Do you know that adoption of automation technology is increasing at an astounding rate? Well, there is a chance that market automation will double from where it is now by 2023. If you want to excel as a marketer, then you should go with the trend, and think along the lines to opt for marketing automation.
To make things more convincing let us discuss some facts here. At the moment about 91% of users make use of marketing automation, and they feel that the process is essential to streamline their marketing activities.
As per Demandgenreport, about 80% of the marketers experienced a significant increase in their sales leads once they indulged in marketing automation.
However, before opting for market automation, you need to understand the concept so that as a marketer you can make use of this process.
WHAT IS MARKETING AUTOMATION?
When we talk about marketing automation, then we refer to the process that allows you to use software to automate activities. The primary goal of the marketing automation software is to manage the repetitive tasks. The software nurtures the sales leads. It adds a personalized touch to the marketing messages.
There is no denying the fact that you need to understand your audience when it comes to Marketing Automation. However, if you believe that marketing automation will change the face of your business, then this will not happen unless you plan, and develop a proper strategy.
Before buying the software decide how you will utilize the software. For example, some software do offer multi-touch reporting, or landing page split testing, but you only get these features in the highest price packages. Well, this is why it is essential that you walk through the features of the software first.
Ideally, you should go for marketing automation software that offers a trial. The reason is that hands-on experience will help you make the best decisions.
When you buy a marketing tool, then you need to plan the deployment and the implementation of the software as well. In this case, onboarding can be an issue at times. To save yourself from this hassle make sure that you ask for onboarding assistance when buying the software.
Once the automation tool gets deployed, then the marketers can put their marketing strategies to use.
THE APPROACH TO FOLLOW IN MARKETING AUTOMATION
The first thing that a marketer needs to do is that he needs to specify his criteria. The software interprets the criteria, stores it, and executes it.
The marketing automation software allows the marketer to leverage the cookies installed in the site’s visitor’s web browser. There are many ways through which the marketers can track the visitors. The marketers can trigger off the profile data based on the web actions.
What most marketers do is that they collect the contact information to qualify for the leads. Based on this information the marketers can create automation set up for placing the leads in the respective buckets.
Another thing that we need to mention here is that the automation systems create a mix of the outbound and inbound strategies. Plus, the automation system also helps the marketer to score the leads. As a result, the marketer can understand which leads are ready for the sales.
UNDERSTANDING THE ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF MARKETING AUTOMATION
As a marketer, it is also vital that you understand the basic components of Marketing Automation systems to utilize the concept of automation efficiently. Usually, the automation systems comprise of a central marketing database. The database has all the data with the customer and prospect interactions. The benefit of this data is that it becomes easy for the marketers to segment the data.
Most of the marketing automation systems have an engagement marketing engine. The benefit of the engine is that it facilitates the marketers to conduct conversions and communication across offline and online channels.
Plus, the marketing automation systems have an Analytics engine also. The Analytics engine allows marketers to measure marketing ROI and the significant impact on revenue.
HOW MARKETING AUTOMATION HELPS MARKETERS
As a marketer, you need to focus on every little detail of the marketing automation process so that it becomes easy for you to benefit from the process. Marketing automation allows you to test different variables without an issue.
For example, you can test the subject headings and the email sending time as well. You can also integrate different marketing channels like the customer relationship databases with the automation system. Managing marketing becomes more convenient when you opt for automation.
When you plunge into the world of marketing, then you have one key goal in mind, and that is you wish to grow as a marketer. The automation systems allow the marketers to get hold of visual automation builders. These builders are useful to guide the customers through the complex flow.
The biggest benefit of marketing automation is that it allows the marketers to go for closed-loop reporting. Well, this is why it will not be a problem for the marketers to calculate the individual reporting costs.
There are times when customers do not feel like filling up long and lengthy forms. When a marketer decides to opt for Marketing Automation, then he has a fair chance to opt for Progressive Profiling. The advantage of the Progressive Profiling is that it ensures that the prospects do not get turned off by long-forms.
As a marketer, you can also build custom landing pages with marketing automation. The best part is that you do not need to know HTML to build these pages. You can link the marketing assets as downloadable content.
WHY CONTENT MARKETING AND MARKETING AUTOMATION GO HAND IN HAND?
Do you know marketing automation and content marketing go hand in hand? The below- mentioned image explains how marketing automation and content marketing can help in achieving an improved revenue framework.
Now, we do need to look at ways through which you can integrate content marketing with marketing automation.
