The world is changing very quickly. Information noise is becoming more and more, and we, marketers, are already starting to compete with each other for each customer. Now we need such experience and knowledge that marketers of the old school have not even dreamed of! We need to be geniuses of creativity, strategists, tacticians, and even big data analysts. They say that marketing is an art and science in one bottle. And marketing automation (marketing automation) is the element that creates science.
Marketing automation on the Internet is represented by software platforms that help marketers manage, scale and analyze their activities. The main idea of automation is to simplify and manage routine processes. This chain of email mailings based on autoresponders, and planning posts in social media, and searching for keywords, and analytics big data. All this can do software, and faster and better than people.Software performs processes, collects and analyzes data. And, thanks to this, you can define:
- How do you move compared to your competitors
- What content (in networks, blog, in email newsletters) is claimed and loved by your audience
- When your potential buyer will be ready to make a purchase.
- How do your marketing initiatives affect company revenue?
And finally, you can, by automating routine tasks, focus on creative and innovative initiatives.
A well-known author, a leader in social media and a blogger who is read by millions of people, Jeff Bullas talks about this and many other things in his e-book “15 Reasons You Should Be Using Digital Marketing Automation . “ If you plan to explore and implement marketing automation in your company, or want to convince your boss that marketing automation is worth investing, this book is for you!
So, we give the word Jeff Bullas:
Half a century ago, the art of marketing was to create something vivid and memorable. Ideas were born during cocktail parties and brainstorming over lunch.At the heart of ideas lay creative, based on intuition. The marketing and advertising data analytics was kind of fun. The main metrics were audience coverage, the number of newspapers sold with advertising and viewing viewers. Big data analysts – this profession has not yet existed. Computers and the Internet were something of science fiction. The only high technology available was radio, television was just emerging.
In the digital reality in which we live now, great creatives create in the framework of high technologies. This new reality delights and scares at the same time.
Now marketing is science and art.
If you are a marketer and want to keep up with the times, or if you run a business and want to dictate your own rules, and not to lag behind, master marketing as a science.
At the same time, Internet marketing is both a blessing and a curse. It is new, complex, constantly evolving. But it is digital marketing that will provide you with scale and analytics with which you can calculate return on investment (ROI), which in the past was almost impossible. Yes, it is difficult: to master new technologies that will help you beat the competition in our 24/7 world. But it is these platform robots that will be able to cut off the excess and give you insights about your customers and competitors. They will be able to show you what works and what doesn’t, in real time. Therefore, for you, as marketers, and for your businesses there is a serious choice: new technologies or death.
What is Marketing Automation?
As technology developed from mainframes to personal computers, software solutions were mainly used by accounting systems and business process management platforms. Payroll, HR issues and inventory accounting – this is where the development of platforms came from. But technology for marketing services and departments in the past did not exist. Commercial departments had CRM systems that manage customer relations, but marketing has never had the right to vote at the high-tech table.
This situation is changing. In the world of a huge number of media channels, we need technology to scale and measure. Now marketing teams work with social media, Internet and content marketing (in the past, contractors were often done by advertising agencies). Technology and digital tools are becoming mandatory for modern businesses and practical-minded entrepreneurs.
Automation of digital marketing can be expressed in different ways: Email marketing, social media and paid advertising on the Internet are just a small part of automation. A complete list of similar technologies and functionalities is too long and confusing. So what are the key reasons for implementing, using and optimizing marketing automation systems in your business?
Key reasons for marketing automation
The marketer of the past is still more Salvador Dali than Einstein. The artist … So now everything is different. Decisions that were previously made intuitively are now made on the basis of real facts. And this is the data. The new generation of marketers is not guessing what to do next with marketing and content, but makes decisions based on software and big data.
Scale your marketing
Sit down and think: how many marketing and advertising channels, and social networks requires your presence.
The digital world is huge:
- Social Media Marketing
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing
- Google adwords
- Paid Facebook Ads
And a lot of social networks , and thousands of platforms and applications! And then you are also told that you have to be in online streaming, for example: in Periscope, Meerkat and other services that are emerging so quickly.
And there are still webinars : live and recorded. Oh yeah, I completely forgot about Snapchat, as a possible marketing channel. And this is where you are directly present with your pages, accounts and messages. And remember about options such as retargeting on Facebook, Twitter, AdWords. The paradigm of the past of the analog media world will now seem very simple to you.
But while you have not yet hired additional employees … While you have not yet bought new technologies …
I started learning Twitter in 2008. Twitter was bright, funny and was just starting to develop. I could see the world waking up on the other hemisphere of the planet when I went to bed. Tweeting still went by hand. You had to type it yourself. When I began to scale my blog, I realized that I needed a simple but automation. The first tools were raw and very complex.
Social media conservatives began shouting at me – from a distance tweet. Their outrage was expressed as:
- “How dare you automate tweets …”
- “Facebook and Twitter only for people”
- “Automation is some kind of mockery of the Internet community”
- “You are all evil and bot”
My self-esteem was at stake. But only one automation tool saved me 100+ hours per month. And I continued, although I was cursed by everyone who felt like it.Social media management tools such as Tweetdeck offered simple automation of working with several social networks at the beginning of their appearance, and then they became more complex and developed, in fact, like people.
Over time, it got harder …
But seriously, there are now quite a few sophisticated internet marketing tools that allow you to scale your efforts without losing control.
