Marketing automation is a broad term that refers to software that automates typical marketing tasks like posting on social media, sending email marketing messages, following and nurturing sales leads, and following up on customer orders, shipping dates, and inquiries. Marketing automation is a form of customer relationship management (CRM) and is sometimes referred to by this name. Marketing automation software is web-hosted, so it doesn’t require customers to download anything onto their servers.
The global marketing automation market was estimated to be around $4.06 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a rate of around 10% annually for the next decade. According to a marketing study by Grand View Research, this dynamic growth is due to “the increasing demand for personalized advertising, the desire for retention of users for business growth and the need for informed advertising strategy as well as increasing IoT technology”.
What are the enterprise use cases for automating the marketing value chain?
Marketing automation can be useful in solving a variety of common business problems. Just a few of these include…
- Reducing the time and expense of maintaining your social media presence. Most business leaders would agree that it’s important to have a social media presence in this increasingly digital age. It helps customers find the company’s business, and it helps to establish and solidify the brand. However, creating regular posts and making sure that they are posted at optimum times can be time-consuming and exhausting. Even worse, it diverts valuable human and monetary resources away from the core business. Marketing automation software helps to ease this burden by giving users a single platform from which to schedule and create all social media posts. Users can sit down once a week or once a month and create that period’s social media posts. With marketing automation software, this task no longer has to interrupt a portion of every day.
- Message consistency
Another major benefit to using marketing automation software is keeping your marketing messages consistent across all channels. When a company’s customer service department is sending emails, the sales department is making calls, and the marketing department is posting on social media, it’s easy for the messages to diverge. This is not only confusing to customers, but it misses a great opportunity to solidify the company’s brand with a single, well-honed message. By using a single software product to handle all of these tasks, it’s easy to keep everyone “on message”.
- Increased conversions
By giving companies better control and better information about leads as they make their way through the sales funnel, marketing automation in most cases increases conversions. That means less work for more sales. Marketing automation qualifies leads and only assigns them to a salesperson when they’ve reached the point at which they will likely make a purchase. That helps the sales force use their time more efficiently and reduces burnout and turnover from frustration in the sales force.
- Better reporting
Marketing automation gives companies a wealth of information about their website visitors, their customers, and their prospects. This information makes it easier to target marketing messages and create marketing incentives that speak to the needs and wants of the company’s customers.
Typical Features, Functions, and Capabilities representative of Marketing Automation tools:
What can you expect from marketing automation? Just a few of the functions and features of these software tools include…
- A single, easy-to-use dashboard
- The ability to send thousands of personalized email messages from a single screen
- Easy-to-program automated customer service emails for things like order confirmations and delivery notifications
- The ability to schedule social media posts days, weeks, and sometimes months in advance
- Visitor tracking lets companies learn more about who is visiting their websites and social media pages
- Sales funnel tracking makes it easy to learn when a prospect has taken action so a salesperson can respond quickly and appropriately
- An automated lead assignment that qualifies leads and assigns that to a salesperson when they have reached a set point in the sales funnel
- AI-powered analytics, included with some products