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Marketing Automation: What is it and Making it Work for your Brand

Marketing automation can be considered a brand new trend in the digital marketing field. With companies and brands having to focus on more and more touch points such as a contact form on a website, an interaction between a consumer on various social media networks, companies have to figure out how they move consumers through the customer acquisition funnel to convert an inquiry into an actual sales.

What is Marketing Automation? Well to simply put it marketing automation refers to software and technologies to effectively market content, products and other items more effectively on multiple channels such as social media channels, email and even websites. Marketing automation takes tasks that are traditionally manual and automate them which will help expand the value and impact of these tasks. Some of these tasks include content management, email list segmentation, lead scoring and performance measurement.

The main focus on Marketing Automation is trying to move leads gathered through a content form on a website, an interaction on a specific social media channel through a process and turn them into a specific action that will benefit ones company or ones brand.

The way that marketing automation works is that prospects are scored based on a set of activities defined by the company or brand and therefore set off a chain of messaging and actions that can be delivered via email and social media channels.

Even though the majority of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) use this sales and marketing technique, marketing automation can be also utilized by non-profits that creates content, webinars or that just want to help spread their message to a larger audience.

Marketing Automation for B2B and B2C Companies

Salesforce.com which is a company best known for its customer relationship management software, released a report stating that “79% of marketing leads never converted to sales and 68% of companies have not identified or attempted to measure their sales funnel.”[Footnote 1]

Both business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies have the same challenges and have to deal with the same challenges:

· A lot of leads and enquiries;

· A segmented sales and marketing team; and

· Company bureaucracy.

Having key leadership on board with the strategy is extremely important to the success of this marketing just like any marketing strategy. There are three main benefits to implementing a marketing automation strategy which range from:

1) More leads being generated;

2) Being able to save time and monetary resources to create landing pages; and

3) Will help simplify the approval process for marketing campaigns.

By implementing a better marketing and using marketing automation business and brands can flip these numbers and will lead to higher profits.

Marketing Automation for Non-Profits

There are a lot of marketing challenges for non-profits but the main challenge is having the lack of resources to implement marketing campaigns and also cultivating new and current donors. According to a study conducted by Marketo.com non-profit retention rate of first year donors is only 23.7%[Footnote 2] Key leadership within a non-profit are evaluated on their ability to generate new donor prospects and also cultivate them {or keep them engaged with their organization}. This is where marketing automation can help both small and also big non-profits by not only capturing a greater amount of one-time donors but also helping drive new donation revenue for your organization by retaining those donors.

By understanding and developing your own customer lifestyle model you will be able to successfully not only maintain current donors and get new donors but you will be able to increase the amount of donations that have been made and develop key relationships.

What are some strategies that any size non-profits should develop to help improve their donation and marketing automation strategy? Here are three easy ideas to implement:

1) Email Marketing is still the Most Important;

2) Create a personalized experienced for Donors; and

3) Strategy is still important

Tactics to Improve Market Automation

Here are some great basic tactics to help you improve your marketing automation.

1. Define and Align your Company’s Goals: and the target demographics with creating your scoring structure. Have your marketing and sales teamwork together to figure out how valuable a lead and a sale is to your company.

2. Choose the right tool to help you manage the process: This is one of the most important factors in seeing if you will be successful or not in marketing automation. There are many websites and products on the market that will help you with automating your marketing but make sure that the product that you choose best fits your company’s budget, size and the resources that will require to take full advantage of this marketing strategy.

3. Nurture Your Leads: This is the core of creating an effective marketing automation strategy. Having a team that understands how to move leads that aren’t ready to actual sales is vital. Being able to identify and manage those leads is critical and you must have the right personal and company processes in place to make the process easier is important.

4. Measure and Optimizing: Like everything in marketing the more that you measure, learn and then optimize your automation the more successful it is going to be. Make sure that you are choosing the right metrics, have a set goal and target and then make your organization be nimble enough so that if you don’t achieve your goals then you can make the necessary changes for future campaigns.

In conclusion, there are many pluses to having a successful automation campaign and it will dramatically impact sales and really deliver great business benefits. Some of the benefits that automation will have on a business is quality leads, increased bandwidth of your sales and marketing teams, accurate reporting and added clarity which will lead for increased transparency and accountability for employees and finally improved sales that will have a positive impact on the bottom line.

Footnotes:

[1] “What Makes up a Sucessful Marketing Automation Campaign,” Emailaudience.com; http://www.emailaudience.com/marketing-automation-get-it-into-your-daily-strategy/

[2] “The New Nonprofit: Better Communication, Bigger Donations,” Marketo.com; September 2014, http://blog.marketo.com/2014/09/the-new-nonprofit-better-communication-bigger-donations.html