As technology and society have digitally progressed over the last 20 years, the IoT, big data, and marketing automation has disrupted traditional marketing forms. With the enabling growth of the internet, businesses have grown, markets have expanded, and consumer segments have increased, opening doors for hyperfocused products and tailored solutions. To hold up to competition, marketers have had to take on a new digital edge to reach and communicate with customers, resulting in brands turning to marketing automation.
Marketing automation software originated with CRM platforms in the 2000s, optimizing and integrating sales and marketing. Then, the development of email automation was quick to follow giving marketers the much-needed technology to scale email marketing campaigns and solicit automatic feedback and communication. Fast forward a few decades and CRM and email marketing have remained frontrunners in forms of automation utilized and have become imperative to most businesses. Now marketing automation has seen widespread investment and development and has grown to also incorporate web form automation, social media automation, content automation, and analytics automation. Today, marketing automation has grown to a $6 billion industry.
With optimized efficiencies and scaled operations, marketing automation has reshaped marketing strategies helping organizations increase their production, personalize their customer experiences, and optimize their conversion rates ultimately increasing their ROI.
The Move from Print to Digital
Marketing and advertising practices are a reflection of society, the consumers who are being marketed to. And with the push of the digital transformation sweeping through businesses and marketers, both customer’s expectations and the way brands deliver customer-centered experiences are evolving in an echo to the digital move.
The transition to digital marketing increased the audience reach while narrowing down targets, introduced new advertising formats and channels, and increasing organic, or free, marketing opportunities. While advertising has taken on new mediums over the years, society’s underlying human motivations have not dramatically altered themselves, so many advertising trends that originated in print such as celebrity endorsements or emotional messaging transferred into digital form. But what has changed, is the position of the customer to the marketers.
Before the digital transformation, print advertisers’ main purpose was to sell, and the product was always at the forefront of messaging. But with the multitude of niche products and solutions and channels to connect with consumers brought on by tech adaptation, marketing has experienced a paradigm shift to customer-centric products, advertising, and messaging. Now brands don’t just sell their products, they sell their ability to solve customer’s problems, focusing on trust and understanding built by offering personalized customer experiences.
With the widespread and still growing internet usage, advertisers such as Google and Facebook have billions of data points about consumers and their lifestyles, and brands can use that information to create targeted and personalized ads. Simultaneously, consumers who now mindlessly accept the agreement to give up their privacy to be online, expect highly personalized and relevant content, products, and advertising from marketers. Since the internet has become a vastly competitive marketplace, customer-driven marketing content and personal customer experiences have become required to stand out and convert virtual visitors into paying customers.
Increase in Sales
The rise of marketing automation has not only altered the way brands communicate with customers but has also enabled success in converting leads into sales. According to a recent study done by Invesp, marketing automation drives up to a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing costs. Marketing automation improves conversion rates and revenues by helping businesses engage with customers and leads in smarter ways at an increased speed.
Marketing automation can track leads across channels, measure engagement, and gathers advanced consumer data to improve and expedite the sale conversion cycle. For example, personal information is captured each time someone visits a website, and each visitor can become profiled instantly as a lead. This enables companies to gather fast and large amounts of information on leads and their level or area of engagement, score them, and automatically send them down different lead nurturing paths.
With marketing automation’s scalability in communications, businesses can reach a larger audience at varying touchpoints along the buyer journey. Marketing automation technologies allow brands to effectively connect with customers and speak to them over a period of time regarding their actions or level of engagement. Utilizing trackable data and analytics, automation software can set up response triggers via email marketing, for example, that respond to various inquiries along different engagement paths.
Per Marketo, 76% of marketers who implement marketing automation generate a positive ROI within a year. Marketing automation optimizes sales production, streamlines the lead generation process, and increases conversion rates while helping businesses pinpoint areas that yield the best results to continually improve their strategy.
Marketing Employee Experience
Employee relations have also improved from the implementation of automation technology. For marketers, automation has allowed for the elimination of mundane tasks saving employees time and effort while expediting procedures. According to Nucleus Research, marketing automation improves productivity by 20%.
Marketing activities can be tedious, time-consuming, and costly, and over the years it has been realized that many common tasks can be completed on their own. With clever automation, marketing operations can be executed at a much more efficient speed with less effort on behalf of the marketing team.
Data-driven marketing automation has also led to more capabilities that marketing employees couldn’t do. In an effort to be customer-centric, a marketing team manually entering and customizing personal emails to thousands of contacts to say, “Hi Jenna, How was Flavor Havana?” is extremely impractical. Email automation, from this example, allows marketers to better understand their audiences and effectively send the right message to the right user at the right time.
Marketing automation software further processes data analytics to measure each interaction, score engagement, segment customers, and personalize target messaging while maintaining higher scalability and accuracy than human employees could before. Instead of hiring more people to increase production, automated procedures reduce repetitive marketing tasks and overhead costs and allows for more time to be spent on creative thinking and strategy.
From entrepreneurs to large enterprises, marketing automation has allowed businesses to keep up with the growing competition and provide consumers with highly engaging and relevant customer-centric experiences yielding increased conversion rates and revenues. The future is marketing automation, a solution that can enable businesses to achieve more while streamlining operations at the same time.