Marketing Automation: What is it, Examples & Tools 
Any savvy marketer knows that automation is key to efficiency and success. By automating marketing processes, you can easily manage large amounts of data and automate repetitive tasks that might make you want to fall asleep!
Of course, this is nothing new – marketing automation tools have been around for years. However, recent advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning have made these tools even more powerful, so marketing automation is more popular than ever before.
After reading this blog, you’re probably going to be scratching your head and wondering why you didn’t start earlier!
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is the process of using technology to automate marketing tasks. This can include things like sending emails, creating social media posts and targeted ads. Many businesses use marketing automation tools to improve efficiency and free up time for other important tasks.
Marketing automation can be used to automate repetitive tasks or it can be used to create complex marketing campaigns that would be difficult to manage manually. Either way, it can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
Investing in marketing automation is a wise decision for any business that is looking to streamline its marketing and sales operations.
Many benefits come with automated marketing, but here are just a few:
This one’s a no-brainer. When you offload some of your marketing tasks and let technology do it for you, it can get done a lot quicker than if a human were to do it and leave you more time to focus on other aspects of running a business.
Another key benefit of marketing automation is lead scoring. By assigning numeric values to leads based on their engagement level, businesses can prioritise sales and marketing efforts, this ensures that valuable resources are not wasted on leads that are not ready to buy.
Higher Return on Investment (ROI)
After identifying them, it’s important to nurture leads through the sales pipeline with targeted content and personalised communication. The result is a more efficient use of resources and a higher ROI for the business. Marketing automation can be a complex undertaking, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
Marketing automation software gives businesses the ability to automate customer-centric tasks and processes to increase operational efficiency and ROI.
Collecting Bulk Data
Marketing automation allows you to collect customer data and then use it to create customer profiles. These customer profiles can be used to segment customers into groups to form a customer journey map, which outlines the steps that a customer takes from becoming aware of a product or service to becoming a paying customer.
Once you know what your customer wants, you can score leads and nurture them through the sales funnel and ideally compel them to convert.
When done correctly, automated marketing tools can really give you bang for your buck. The more tasks automated essentially means the fewer people you have to hire to do the same job.
Best Marketing Automation Software
Most automated marketing tools are used for repetitive marketing tasks. Some platforms only offer email actions, drip sequences, and CRM updates. Others may help with lead scoring, sales lead rotation, SMS, and more.
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to automated marketing software. But which one is the best? It depends on your specific needs and objectives. Lucky for you, we’ve narrowed it down to a few contenders.
HubSpot Marketing Hub
If you’re looking for a comprehensive solution that can cover every aspect of your marketing campaign, from email marketing to social media marketing, then HubSpot Sales Hub is a good option. It’s also fairly easy to use, thanks to its drag-and-drop interface.
Another strong contender is Pardot by Salesforce. This platform is a bit more complex than HubSpot Sales Hub, but it’s packed with features that can help you streamline and automate your marketing process. What’s more is that it integrates with Salesforce’s CRM software, which is a big plus if you’ve already been using the product.
And if you’re looking for something that’s specifically designed for B2B marketing, then Marketo by Adobe could be a good fit. It has powerful lead management capabilities and integrates with popular CRM software.
It’s important to remember that there’s no black or white answer to deciding which marketing automation platform to use. The best solution for you will depend on your specific needs and objectives. But if you simply must make it a competition, the three platforms we’ve mentioned are all strong contenders for the title of best marketing automation software.
Examples of Marketing Automation
There are various ways that you can automate marketing processes for your business and it’s up to you to decide how far you go with it. Here are some examples:
Any good marketer knows that all successful campaigns start with research. Aside from Google Analytics, many platforms provide comprehensive marketing analytics to help guide your campaign.
One common example is the use of software to segment customers based on their geographic location, demographics, or purchase history. This allows businesses to target their marketing campaigns more effectively and efficiently.
Another example of marketing automation is the use of software to collect customer data. This data can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns or to personalise the user experience on a website or mobile app.
Direct emails are a fantastic way to promote customer engagement and they typically include a call to action to compel readers to make a purchase.
Email marketing automation campaigns are also known as drip campaigns as they often involve sending pre-written messages to readers over time.