The reason is that when you create content, then you give a voice to your brand. Content marketing allows you to talk about the trending topics so that you can form a relationship with your audience. If the audience finds your content engaging, then they continue to interact with you in the long-run.
If you can build trust with the audience, then it is likely that your content will get shared. Well, this is one of the reasons that most marketers value content marketing campaigns.
Now, what you need to know is that if you have the right tools, then content marketing can become the forefront of your marketing strategy. An effective content marketing strategy involves content curation that reaches the audience at their convenient time.
The good news is that the marketers can use content marketing to improve their sales funnel as well. The difficult part is that executing a content marketing campaign can take a lot of resources and planning also.
However, we do have the solution to the problem. What you need to know is that marketing automation can complement the content marketing campaign. When you pair up marketing automation and content marketing, then you can execute an efficient marketing campaign.
There are times when you share the best content as a marketer, but the problem is that the content reaches out to the wrong audience. When you pair up content marketing with market automation, then you can segment the audience the way they interact with your content.
When a sales lead interacts with you regarding the content you shared, then it gives you a better idea about what the customer feels about your content. The biggest advantage is that marketing automation will help your customers receive relevant content depending upon their interests.
What you need to know is that there are many aspects of content creation that you can automate without a problem. For example, you are in need of ideas when you write fresh content. You can find tools online that will give you the best ideas for writing quality content.
Some systems help you identify blogs that received the highest engagement depending on the keyword searches. Well, this is the reason that you will not find it a problem to align your blogs with the trending topics.
MERGING AUTOMATION AND CONTENT THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is the best example of how Content Marketing and Automation work together. As a marketer, you get a chance to post the content on the social media profiles. Once you figure out the best content to share, then you can make use of a marketing automation tool that allows auto scheduling.
The tool will analyze your network and figure out the most active followers. There are many different automation tools available that can identify when your network is active. For example, you can feed in your Twitter information in such systems, and they will generate a report for you.
The report will give you detailed insight into your Twitter network activity.
Now, you know one thing for sure. You can load your posts into the automation tool and decide the time you wish to post that content. We will take the example of Meet Edgar here which is a social media scheduling tool.
For this system, you need to connect your social media accounts first. Next, you have to create different categories. The tool has an exclusive Add New Content option, and you can enter your content here.
The tool shows the lists the list of the social media networks available as well. You have to select the social media network from that section. Next, you have to choose from the categories that show at the top and enter your content to post it.
EMAIL MARKETING A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF CONTENT AND MARKETING AUTOMATION COLLABORATION
Email is yet another powerful strategy to reach out to your customers, and most marketers ensure the fact that they use email marketing to reach out to their clients. When you want to send powerful and impactful emails, then in this situation you will require strong content and automation assistance as well.
For example, you can use an automation tool for segmenting the categories. The emails need to have a personalized touch as well. Most customers do not even bother to read emails that sound robotic. The best way to add a personalized touch to an email is by using the customer’s first name in the subject line of the email. There are tools like SalesForce that allow you to personalize the email body and the subject line also.
Now, apart from this the content of your email also has a role to play. You need to add a call to action in your email so that people are keen to visit the website and read the content related to your products or services.
When you use automation tools for email marketing, then they give you comprehensive data about email related metrics also. Your website is also a perfect example of how marketing automation and content marketing can go hand in hand. The landing pages are the most significant aspect of your website. They have content related to your products or services. You can share these landing pages with your blog posts on social media. Different marketing automation tools allow you to assess the engagement per post.
When you use marketing automation and content marketing together, then automation offers you the facility to put forward the most valuable content to each of your prospects.
The reason is that automation systems have predictive content features.
Most of the automation systems can update your CMS in real-time depending upon the customer behavior. There is no denying the fact that content marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies for marketers. However, in 2019 content marketing will not exist as a standalone strategy. You can only measure effectively measure your ROI if you combine automation and content marketing. To excel as a marketer, you need to know how your content is performing, and the automation tools can give you authentic feedback through their reports.
Use automation and content marketing combo to excel in the world of marketing.
MARKETING AUTOMATION TRENDS
One thing can be said for sure, and that is 2019 will be a happening year when it comes to marketing automation. Let us look at some of the popular trends of marketing automation in the year 2019.
UNVEILING PREDICTIVE LEAD SCORING
When we talk about Predictive Lead Scoring, then it refers to a data-backed lead scoring methodology. Well, this specific methodology is quite useful for leveraging historical data. However, to understand the concept of Predictive Lead Scoring it is essential to discover the concept of traditional lead scoring first.
