One of the questions we get asked a lot at Marketo is “what features are included in a marketing automation platform, and how can these features help my business?” Luckily, marketing automation offers a wide array of features to streamline marketing campaigns—from lead management to email marketing.
Here are seven critical things that marketing automation software can do for your marketing:
1. Create Relationships with Buyers Through Engagement Marketing
Today, consumers have all the power. They conduct their own research before making buying decisions. Self-motivated, educated, and empowered consumers require innovative methods of engagement. What businesses can do with marketing automation software is track customer behavior and interactions across channels to better understand who they are and what they want. Today’s marketing automation platforms also allow companies to stick with their customers every step of the way, from the introduction of a brand, to conversion, to continued loyalty over time.
2. Streamline the Email Marketing Process
As one of the consistently most popular and effective marketing tactics, email marketing cannot be ignored. Since the way people read, view, and interpret email has changed dramatically in the past several years, it’s crucial that businesses optimize their email marketing strategy. Messages have to fall into a specific sweet spot for buyers; relevant content, perfect timing, and engaging formatting have to come together to generate the most impact. But, treating email as something outside of a holistic marketing plan leads to incredible inconsistencies and missed opportunities. If a business isn’t sure whether its email marketing strategy is increasing sales, targeting the right audience, or boosting revenue, it’s time for marketing automation software. Marketing automation enhances the email marketing process through personalization features that optimize email creation, and analytics that track engagement.
3. Create Custom Offers with Personalization
Understanding the digital body language of your otherwise anonymous website visitors can give you enormous insight into the type of content that will engage your audience. For example, marketing automation makes it possible to track which pages a person clicks on, identify the industries they come from based on their IP address, recognize behavioral information, and then respond to that data in real time with personalized content.
Marketing automation software also allows organizations to categorize consumers based on these preferences, segmenting them into multiple groups. This allows marketers to connect with a large audience of users all at once, providing materials that appeal to their unique interests.
4. Nurture Prospective Customers
Typically, only 20% of the leads who walk into a business are prepared to buy products or services. Marketers need a strategy to nurture these potential buyers by turning them into loyal consumers. Whether a business is focused on B2B or B2C marketing will determine the focus of their strategy. B2B companies need strong lead lifecycle management, whereas B2C companies are eager to up-sell clients and keep them coming back for more. However, both require an ability to measure ROI and use that information to improve tactics and relationships.
5. Score Leads for Sales Readiness
At Marketo we’ve found that businesses with lead scoring processes—which rank a lead’s sales readiness based on predetermined criteria—see 28% better sales productivity and 33% higher revenue growth than companies without it.
Not all leads are ready for sales, and lead scoring helps marketers prioritize leads by making it easier to identify strong prospects and establishing meaningful connections with them. Having meaningful data on hand enables businesses to boost their ROI. It also promotes a healthier relationship between sales and marketing, allowing for more efficient lead follow-up.
6. Test Variables
When it comes to finding the best methods, it often helps to change up certain variables to determine which approach has the most influence on customer engagement. Marketing automation software allows businesses to test various options for email messages, landing pages, online forms, and more. For instance, timing can mean the difference between a customer just opening an email, reading an email, or deleting an email without giving it a second thought. With marketing automation the frequency with which companies send messages, the phrases they use in subject lines, and the call-to-action can all be adjusted and tested to easily determine the most engaging combination for consumers.
7. Determine Marketing ROI through Analytics
Automation also provides tracking analytics to highlight the channels with the highest ROI, presenting quantitative data on which campaigns affect revenue, and more. With marketing automation you can run basic reports that track email and content performance, and more advanced reports to determine attribution based on first-touch or multi-touch. Plus, your marketing automation platform can automatically generate reports on a preset schedule to keep all stakeholders up to date.
As these are just seven of the many advantages that marketing automation software provides, it’s no wonder that businesses across all industries are investing in these platforms.
What do you think is the best part of your marketing automation platform? Please share in the comments below.