Whether it’s a welcome email, weekly newsletter or something else, many businesses opt for an email marketing tool to save time and reduce delays in email output.
Social Media Posts
Post-scheduling platforms such as Later are popular marketing tools used to automate social media marketing. The posts themselves may be created by humans, but automated post-scheduling can help brands stay on top of their marketing plan and ensure that followers are regularly seeing the content. This can increase brand awareness and help keep the brand stays on the top of their minds.
Creating an Effective Marketing Automation Strategy
If you want to make the most out of marketing automation, it’s important to form a comprehensive marketing automation strategy.
1. Define your goals
What do you hope to achieve by using marketing automation technology? Is it increased sales? Better customer retention? More efficient lead generation? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start developing a plan to make it happen
2. Segment your audience
One of the great advantages of marketing automation is its ability to target specific segments of your audience with highly personalised content. But to do this effectively and foster meaningful customer relationships, you need to know who your target customers are and what they are looking for.
3. Develop your content strategy
If you want your marketing automation efforts to be successful (which we’re sure you do!), you need high-quality content that resonates with your audience and aligns with your business goals.
It’s not enough to simply get your chosen marketing automation tool to make content for you and call it a day. You need to constantly update your content so that it stays up-to-date and relevant.
Just like a fresh cake is better than a stale one, you should regularly put out fresh content to maintain interest in your brand and stay ahead of competitors.
4. Set up your automation workflow
Once you have all of the pieces in place, it’s time to start setting up your marketing automation workflow. This will involve choosing which tasks you want to automate and putting together the necessary triggers and actions.
5. Measure your results
The only way to know if your marketing automation strategy is working is to track the results carefully and regularly adjust your approach as needed. By taking the time to measure your progress, you can ensure that your marketing automation efforts are always moving in the right direction.
Risks of Marketing Automation
Now that we’ve spent some time singing the praises of marketing automation, you should know that some risks come with it.
It’s important to not get carried away with the wonders of marketing automation and let it get the better of you, so keep its risks in mind.
When you leave your marketing strategy in the artificial ‘hands’ of marketing automation platforms, it naturally reduces the control you have over your campaign and project management.
You are basically letting a machine decide how your brand is portrayed to the world. Take a moment to think about that.
Despite getting more advanced each day, marketing automation platforms aren’t perfect, so there is always a risk that something could go wrong with the automation software itself. If there is a bug or glitch in the system, it will take more time to identify and interfere with the automated system to fix it.
Poor Website Rankings
If Google’s helpful content update taught us anything, it’s that search engines have become more intelligent, meaning they have gotten better at distinguishing machine-made content on the web.
By identifying patterns, instances of keyword stuffing (adding heaps of target keywords purely for the sake of search engines) and more, search engines can penalise webpages that have been overly reliant on using and appealing to machines rather than humans.
Getting penalised for automated content can make a huge impact on both large and small businesses as it can lower a website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs), reducing its visibility and leads.
Another risk is that businesses may rely too heavily on automation and lose sight of the big picture. You don’t want to become so focused on the numbers and performance metrics provided by marketing automation tools that you forget to pay attention to the heart of your business: your customers and their needs.
Lack of Personalisation
When businesses automate too much of their marketing processes, this reduces the level of personalisation and human interaction in marketing campaigns.
It’s important to strike a balance between what aspects of your marketing solution are conducted by humans and machines. If your audience can easily tell that you’re giving all the work to marketing automation tools, it could impact their impression of your brand.
You don’t want your valuable customers to think you’re being too lazy to add a human element to your marketing efforts.
The Bottom Line
While marketing automation software has its many benefits, remember that it should be used to complement your marketing strategy rather than comprise the entirety of it.
Digital marketing best practices still need to be followed every step of the way, regardless of whether humans or marketing software is responsible.
Add the Expert Touch
Are you keen to begin your foray into marketing automation, but want to keep that human touch to ensure success?
Look no further! The experienced marketing team at First Page knows all the ins and outs of marketing automation and can help you meet your objectives in no time.
From content writing and beyond, we have it all.
Contact us today and prepare for your life to get a whole lot easier!