Your marketing strategy gets your products to the people who are most likely to buy them – the people that need or want them. A great marketing strategy not only does this but also turns customers into loyal customers. Your marketing strategy shouldn’t be something that takes second priority to everything else. After all, without customers there is no business. Marketing automation software helps you manage these all-important relationships with your clients and customers, giving you more time and energy to focus on the creative aspect of your marketing strategy.
What the heck is marketing automation anyway?
Marketing automation is an umbrella term for all kinds of software that help to turn potential customers into happy and returning customers. Most of the time, the first contact a customer has with your business is via your website – most likely found through the powers of Google. They peruse your site, suss you out and then probably move on to prospect one of your competitors. So how do you get them to stay and keep coming back?
Customer relationship management has evolved drastically thanks to Web 2.0.
In the past, a business existed for the sole purpose of providing goods in exchange for money. Nowadays it’s different. In order to woo those hard-to-get customers you need to provide something for free. That something can be something of value, something entertaining, or something educational – or all of the above. Once you have their attention, you begin the courtship. After the wooing comes the romance (in the form of a sales transaction) and then the long-term relationship where you keep your customer happy for as long as possible.
Back in the day, the sales team did things a little differently.
Picture a scene from a sales and marketing department in the 1960s. A lead calls the sales team to ask for a quote. The lead seems unsure and says they will go away and think about it. The salesperson promises to call back in a couple of days and the conversation ends. A few days pass and the salesperson is so busy answering the phone they forget to follow up and have also misplaced the lead’s phone number. In the meantime the lead chooses to buy from another company.
Customer relationships are now based on an exchange of value, not just goods.
Fast forward to 2015. A lead downloads an eBook from a company’s webpage. They receive an email thanking them for downloading the material. The marketing department is able to follow up without even remembering to do so as they have the lead’s email stored and have set up a workflow that automatically emails the potential client at regular intervals – reminding them of their products and services. The lead turns into a customer. Marketing strategy has come a long way since the days of Mad Men.
Marketing automation helps you improve the quality of your relationships.
This “courtship” is a costly and lengthy process, but an invaluable one. This is where marketing automation software comes to the rescue. The jobs that can be – sending out emails to specific customer groups, updating and maintaining databases of client info, measuring ROI and so on – are done by machine. It might be easy to keep track of a handful of potential clients but, once your business expands, trying to keep all those relationships on the boil is going to make your head spin. You’ll end up having poorer quality relationships with more and more customers. Marketing automation tools lets you maintain the quality for each and every customer.
Automation lets you analyse, monitor and improve your marketing efforts.
It should be noted that marketing automation doesn’t only pertain to emails and all things digital, like social media. It can also help with mobile, as well as more traditional campaigns such as phone or direct mail if you’ve incorporated these into your marketing strategy. Another fantastic way in which automation ups your marketing strategy is that it helps measure the efficacy of your campaigns, allowing you constant quality control and letting you tweak campaigns until your ROI exceeds anything you could have done without it.
Thinking about upping your marketing ante? Download our Marketing Guide for more tips on how to compile a fool proof marketing strategy.