Did your company finally decide to take the plunge and implement a marketing automation tool – but so far your marketing team is merely using it for emailing? As we saw in our Yearly Marketing Survey 2016, many marketers only associate marketing automation with automated emails and this is a complete misconception.
A marketing automation tool can do much more than that. As a matter of fact, marketing automation is a powerful innovative all-in-one marketing solution that rides the new digital marketing wave by bringing marketers the ability to drastically optimize their work in a consumer-centric way.
There could be several reasons why your team is only using marketing automation for emailing. Perhaps you don’t have a clue about its power or you don’t have any idea about the right people to take care of it to move further in implementing your tool? Or perhaps your team is afraid of the new tool or didn’t get enough training? This article discusses several benefits marketing automation can bring in addition to emails. It also addresses the different ways you could enjoy more of its features.
Marketing automation, much more than sending automated emails
A lot of marketers only use their marketing automation tool for emails because they don’t know what such a tool can do. Therefore, they completely ignore what value it can bring to them. Here are some of the benefits of a marketing automation tool.
Communicate in an effective way
Why use different tools to manage your multiple online communication channels if you can deal with a lot of them (emailing, blog, social media, website landing pages, forms, text messages) in one platform? Indeed, marketing automation is a multi-channel platform that offers the possibility of managing all these communication channels in the same place in an automated way.
This is an incredible tool to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns. Note that you might not be able to do any more than emailing if you purchased a license that doesn’t allow it. Besides, not each tool has the exact same offers. Some of them have limited communication channels that could explain why several marketers are only using emailing. Hence the importance of choosing the right tool.
Marketing automation has brought a powerful strength to marketers allowing them to develop a personalized experience that is nowadays greatly expected by consumers. In fact, with marketing automation you can send the right content to the right consumers at the right time on the most appropriate channel. This avoids blasting audiences with inconsistent messages. To achieve this, a marketing automation tool allows you to build scenarios that automatically trigger the right content on the right channel to consumers and prospects based on different behaviors they might have.
Boost your sales
Marketing automation can benefit sales too. Even if marketers and sales people often work apart, marketing automation brings them together which leads to effective synergies. In fact, this is a great tool to manage many more leads than ever before and seamlessly integrate with your CRM.
As a marketing automation tool connects several marketing channels on the same platform, it is quite easy to follow consumers on their buyer journey and to know what actions they are taking related to your brand(s). This allows marketers to nurture leads by feeding them suitable bits of information for the buying stage they are in and to do this in an automated way.
Lead scoring can also be done with marketing automation to prioritize leads according to their quality. This allows you to focus your time, energy and money on prospects and consumers who are much more likely to buy. In addition to bringing better lead qualification, marketing automation combined with CRM helps salespeople to follow the leads up at the right moment. The tool can also send real-time alerts to sales whenever one of your prospects performs a specific action that you have recorded as decisive in the buying process.
Optimize your segmentation
When marketers have a product or service to sell, they must segment the market to know who their targeted groups are so as to have optimized communication. In fact, the more granular your segmentation is, the more personal and relevant your communication can be. With marketing automation, it is easy to collect data about consumers and prospects in order to automatically categorize them as part of different audiences according to their online actions and interests.
Test your actions
Marketing automation easily allows you to test different communication factors in order to optimize your actions. Use A/B tests, only testing one factor at a time to find out exactly what factor drives your best results. Always keep in mind that just because one factor currently works best, this will not always be the case. Trends and preferences are changing – so never stop testing.
Analyze your results
As marketing automation is a multi-channel platform, you can also save a lot of time by monitoring, reporting and analyzing your communication results in one place. Measuring your ROI becomes quite convenient with marketing automation that allows you to get detailed reports. To improve your marketing activities, track your campaigns and each action linked to your brand(s). As marketing automation and CRM tools are complementary, link them together to get a 360° overview of your customers.
To conclude, this marketing automation benefits overview has shown that marketing automation can definitely give you much more than just automated emails.
What are my options for going further than automated emails?
Even if you are a bit discouraged from going further in implementing your tool because it could take some time, don’t be. In fact, you will save much more time, effort and money and/or increase your revenues when you exploit the entire set of features in a marketing automation tool.
You can choose between 3 options to increase the use of all the possible features of your tool:
- If you feel that your team members have the right skills to implement additional features and then manage them, go ahead. But this solution doesn’t seem to be the most appropriate one if they haven’t gone any further than the emailing phase, which might surely be explained by one issue: a lack of knowledge and time. Pay attention that you don’t underestimate the implementation phase, as it requires highly technical skills, time and energy. You risk overwhelming them with systems that they would perhaps struggle to manage.
- If your current team isn’t able to manage everything with the amount of people there are now, one extra team member, an expert in marketing automation, could be a solution. But be aware that it could take some time to find the right person. If you opt for this solution, analyze your full-time equivalent (FTE) needs in depth to be sure that you won’t have too many people in your team once your tool is implemented and your team is trained to manage it.
- The last solution is to temporarily hire a marketing automation expert. It is a great solution to consider as it will lead to a well implemented marketing automation tool in a more efficient way (avoiding loss of time and money by struggling to find everything out by yourself). As an extra benefit, this expert can also coach your team and let it grow step by step in experience so that your team masters the tool properly after the expert has gone. This is a safe option to ensure your tool is optimized and your employees are properly trained. This is the choice most adopted by companies that have successfully implemented marketing automation.
Please do remember that for starting to work with marketing technology, our advice is 'dream big, start small, scale fast', so allow the time to learn, get to a certain level and then accelerate.
Train your team to go further than automated e-mails
Do not forget to train your team so that they can master these new features. You will need different roles in your team as each marketing automation feature requires attention and deep expertise to take full advantage of it.
We all know what happens with a drop of water on a hot plate. Well, the same goes for training your team in marketing automation: if you just organize one training session, it will be a waste of money and may even lead to demotivation in using the tool. Only a combination of training, coaching and workshops by experts will lead to successful adoption, with enough confidence, by the users of the marketing automation tool. And this should be done as a continuous effort in a journey of several months to get your team to become truly marketing automation experts.
As you are now aware that you can do much more than automated emails, try to find the solution that suits you best to fully exploit your powerful tool. Your tool has already saved you a lot of time with your automated e-mails. Imagine how effective and efficient you would become by automating much more than that. If you are considering taking on a marketing consultant to help you, don’t hesitate to contact us – we would be pleased to advise you.
To go further, as you are already using automated e-mails with your marketing automation tool, it might be good to check that you have the right email strategy. Are you sure that you don’t send too many of them to the same person? But that will be the topic of our next article.
Want to tackle more marketing automation challenges?
How can sales and marketing both benefit from marketing automation? Which profiles should you gather for marketing automation? Which approach helps you to avoid sending too many emails to the same recipients? How can you improve the use of your tool by prioritizing features?