Marketing Automation 101

Marketing automation is an area of huge growth for New Zealand businesses at the moment. But what is marketing automation?

I’m going to walk you through the basics of marketing automation, how it works and how it can benefit your business.

So what is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is a software tool that aids marketers by automating and optimising certain online tasks like email campaigns and social media.

It creates a more efficient and streamlined process and generates more targeted campaigns without compromising the quality of the content produced.

So then how does it work?

The software is often packaged as a service that you pay a monthly subscription fee for. They can manage all types of marketing automations, but some specialise in a particular type of content.

Like MailChimp! They specialise in email automation.

Automation software can work by placing cookies on a website visitors browser. Which enables the individual to be identified, tracked and nurtured with highly targeted content to generate sales leads.

In the case of MailChimp, this could be through customised emails when the individual browses a type of product, but then closes the browser. An email would automatically be sent out a day or two later with suggestions of products with similar features, quality and price range – to help entice the customer back to the site.

By showing customers what they want to see, businesses are able to build relationships. This improves the likelihood that the customer will make a purchase.

The trick is not to make it too targeted and specific – that comes across as creepy.

How does it actually benefit to your business?

There are so many benefits of marketing automation, but here are what I think are the top 3.

  1. As a time saver. You can make multiple campaigns, automate your emails and schedule social media posts. This means you can prioritise other marketing activities.

  2. It allows you to reach customers that you wouldn’t normally be able to reach. Rather than manually targeting customer’s individually, you can set conditions so that customers are segmented automatically.

  3. It provides detailed reports. It keeps track of your campaigns, with detailed graphs and statistics. Therefore optimising your content has never been easier.

But which software should you get?

There are so many different options for marketing automation tools on the market. So naturally, it’s not easy to work out which one is best.

Never fear.

Forbes have gone to the effort for you and pinpointed the top marketing automation tools in the marketplace, to save you from having to do all the research yourself.

They selected Marketo and Eloqua as the top two contenders for ‘big’ enterprises, but Marketo wins out due to it’s lower price point for very similar features.

Small – medium enterprises had a different selection of nominees, but Forbes identified New Zealand’s most popular tool, HubSpot as the top contender over runner-up Act-On.

But it does largely depend on what your business requires. You may find that these software options have many features you will never need. So you might be better off with a less extensive programme offering more specific channels.

There we go. Marketing automation 101.

By nuturing new leads through marketing automation, you are setting the foundations to create a long term, valued customer base. Where customers aren’t bombared with unnessessary and annoying content that drives them away.