Marketing automation is exactly what it sounds like — automated marketing. It is the automating of the customer experience and sales journey as well as routine workflows. Items such as emails, social media posts, and more can be automated to maximize efficiency.
Putting marketing automation into effect can be a very smart move to make, but it does not allow you to be completely hands-off. Yes, it will implement the tasks, communications, and advertisements that you set up, but it still requires maintenance and the initial setup.
For instance, you automate your social media posts through social media scheduling tools. They are very handy tools, but like all other tools, they require human input. It takes a human to create social media posts that are to be scheduled as well as keeping the content up to date and responding to any comments. The upside is that you can schedule a lot of content once a month and have it scheduled to go out on certain dates and times.
This means that you can spend a few days putting all of your content together for a whole month or more, and then have the rest of your month to work on other things.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
You may be wondering if marketing automation is worth your time and effort. The best way for you to decide, besides trying it out, is to understand the benefits it can give you. The following are five of these benefits:
1. It improves the customer experience.
2. It can increase customer retention.
3. Automating marketing tasks can save a good amount of time.
4. If most repetitive tasks are automated, you can cut staff costs.
5. It will most likely lead to increased sales.
How Can You Use Customer Data to Automate Your Marketing?
There are many ways that you can use customer data for marketing automation. Here are a few tips and ideas to get you started:
1. If you want to get anything out of customer data, you must first collect the data. Make sure that you have ways set up to capture customer data.
2. Collect effective data. Be sure to collect personal info, including birthdays. You may even find a way to gather data such as their favorite color or favorite vacation spot. This may seem silly, but the more you know, the more you can personalize.
3. Think about what types of marketing campaigns to run. You may automate emails on the customer’s birthday to offer them a discount or just as a way to connect with them. You may automate emails or posts for them before summer starts that mention their favorite vacation spot or design their messages with their favorite color. All of these can build a rapport with your customers.
4. Reward loyalty. Set up your automation to target your most loyal customers. Perhaps you send a coupon after the third order they place. You could offer them a gift on an anniversary, like a year from when they first sign up. Making customers feel valued is a great way to retain them, but doing it manually can be time-consuming. Automating the process simplifies the process and helps to ensure no one falls through the cracks.
5. A customer’s geographical location can be used in the automation process, as well. If a product is not available in a specific state, it would be a waste of time to advertise the product in that state. On the other hand, you can use that location to personalize the ad. For instance, if you sell sports equipment, you would not advertise snow skis in Hawaii, you would advertise jet skis and water skis. You would advertise the snow skis in snowy regions.
If you have not already, it is time to give marketing automation a try and see how it benefits your business. To start, grab a few sheets of paper and start jotting down any tasks you can think of that is repetitive and cost your company a great deal of time. Research to find if there are ways to automate those tasks. Then, get creative and jot down any ideas for marketing campaigns you have, and how you might use customer data to automate and personalize your marketing strategy.