7 Marketing Automations Your Small Business Should Consider
Across most, if not all industries, automation has become a key to success especially when it comes to marketing. Nearly 80% of top-performing companies have used marketing automation for more than 2 years, according to the research firm Gleanster.
Marketing automation is the process of utilising technology to streamline marketing efforts and make them more effective. It uses an automation platform to manage every aspect of every campaign from the same place, including but not limited to email and social media marketing, mobile messaging, and managing ads. Marketing is a broad category and the one with the most choices, so a simple Google search for the type of software you’re looking for should suffice.
If you’re using social media (and you should be!) for your marketing efforts, you can use automation to boost your followers. Whether you tweet every day, create a Facebook event every week, or highlight your business’ achievements on LinkedIn; social media platforms provide a great way to stay in front of clients without bombarding them with emails. But like the tree falling in the woods, if a social media campaign is posted and no one sees it, did it even happen?
Gaining interest and followers on social media is almost effortless with automation software. Send clients an automated invitation to check out one of your social profiles. When a client clicks the link, your softwares’ work is done. You can’t guarantee that customers will decide to “like or follow” your page, but at least you’ve made them aware that your profile exists.
What are the benefits of marketing automation?
By automating some of the manual and repetitive jobs of the marketing function in a business, marketing automation can free up time and resources. It can also supply intelligence to deepen marketers’ knowledge of the customer and help them deliver better targeted and measurably more effective campaigns.
Among the benefits of marketing automation are that it can help businesses to;
1. Spend more time focusing on strategy
Marketers are under constant pressure to come up with ideas and campaigns that can win the war for customers’ attention. Marketing automation software helps free up more time for them to spend on creative thinking and the strategic bigger picture, and less on day-to-day activity. Automating the process of prioritising leads, for example, frees sales teams up to spend more time and resources on developing top quality leads.
2. Truly understand the behaviour of potential customers
Marketing automation can provide a richer, more detailed picture of the behaviour of potential customers than manual methods. By tracking interactions with content, messaging, advertising and email, marketing teams can get a better understanding of where a prospect sits in the sales and marketing funnel, learn what channels and tactics have worked best in a given customer journey and apply these learnings to future activity.
3. Customise follow-ups
Follow-ups by salespeople to warm leads can be customised according to observed behaviour. For example, if a particular customer is reading about a broad category of products, it might indicate that they are at the beginning of the purchasing process, researching and comparing while preparing a shortlist. But if they later download white papers supplied to them on a specific product, that could indicate a narrower focus and a readiness to be contacted.
4. Deploy wider marketing campaigns
Bringing together information from touchpoints including website visits and downloads, social media activity and direct marketing enables automatic scoring, qualifying and prioritising of leads. This, in turn, can then drive wider marketing campaigns, including:
- Trigger-based marketing messages
- Infrequent ‘drip-feed’ emails to maintain interest
- Personalised emails
- Facebook or Twitter messages
5. Prioritise leads
Marketing automation software can allow businesses to establish clear, objective measures of progress right through the customer lifecycle. Whereas determining a particular prospect’s readiness for sales might once have been left to an individual marketer’s intuition, it can now be based on pre-defined and measured outcomes.
With such analytics at its heart, marketing automation can help prioritise sales staff time, measure the effectiveness of touchpoints with the prospect, and establish overall campaign effectiveness.
6. Improve marketing ROI
Linking automation to a CRM serves to remove the guesswork from the process of calculating ROI.
7. Predict future investment more accurately
Closed-loop reporting allows organisations to calculate accurately the cost per opportunity and the ROI of any and all marketing efforts, which is especially useful when it comes to planning future investment.
Once you have decided on which parts of your business need to be automated, you can also stop to think about your financial management.
Real-time insight into your finances
Try using a free cash flow management tool such as Airbank. Airbank is a unified financial management solution that marries your bank statements to generate your cash flow statements automatically. That way you don’t have to go through the messy process of waiting for your accounting statements, or transferring and categorising all your transactions yourself.
Airbank allows you to connect your bank accounts, which auto-categorises all your historic transactions. In addition, you can also initiate new payments and have them categorised for your cash flow statements from the get-go as well. Airbank then produces your direct cash flow statement for you in real-time and even lets you input your cash flow forecast numbers in the spreadsheet based on your planned billings.