, marketing automation software can help ensure that a brand's standard of customer service and user experience is available to all users at any time or location without relying on individual employees to carry out mundane tasks
In order to choose the right marketing automation tool, it’s best to first determine which problems you most want to solve with automation. Is your social media team consistently working overtime to maintain content across multiple platforms? Make sure the tool you choose has social media scheduling and cross-posting ability. Is email marketing a staple strategy for you? Choose a tool that excels at automated email workflows. Do you need more insight on where customers might get stuck on their journey? Focus on analytics. As with any tool, it’s best to shop around for the features you most need at the best value you can afford.