Marketing your company can be a full-time job for a whole team of professionals. It can increase your revenue when done correctly. Not every company can hire a team of top marketing professionals. For startups or small businesses, the right marketing can mean the difference between growing and shutting your doors for good.
The technique of automating your marketing can help cut the work down to one point-of-contact at your company. It is changing the world of business in increasingly effective ways. To make the most of this technique you will need to know and understand the answers to some key questions. For example, what is marketing automation? How do you effectively use it? What metrics you should have to determine its success?
What is marketing automation?
The technology of marketing automation manages processes and campaigns across different platforms and multiple channels without step-by-step guidance from you. This means you can target your customers with the information you need to get them automatically through email, advertisements on websites, and social media posts just by filling out a form on the marketing automation software. You can build your own templates or use ones already created by the software developer. You can even modify them mid-campaign to get the best results possible.
How does marketing automation work?
This marketing automation technology streamlines the mundane and most time-consuming tasks of marketing. Marketing automation software can help you and your team focus on other things. For instance, you can put the information you need to send to the customers into the template. The automated system will send out the emails, text messages, or social media posts without you having to hit send on each one. It will be sent to customers who are sign up for various notifications.
How does it impact the customer?
You gather information on your customers through a variety of ways including purchase forms, social media interactions, and emails. This data forms a good picture of your customer base and helps generate lists for the various things your company does. The marketing automation systems will streamline your sorting and targeting processes to make sure that the right information gets into the hands of interested customers.
For instance, if your company sells organizational supplies for the home and office, you may have customers who are only interested in office supplies. Then that group of customers will receive a newsletter highlighting new office products. The the group will receive the newsletter featuring home organization tips.
What are the best practices for marketing automation?
When you are designing your automated system, it is a good idea to have some clearly defined goals to present to your investors and your marketing team. Make sure to consult with the other teams in your company this will affect such as your website management, customer service, and product development teams. This can help you create a better process visualization as well as better integrate the new system into the company.
Before you roll out your new marketing automation system, you will want to have a system to segregate your contact lists by relevant keywords and build a library of related content. Add to this content library over time. It should feature engaging blog posts, video tutorials, and other relevant media to attract the attention of your customers.
These systems are best staggered in release to provide enough time between releases for customers to absorb the information. It also helps you gather relevant data. This allows you to tweak the next release according to what you learned from the last one.
Does outsourcing marketing help?
When you outsource some or all your marketing, especially building the marketing automation systems, you can take advantage of having the input of professionals without having to pay for a full-time staff. This can help startups and small businesses get better results for less overhead and stay competitive with larger companies and corporations.
When you are looking for a new marketing automation system, you can find and choose partners who allow you to outsource many tasks and streamline many more.
How do you best choose a partner?
Choosing a marketing automation technology or company to work with can be the biggest part of the challenge in moving to this type of system. There are many options out there and the rates are incredibly competitive. One thing to look for in a marketing automation system is the features that they offer.
Some will be more easily integrated with your current software than others, some will offer metrics features to keep you updated on how your campaigns are doing, and some will offer you live support and troubleshooting. This can factor into the price you are paying for the service and your individual company’s needs can play a big part in the value of options that you find.
When should you track marketing campaigns?
It is best to start small with any new marketing campaign or process to make sure that you are on the right track before you scale it up to take over the whole marketing department. It is also a good idea to start gathering metrics and analyzing data from the very beginning. Marketing campaigns are usually quick to show results and will need to constantly change to keep up with both the market and the changing needs of your company and clients.
How do you best calculate success?
Calculating the success of your marketing automation solutions will need to include many different factor. These factors could be the amount of revenue and ales that each marketing campaigns bring in. It could be how much time and money you are saving with the current system. It could also be how easy it is to use and understand. You can gather this information from sales, customer feedback, and internal data. Talk with your teams to see where you can improve.
Changing business with marketing automation
The way you market to customers can have a big impact on the growth and success of your company. Change your techniques. Automate your time-consuming marketing tasks such as sending out emails and sorting customers into targeted campaign groups. Some solutions these partners offer include automated systems, analytics and metrics, or even troubleshooting support.
This guest blog article was written by Kevin Gardner. He works as a business consultant for Bustech Solutions where he helps companies integrate technology to improve performance. Follow him on Twitter @kevgardner83.