Marketing has always been a hybrid art, encompassing as much of science and data as it does art and charisma. Modern technologies now allow us to make the most of that hybridization, automating tasks which once required countless hours of mostly-menial labor, refining the way we interact with customers to allow us to present our most potent arguments and dazzling charisma and easing every other action in increasingly large increments. But perhaps you’re not yet sold on marketing automation and its place in your business. In which case, you should consider these five benefits marketing automation has to offer you:
1. Productivity Multiplication
With a well-utilized marketing automation solution in place, your most productive marketing teams can get far more work done in the same amount of time, making the most of their skills. This matters less if you don’t already have a steady flow of traffic flooding your team. But, if you’re finding yourself increasingly reliant upon less skilled marketers, or find your traffic is beyond your marketing teams’ abilities to handle, marketing automation will make a vast improvement in your bottom line.
2. Refined Sales Funnels
It’s one thing to understand that micromanaging the materials sent to a prospect increases their value as a lead, and another thing to actually act upon that knowledge. With the right marketing automation suite in place, however, it becomes a task of negligible difficulty. At the simplest level, you can leverage a ‘dumb’ solution paired with segmentation-savvy team members to set customers on the right automated ‘path.' With a more advanced suite, you can automatically adjust the route of customers based on their actions at each stage, delivering the best possible lead to your sales team.
3. Testing and Research
Marketing automation pairs well with research of your customers. The same solutions that allow you to adjust on the fly to the decisions of customers and deliver appropriate marketing materials will also let you see those decision-making patterns. This is valuable information for developing appropriate segments for your marketing and sales endeavors. You can even automate split testing and other efforts to poke, prod and analyze your traffic and find the best possible approaches for each group you identify.
4. Personalized Marketing
At its most basic level, the secret of marketing automation lay in its ability to deliver ‘personalized’ marketing without the commitment of resources and time that such personalization previously required. Whether you’re taking advantage of a well-developed set of buyer personas built around market segmentation and other research, or simply using automation to tweak emails to include names and appropriate references for the customer’s position in your sales funnel, the result is the same: personalization, and thus improved marketing, without the inherent hassle.
5. Unified Marketing
It’s difficult to keep all the streams associated with a particular customer organized together. However, with an automated marketing solution, it becomes quite easy to deliver a coherent marketing experience across emails, tweets, website visits and other channels. When you unite your marketing in this way, you see real gains.
Marketing automation, ultimately, doesn’t seek to replace the human element of marketing. Nor can it generate traffic where none exists. Rather, it enhances the work individuals can do, giving them better tools to process incoming prospects and convert them into high-value leads. For your company, this ultimately means making your most productive and effective marketers even more so. And even this requires a solid effort from everyone involved—it won’t improve your bottom line by magic. It all comes down to buy-in and the amount of effort your team puts in to making the most of the technology.