According to a SiriusDecisions report, 50% of B2B organizations will adopt marketing automation technology by the end of this year (2015) alone!
The wave of newcomers to the marketing automation landscape is a clear indication that organizations are backing the idea that in order to stay competitive, they have to make fundamental changes to their marketing and sales processes. Moving from tedious, repetitive tasks into the world of automated campaigns has become an essential capability for those who want to keep pace with the competition.Introduced in the early ‘90s, companies began experimenting with marketing automation platforms (MAPs) that made it possible to strengthen pipelines, shorten sales cycles, and deliver more qualified leads to sales. The ‘set and forget’ marketing process became a way to automate all marketing communication programs.
How Marketing Automation Works
Marketing automation is based on the principle that by collecting the right data about your prospects, it’s possible to segment your audience and message customers and prospects with event-triggered, personalized messages that help build trusting relationships with your brand. Marketing automation is more efficient and scalable than manual lead nurturing activity meaning you can increase operational efficiency while driving campaign ROI.
Here’s a look at several reasons why the time for marketing automation is now:
- The Power of Social Media
Social media has become a key channel for customer engagement. Social channels like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have become the go-to places where buyers learn more about products and services. It is where they can get more knowledge, ask more questions, and are influenced to make a purchase-decision. With an effective social media marketing program in place you can attract new, highly targeted prospects that are more likely to find your brand to be a great fit for their needs. By finding and engaging with these potential customers on social media, you can expand your audience and capture a consistent flow of qualified leads for targeted automated follow-up.
- The Essential Channel: Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most personal forms of customer engagement, enabling brands to reach buyers on a 1:1 level. A robust MAP is capable of generating email marketing campaigns, automatically deploying messages based on a predetermined set of rules - and they work! According to Epsilon, triggered emails receive 119% higher click-through rates than a typical email campaign. The most common types of triggered email campaigns include welcome programs, transactional emails, and shopping cart abandonment campaigns.
Email marketing automation is fundamental in today’s modern marketing landscape in order to establish long-term relationships with customers. Without marketing automation, email marketing could easily be overlooked as an important channel for engagement; and we, as marketers, can’t afford to do that.
- New Abilities With Sales & Marketing Alignment
Your existing database is a goldmine of insights. Your CRM stores all the pertinent information about each of your subscribers, no matter where they are in the sales cycle. Top performers are integrating their company CRM with their MAP. This integration streamlines the marketing and sales process so that marketing and sales teams can work under common sets of definitions as to what constitutes marketing and sales-qualified leads. Once the two departments are working under the same scope, it becomes possible to strengthen the sales process and drive buyers to the decision-making stages at a faster and more efficient rate.
- Increasingly More Informed Buyers
Research shows that decision-makers are 57% into the buying process before reaching out to a sales rep. That means that by the time they speak to a sales rep they’ve got just as much information about the industry and product as you do. Marketers have their sights set on all of their competitors and where their brands fit into the mix. What does this mean? This means that marketers have to deliver highly targeted content that speaks to each prospect and customer directly. Message releancy is delivering the right message, to the right customer, at just the right time.
Traditional outbound marketing has become tiresome and ineffective. Digital consumers are calling for more targeted, personalized experiences; and those that invest in reaching customers on this level are closing more deals. If you haven’t already, now is the time to rethink your marketing and sales processes.
Want to learn more about how marketing automation can help your brand? Contact us – we would be happy to help.