Introduction to Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation tools are not a replacement for your marketing team.
Chances are, if you have attended a virtual conference or sat in any virtual boardroom lately, you would have heard the phrase “Marketing Automation”. Here is the basic outline, in case you haven’t.
More often than not you’ll encounter an unnecessary amount of repetitive tasks when it comes to marketing. There is often a lot of data preparation tasks for reporting or audience segmentation, and there is the tedious tasks like swapping out elements in an email template. Even creating and publishing campaigns can be tedious and repetitive. Often you will feel as though you cannot do anything meaningful because you are stuck in this cycle.
Here is where Marketing Automation helps. It helps you complete your repetitive daily tasks programmatically, freeing up your time so you can do stuff that actually means something.
Go one step beyond your own boundary and think about how efficiency for large marketing departments can increase by leveraging Marketing Automation. It means more team members can make more meaningful contributions which could have more of an impact on the business as a whole.
Disclaimer:Marketing Automation tools are not a replacement for your marketing team. They are tools for marketing enablement. Something smart marketers can add to their existing arsenal of marketing weaponry for them to be more efficient.
Who Marketing Automation is for
Marketing Automation can be used by any entity who is struggling for time or is looking to increase efficiency for marketing-related activities.
Marketers with almost any level of experience can use Marketing Automation. Meaning it would be a beneficial tool for the most junior to the most senior marketers. Not because it could potentially do parts of their job better than they could, but because it can do more parts of their job more efficiently and in less time.
Marketing Automation also isn’t limited to large enterprises or wealthy corporates. It applies to anyone from the latest day one startups to some of the most established corporate enterprises. Any business can benefit from marketing automation with the right implementation for their specific needs. I emphasise “specific needs” because marketing automation is not a one size fits all solution.
Businesses need to take careful consideration of the problems they are trying to solve using Marketing Automation. A business needs to consider their industry, their business environment, and where Marketing Automation would best fit into the organization to solve problems. It is not something you buy off the shelf, flip the switch, et voila.
Corporate enterprises with longer sale cycles would not need the same implementation as a fast-paced eCommerce website. The climate in both businesses is entirely different.
Note: If you have dipped your toes into the marketing automation pool before without any success, then consider whether the implementation was correct for your use case. Chances are the solution was not the most suited for your requirements.
How Marketing Automation is working for businesses
Marketing Automation is currently being used in a myriad of ways thanks to the ongoing experimentation by marketing teams. Though the most popular implementations are to automate data processing or to automate daily tasks within marketing teams.
Implementations have ranged from automatically generating segmented customer lists, programmatically creating the content of a marketing email, dynamically swapping ad content based on user behaviour, or even automating bids in ad auctions. There are plenty of existing implementations to explore and test.
A favoured execution is Facebook Dynamic Ads for eCommerce — where marketing teams can automatically target and dynamically serve relevant content to users who fall within any stage of the purchase funnel.
The Facebook Ads implementation has had a significantly positive effect on revenues for eCommerce businesses.
How does this help your business?
The example above helps cut down the amount of time spent on audience segmentation and ad creation or ad maintenance. Marketers no longer need to spend as much time on optimization and can shift their focus towards more valuable tasks.
It also means marketers no longer need to spend as much time and brainpower on granular campaign optimizations. Tasks are programmatic with little input and maintenance. Especially in unsupervised machine learning executions. Which effectively allows the machine to learn how to be the most effective it can be without any human intervention (meaning it would learn faster than if it were restricted by boundaries).
It leads to an increase in overall efficiency and meaningful output for the business. Which all results in a positive impact on business revenue.
What to expect from Marketing Automation
As mentioned earlier, Marketing Automation is not a replacement for a good marketing team. It is a tool which can help increase efficiency and return on investment for marketing activities.
Marketing Automation is not a replacement for a good marketing team.
With the right implementation, you could expect to save time on daily tasks and money on wasted ad spend. You will see an increase in the quality of leads and customers, and you will see an increase in revenue for your business.
Your marketing efforts can only benefit from Marketing Automation when done right. Your marketing team will be even more useful and will be able to do a lot more of the fancy innovative stuff they could not get to previously. You will move your business into the ’20s and could put yourself into — or further solidify — an existing industry-leading position.
You will no longer be targeting your ads to users using blind faith. You will have a good idea of who you are targeting, what they are interested in and what content is likely to entice them to engage. It means you will be more relevant to your customers, and your marketing efforts will less invasive and less annoying than your competitors.
Simply put. You can expect better results.
The final word on Data and Marketing Automation
It is not a new topic or discussion, but it is one which is re-surging and growing rapidly. There are a lot of opportunities for Marketing Automation to help make life simpler for marketers and to help them free up their time for more of the fun stuff.
Businesses can also see great benefits in the form of increased outputs and efficiencies from their marketing team — which, most importantly, should add positively to their bottom line.
I look forward to seeing new players in the market and the executions they roll out. It is always great to learn from the competition. In fact, it would be difficult to optimize these executions without different perspectives.
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on Marketing Automation and Data. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts though. Have tried to implement Marketing Automation? Which executions have worked best for you and how did you implement them?
TL;DR (Much Time + Many Efficiency = Very ROI)
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