Lead scoring is all about attributing different numerical qualifiers to different people based on the data. What marketers do is that they rank the prospects against the scale that represents the specific perceived value.
Now, the value of every lead can vary from one company to another, but it generally represents the interest shown in an organization. There are two different types of information that affect the lead score.
We will discuss both of these elements here. Lead score depends upon Explicit and Implicit Data. When we talk about Explicit Data, then it is the information that the prospects communicate to you directly. The information may include the area of work and the company email address as well. The Implicit Data is the implied information. For example, it represents the online behavior. In traditional lead scoring the marketers make use of Implicit Data for understanding the intent of a buyer. If the marketer accurately scores the leads, then they have a fair chance to win valuable new leads. However, we need to consider the fact that human error is a real thing, and this is where the role of Predictive Lead Scoring comes in.
The primary objective of Predictive Lead Scoring is to reduce the error margin. The Predictive Lead Scoring makes use of the concept of Predictive Modelling. When we talk about Predictive Modelling, then it is a statistical technique for predicting the future. It analyses both the current and historical data for predicting future outcomes.
Predictive Lead Scoring makes use of an algorithm to get accurate results. The reason that this technique will be popular in 2019 is that Predictive Lead Scoring algorithm can get revised as soon as new data is available.
The best thing about Predictive Lead Scoring is that it can identify relationships and patterns that never got noticed before. It aids your sales approach in the long run. If we look at the statistics of the year 2018, then about 84% of companies are already making use of AI. In this case, one thing can be concluded, and that is Predictive Lead Scoring is here to stay because we can see the popularity of AI.
CRO TOOLS WILL BE THE CALL OF THE DAY
Conversion Rate Optimisation will also become a significant metric in the year 2019. Well, let us talk about what Conversion Rate Optimisation is all about. The Conversion Rate Optimisation boosts the website visitors. There is a possibility that the CRO tools will get more advanced so that the marketers can execute effective marketing campaigns without an issue.
AI WILL GAIN MORE HYPE
Another thing that we need to mention is that Artificial Intelligence is bound to become a popular concept in the year 2019. By making use of AI, the marketers will be able to track the needs, requirements and the behavior of the customers. The AI will also make suggestions regarding the kind of content that is preferred by your users.
Since the Marketing Automation trends are bound to experience an uplift in 2019, we will also see that the revenue of the automation software will experience a massive improvement in the year 2019. The below-mentioned graph explains it all. As per this graph, the revenue of the automation software will increase to $5.5 billion in the year 2019.
SUCCESSFUL MARKETING AUTOMATION STRATEGY
The biggest challenge for a marketer is to come up with a fool-proof marketing strategy that will work for a long time to come. To design a fool-proof automation strategy you need to break it down into three different groups.
IDENTIFY THE AUTOMATION GROUPS
The first group refers to the automation process that you need to adopt for making the leads aware of your product or services. The second group refers to the automation process followed to convince the leads to finalize the conversion. The third group refers to post-conversion automation where you get in touch with your client to get feedback about your product or service.
If you want to be a successful marketer, then it is vital that you keep these three groups into consideration when you devise your marketing strategy. Ideally, you should invest some time to understand the business model that you plan to market.
SHARE AUTOMATED DEMOS BEFORE CONVERSION
Before conversion, you can use automation for sharing content with your leads. When the lead is in the decision-making process, then you can automate a demo or tutorial so that you can offer more insight about your product to the leads. You can give the demo in return for contact information.
For example, you can offer an online demo, and you can ask your lead to fill up the contact information form before they can get access to the demo.
USE THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media has also got a crucial role to play if you wish to devise the best marketing automation strategy. There are automation tools available that can help you flag groups that talk about a specific subject. Once you identify the group that is keen to go for the product or service you market, then you can write a customised message for this group.
When the lead gets interested in your product or service, then it is essential that you use email automation. You can use automation for sending discount offers to your leads when they are in the decision-making process.
TOP MARKETING AUTOMATION CERTIFICATION
Are you keen to advance in your career as a marketer? If yes, then it essential to be a certified expert. Now, the problem is that it can be difficult to choose the best marketing automation certification. Well, this is why we will give you the necessary insight in this regard.
