Automation, in general, is the process of optimizing an activity through the use of technology. And few business processes have the sheer number of activities that can be optimized through automation. From day-to-day tasks such as creating reports and sharing them through email, to updating and analyzing social platforms and websites through advanced software tools, almost everything can be automated to achieve various degrees of improvements.
The domain of Marketing Automation in itself has a huge scope and numerous benefits. Some of these benefits can be tapped by Small & Medium sized businesses (SMBs) to optimize their marketing activities. Especially as the number of staff members employed to handle a given task is usually less in small companies, the automation of the marketing tasks can go a long way in helping them boost their productivity. Discussed below are some of the benefits that can be ideally tapped to maximize the efficiency.
Optimizing the Customer Journey Map
Crafting an efficient customer journey may require a considerable amount of adjustments to your engagement strategy. Customer journey mapping involves creating a visual overview of each experience, right from initial interaction to a long-lasting relationship. When you have a set of tools that can help you create the visual representation of your customers’ experience much more quickly and accurately, the process of making the adjustments to your customer journey map can be highly optimized.
These tools can help in breaking down each set challenges faced by the potential customers and the decisions they have to make to evaluate the product or service. Thus, they can help the marketers to identify the loopholes that can confuse the prospects. By removing those gaps, marketers can create a journey of experiences that customers would enjoy at every step.
Creating Logical Segmentation
One of the first steps needed when devising a strategy to target your potential customers is to group them into different logical segments. Marketers spend considerable time on identifying and capturing leads. However, not every lead would end up being a customer. Hence, a mechanism that prioritizes the prospects based on the amount of effort that would be required to convert them would help marketers spend their efforts on converting easier leads first. As they would channelize their efforts accordingly, the overall marketing activity can be optimized to achieve the desired returns.
Marketing automation can make this entire process much easier and efficient. It could involve automating the process of tracking the online behavior of prospects such as time taken by them to reply to each mail, or their search activity related to the purchase. Once the data from each activity is tracked, then every lead can be categorized into segments, and a priority level can be assigned to each of them. Having specialized tools to perform these tasks can make the process of customer segmentation much more accurate and quick.
Improving Lead Generation
To reach out to the right leads, marketers have to perform the activity of evaluating them continuously. When the first response of the prospect appears positive, they are followed up through the process known as lead nurturing. It involves all the right actions that go into building trust with prospects, until they’re convinced about the brand and its offerings, eventually ending up as customers.
Using relevant content to engage with the prospects at the right time is ideally required to ensure the success of the nurturing process. However, it could be a surmounting task if performed manually. Marketing automation tools can be effectively used in not only identifying the right lead, but also placing them under the appropriate lead nurturing process, with each customized to match the unique need of the prospect. The automation also helps in avoiding the futile attempts to contact hostile prospects (based on their initial response) by separating them at the beginning.
Garnering Data-Driven Insights
Marketing usually involves collection and collation of customer data. Information such as the personal details and contact info of both past and existing customers is highly valuable as it can be the primary resource for making effective decisions. It’s because, the analysis of this data through advanced analytical tools can lead to extraction of valuable insights it can aid the decision-making process.
Marketing automation can help in determining various such insights. Getting to know important facts such as the type of product a customer is more likely to buy, or his preferred time to shop, can help marketers in a big way. Subsequently, by using the right channel and tone of communication, marketers can reach out to the prospects at the appropriate time to convert them into customers.
Marketing automation can also help in understanding the gaps that can annoy the customers, following which they would exit or abandon the purchase. Armed with this knowledge, marketers can get back to the customers with the right incentive to complete the purchase. This would have a substantially positive impact on the conversion rate, as well as the overall growth and profitability of the organization.