Automated technology is in the process of revolutionizing our lives — almost in a Jetsons-esque way. Don’t believe me? Today, we have access to refrigerators that tell us when we’re out of milk, smart washers and dryers that do our laundry while we’re at work, and connected thermostats that regulate temperatures automatically to save energy. One group of people who are particularly benefitting from the wonders of automation is marketers. New technologies are allowing marketers to get their messages out to the right people at the right time (without having to be at their computers 24/7), and the benefits of marketing automation have made the promotion process easier, less taxing, and more convenient than ever before – freeing up marketers’ time and energy to focus on other important tasks.
What is Marketing Automation?
So, just what is marketing automation? Here’s a good definition from one of our favorite, most-trusted marketing resources, Hubspot:
Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.
There are countless types of marketing technologies out there – so many, in fact, that we could do a separate post (or 10) on just that.
(If you want to know more, here’s a pretty good list of automated marketing solutions created by Marketo to give you an idea of what automation technology can do: Mega-List of Features in Marketing Automation [That You Won’t Find in CRM]).
However, we thought we could start introducing you to the wonders of marketing automation by laying out some of the most important marketing automation benefits; this way, you can get started considering why automated marketing strategy might be one you want to take advantage of – and how it can improve your everyday life.
Top 12 Benefits of Marketing Automation
The following marketing automation benefits represent some of the best things that marketing automation can do for you.
It allows you to generate better leads.
It’s all good and well to get people interested in your business via effective inbound lead generation or traditional advertising efforts – but it’s not going to do anyone any good unless those people are actually interested in buying. One of the best benefits of marketing automation software is that it can help you reach out to people at the right point in the sales funnel — when they’ve expressed an interest in your newsletter or browsed your blog for long enough, etc. This means that the lead list you’re working with is more targeted, and potentially useful – not just a list of random email addresses. According to a survey of more than 50,000 B2B marketers, the top benefit of using marketing automation solutions was the ability to generate more and better quality leads.
It helps you nurture leads more easily.
Once you have a list of emails or leads, you need a path to convert them to sales. That’s the importance of lead nurturing – keeping potential customers interested and engaged in what you’re doing, ultimately leading them to the point that they’re ready to buy. According to a report on lead nurturing done by the Annuitas Group, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than leads that are not nurtured. Despite its importance, nurturing leads can be time-consuming work if you have a big email-marketing database. Luckily, one of the best benefits of marketing automation is that it allows you to nurture those leads without having to manually personalize and send emails when leads take action; technology like drip email campaigns and email personalization technology can make sure it all gets done for you – and at just the right time.
It decreases lead conversion time.
Sometimes, there is a gap in time between the first instance a person expresses interest in your company – and when she decides to buy. If you want to decrease the time it takes you to convert leads, then it can help to rely on marketing automation software. One of the top benefits of marketing automation is that it helps people leap from prospect to paying customer more quickly. According to a report about lead conversion time by Thomson Retuers, who decided to use Eloqua and Oracle Marketing Cloud to automate their marketing processes, leads were converted 72% more quickly once they turned to marketing automation – which was a significant and beneficial boost to their company.
It helps increase revenue.
In the end, running a business is about generating a profit. One of the most important benefits of marketing automation it’s been shown to increase revenue for companies. Gartner research reported that companies who used automated lead management software saw a revenue increase of 10% or more over 6-9 months. Additionally, users of marketing automation software Pardot said that marketing automation has boosted their sales 34%, on average. Who doesn’t want to make some more money?
It offers you the opportunity to analyze and tweak your strategies to maximize results.
One of the most useful marketing automation benefits is that most marketing automation software can integrate with your CRM platform to show you which of your marketing automation strategies are working – and which are falling flat. This gives you the opportunity to abandon ship on the tactics that haven’t brought you more business, and to increase the usage of strategies that are bringing you more leads and conversions.
It can reduce marketing costs.
In the past, marketing teams were large – and essential — when all lead generation and nurturing had to be done by a human, sitting at a computer. However, now that marketing automation software can do many crucial marketing tasks for you, staffing needs are far fewer. This means that companies can save money on their marketing budgets – investing it in other areas that could benefit from more resources — which is one of the most tangible benefits of marketing automation. According to a report by Gartner, using automated solutions for creative marketing efforts can help save companies 15% or more of their marketing budgets. Also, Forrester research found that automated leads generated 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% less cost.
It can help free up marketers’ time and energy.
Even if your company only has one or two members on its marketing team, automated marketing solutions can still help. Marketing automation can take the nitty-gritty tasks out of the hands of marketers (personalizing emails, thanking newsletter sign-ups, etc.), which frees up their days to spend doing more vital things like coming up with new campaign ideas and nurturing important leads at the end of the sales funnel.
It helps you avoid human error.
Even though everybody wants to be perfect – it just can’t happen all of the time. Humans sometimes accidentally do things that have the capacity to harm their brand’s image — like make spelling and punctuation errors that change the meaning of a message, or address the wrong person in an email. (Here’s a pretty funny list of human marketing errors compiled by ReachForce). One of the most useful marketing automation benefits, then, is that software can’t make the same kind of mistakes that humans sometimes do. This ensures that you avoid little, silly manual errors that sometimes have large, disastrous results.
It’s easy to use – even for people who are not tech-savvy.
Most popular marketing automation software is easy to set up and to implement. This means that marketing employees don’t also have to be tech specialists to ensure they’re doing all that they need to do to reach and nurture leads. One of the benefits of marketing automation software is that you can set up your campaigns one time, with easy to use forms and templates, then let the software itself do all of the complicated technical work.
It’s helpful for sales teams, too.
Despite its name, marketing automation software is not just for marketers – it has many benefits for sales teams, too. Some of the best marketing automation benefits for sales folks are that it eliminates the need to make cold calls, helps keep marketing and sales teams on the same page, and allows salespeople to contact prospects in real time. When you purchase marketing automation software, you won’t just be gaining a tool for your marketing team – but also your sales team, too.
It makes pre-scheduling social media posts easier and more effective.
Awesome automated social media tools like Hootsuite have been around for ages. These programs allow you to pre-create social media posts and schedule their posting, so you don’t have to be at your computer 24/7. However, if you use an automated marketing solution that syncs with your CRM, you can not only pre-schedule social media posts to make sure they get out on time, but you can also designate specific posts to specific segments of your audience. This means that one of the benefits of marketing automation software is that it helps ensure that the right messages are seen by the right people.
It helps with both online and offline marketing.
One of the most helpful benefits of marketing automation software can help you send targeted online messages (emails, social media posts, etc.) at different points of the customer journey. However, many marketing solutions can also send marketing materials to leads offline; this means that many marketing automation tools can send out a text, postcard, or phone call when a customer reaches a certain point in the funnel. Multi-channel automation helps you cover more bases with less work.
Most marketing automation software can help handle the implementation of your marketing campaigns – but some software – like Oz — can also help you come up with content for your marketing, which will help ensure that you drive leads and engage the right audience. Check it out.