COMPREHENSIVE HUBSPOT INBOUND CERTIFICATION
If you do not want to go for a free certification, then you can think along the lines to register for Free Inbound Certification course offered by HubSpot. The Inbound Certification course covers the fundamentals and principles of Inbound. Plus, you get a chance to understand the Flywheel model. The course also gives you in-depth information about how you need to set your goals.
SALESFORCE PARDOT CERTIFIED SPECIALIST FOR EXPERT MARKETERS
If you plan to use the Salesforce system, then you can avail their exclusive certification. The certification provides information about the integration of Salesforce. Plus, this certification gives detailed information about tracking campaigns. The marketers also get information about personalised email marketing. Lead management and social marketing concepts are also a part of the curriculum.
MARKETO CERTIFIED EXPERT CERTIFICATION OFFERING A DETAILED CURRICULUM
If you are keen to get insight about technical market credentials, then you should go for Marketo Certified Expert certification. The certification gives you knowledge of Analytics and Reporting. You get information about targets and personalisation as well through this certification. Marketo Certified Expert.
TOP MARKETING AUTOMATION TOOLS AND PLATFORMS
When you are all set to automate your marketing campaigns, then it is mandatory that you should make use of the best tools for this purpose. We will discuss some of the top tools here.
- ZOHO CAMPAIGNS: If you do not want to spend a lot on marketing automation, then you can go for Zoho Campaigns. The system offers a free version as well so that you can test the look and feel of the platform. Zoho has the exclusive A/B testing feature in the free version.
- HUBSPOT: Are you unwilling to make any compromises when it comes to the automation software? If your answer is yes, then HubSpot is a suitable choice. You get a range of features with HubSpot. They include A/B Testing, social media integration, unlimited sequencing, and unlimited emails. You can also get organic CRM integration when you choose HubSpot.
- INFUSIONSOFT: The best thing about Infusionsoft is that it provides efficient and intuitive lead scoring. You also get access to autoresponders and widget-based dashboards. If you market a mid-size or small business, then this system is perfect for you.
- SALESFORCE PARDOT: What makes Pardot stand out is that it has a rich feature set. Plus, it will not be a challenge for you to understand graphical branching functionality when you make use of Pardot.
- CONSTANT CONTACT: There are times when you need to go for a cost-friendly automation system. Well, if that is the case, then Constant Contact will be the best choice. It is affordable and offers great help material for the marketers. You can also get access to built-in templates when you go for Constant Contact. The editor is also easy to use so it will not be a problem to customise your campaigns.
- ACT-ON: What you will appreciate about Act-On is that you can get hold of organic plug-ins with the social media marketing tools. Act-On has a well-designed workflow creator, so automation becomes simple.
TOP EMAIL MARKETING SOFTWARE COMPANIES OF 2018
When you step into the field of marketing automation, then you need to have a fair idea about the best email marketing automation companies also.
- DRIP: Well, Drip is a powerful platform for the marketers, and they offer a wide range of tools for email marketing. They have integration add-on’s as well for the best website builders.
- AWEBER: What you will appreciate about this service is that they offer the best email marketing services for mid-sized companies. AWeber connects to most of the platforms without a problem. The service offers list management, email tracking, and autoresponders also.
- MAILCHIMP: There is no denying the fact that MailChimp leads the race when it comes to email marketing. The hallmark of this service is that it has a simple interface. Plus, you get merge tags and easy email creation options with MailChimp. You can also set up the delivery time using MailChimp depending upon your time zone.
- GETRESPONSE: The best thing about GetResponse is that it has an exclusive drag and drop builder that helps you design your email campaigns without any hassle.
Additionally, you get perfect responsive forms with GetResponse. What you will like about GetResponse is that they offer a 30-day trial as well to the users.
Marketing automation is the voice of the future and the lifeline for any marketer. You need to live by the following quote if you want to be ahead of other marketers in the industry.
Without marketing automation, you are just guessing – just hoping that people will take the bait and be ready to buy your products. Statistics show that buyers don’t do that. They want to learn at their own pace and be reached when they need more information or are ready to buy. A well-constructed marketing automation strategy makes that a reality.
John McTigue, Kuno Creative
After reading this quote, you need to equip yourself with the right knowledge regarding marketing automation. Drill down into the key concepts. Identify the challenges and come up with smart strategies to streamline your campaign. When you are a marketer, your reputation is on the line so it is essential that you upgrade your knowledge from time to time so that you do not lag behind in the race because of your technical limitations.
The conclusion is that you need to understand the intricacies of the automation world to make your space and the effort is worth it.