Marketing automation as the name suggest is the practice of automating repetitive tasks in marketing. The process also streamlines workflows, and measures the efficacy of marketing activities. Different types of software platforms are used in the automation process, resulting in an efficient outcome of marketing efforts. Initially it was mainly focused on automating email marketing, but now it encompasses many more aspects of marketing, including analytical processes.
There has been rapid development in the software technology for marketing automation arena and now even small companies can afford to have an efficient system, or go after the services of vendors offering these capabilities. The tools available for marketing automation now, help in performing these important tasks:
- Developing a customer base
- Analyzing customer habits, preferences and so on
- Organizing and storing customer data
- Developing and managing various marketing campaigns
- Analyzing ROI of various marketing operations
Automating the marketing process has a positive effect on many aspects of sales and marketing functions. Some of the important advantages are:
Maintaining and Improving Customer Relationships
In the modern scenario, a company can no longer remain isolated from customers, and there is an increasing need to open up channels where there is interaction between the customer and the company. Improved interaction helps not only in retention of existing customers but also in attracting new customers. Many marketing automation tools are geared for achieving this purpose and helps in developing customer loyalty. Deepening customer relationships also translates into cross-selling and up-selling.
Tracking and Analysis
Tracking and analytical capabilities are built into the Marketing automation tools, which makes it easy to track customer behavior, preferences, and feedback. Based on the gathered data, various types of analysis can be performed, which helps in developing new strategies and marketing campaigns. The analytical aspects reach beyond marketing, as the company will be able to measure ROI and strategize profit margins.
Monitoring and Management
Marketing automation software also helps in keeping a close watch on various marketing activities. It is important to know how these activities are progressing to make the necessary adjustments or changes, to obtain the optimum results. For instance, if a new email marketing campaign is introduced, the marketing automation software will provide different ways of monitoring the campaign according to various parameters. It is also possible to make the various adjustments required for the campaign from a centralized platform, which makes managing various tasks much simpler.
Reduction of Costs
A lot of time, labor, and resources can be saved with the implementation of a marketing automation system. Most tasks are fully automated, and only minimal supervision is required while implementing various marketing campaigns. Another major advantage is that the software and tools are quite flexible and they can adapt to marketing and sales practices of different types of companies and industries. Marketing is usually a major expense category in any company, and with automation, these expenses can be lowered dramatically. Apart from reduced costs, the automation will improve marketing efficiency, resulting in higher sales, which further improves the profit margin.
This article was written by Anthony Richt, a small business entrepreneur always looking for ways to market his expanding company.