Such internet marketing tools can:
- Segment your leads
- Accept online payments
- Manage email newsletter chains programmed for months ahead
- Measure results
- Perform and measure optimization: for example, A / B testing
- Manage affiliate campaigns
- Manage collaboration and collaboration of business teams
And this is just the beginning of the list.
These tools cost $ 200 a month and are cheaper. The technologies have become available not only for large companies, but also for medium and small businessesthat can finally afford them. ”
Jeff Bullas, a well-known social media expert, blogger, speaker and digital strategist, consultant and author of several best-selling books, in his e-book “15 Reasons You Should Be Using Digital Marketing Automation” talks about a new, hot marketing trend – Marketing Automation (marketing automation). The first part you can read here.
Improve your target reach
Many businesses have different products for different markets. Previously, the segmentation was carried out by a separate employee of the sales department.Defined the market, took the “Yellow Pages” and began to call.
Segmentation in the digital world can be done using Facebook ads, which will show a specific banner or video of that demographic category of your potential buyers, which is clearly defined and measurable. As soon as potential customers have left you their contacts, they can be entered into the database of marketing automation in order to interest them with proper content marketing. But the call is already happening later.
Measure your results
Mass marketing of the past was and still is based on intuition and hope. Smart creative team of an advertising agency created an attractive concept. Then there was a video recording and photography, production of printed materials. And then the advertising campaign started: on television, radio, in newspapers and magazines.
When the campaign ended, simple metrics for viewing and coverage were applied.And it did not work. And this expensive process was repeated over and over again.It took weeks and months to make changes. But now it is getting harder for advertising agencies to hide their results. Digital campaigns can be measured in real time. Email conversions are visible as soon as they happen. Views on YouTube are publicly available. Now it is time to target and measure, quickly stop or repeat.And all this is done within hours or even minutes.
Optimize your tactics and campaigns
Launching a campaign is one thing, but achieving results is another. New platforms and digital marketing technologies allow you to see what works in real time and how. Look at these two landing pages for my e-book, which I use to create a database of my email subscribers.
What page do you think the conversion page for visitors has to email subscribers?
So – the second with such a simple design. Slightly, by 5%, but still … So do not let your web designers tell you what will work better.
Steve Jobs has a lot of vivid quotes, but this one best reflects the situation: “Design is not just about what it looks like and how it feels. Design – how it works
Real-time data can tell how it works. And therefore, it’s not necessary to wait for months and weeks to measure what works and what does not. And this will help you A / B tests in real time.
Understand your target audience and your customers better.
Scaling and testing your content and offers on the market allows you to understand what works and what doesn’t.
What if data analytics will prove to you that your intuition, which you, as an experienced marketer, have trusted for decades, does not work? Perhaps you thought that people were interested in your product and its functions, and built on this a whole content company. And then you are surprised to find that people like a completely different product: based on their reaction to your blog posts and Facebook , opening and conversion rates from your email lists.
Now you can find out which content meets the needs of your target audience, and which does not. As a result, you can make content better, target advertising campaigns more focused and more effectively engage potential buyers.
Increase your income
You continue to scale and measure the effectiveness of your marketing, and the Pareto law comes into force. 20% of your truly effective efforts bring you 80% of your results .
The 80/20 rule allows you to better focus on achieving maximum results. And for this you will benefit from data analytics platform digital marketing automation. And you have to trust this data more than your intuition. This is a rather complicated restructuring of thinking. However, such an understanding of what works and what does not allow you to sell more – sell what your customers like.
Selling a product or service for $ 1,000 is heavier than anything for $ 7 or $ 25.Therefore, it is very important that your interaction starts with something small. As you build your credibility and prove your reliability to the client, you can sell more expensive products.
Russel Brunson uses the expression “ladder of value”, which describes the process of increasing the value of the goods or services that you offer to the client after he takes the first small step. First you offer an e-book for $ 7, then a video course for $ 25, then a full course of study for $ 197, and all this is on the way to selling a product for tens of thousands of dollars.
The higher the price of the product, the longer the sales cycle. And it works in both online and offline business. This is a sequence of educational and trust-building content: from webinars and video trainings to offline events with answers to questions your audience has. And all this will happen before you decide to give a hint about placing your order with your potential buyers. You need to earn the right to it. 75% of the sales process now is education.
The good news is that many of these steps can be automated.
Small, inexpensive deals can lead to expensive pre-sales, as the technology itself moves the buyer through an automated marketing funnel.
Improve management reporting
CEOs and senior management will listen to you and follow your recommendations if you show them analytical data.
And they can be very simple: for example, the list of resources, ad campaigns or publications that brought you the most subscribers.
In the past, only audience metrics worked. Marketing can now determine successful campaigns and provide transparent data to its management, who can then quickly make a decision. It saves you time and money. And it allows you to quickly introduce change and innovation.
Manage multichannel marketing
A marketing campaign often uses many different channels. There are social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. In addition, you can still use paid advertising on the Internet.
New media varied and tangled. And social media is just part of it. Email is another very important channel for all businesses , from small to large. Automate internet marketing allows you to manage this entire complex and complex system.
Entry-level applications, such as Hootsuite, automate and plan the placement of publications by teams working remotely. Internet marketing automation platforms for advanced users, rapidly evolving, provide a set of sophisticated all-in-one tools that enable the entire marketing department to manage and control all their activities in new media.
Reduce staff costs
In the past, in order to create a landing page, you needed weeks to create design, develop, and test. And it could cost even $ 2000 and more.
Now it is easy and simple to create landing pages that are integrated into your marketing automation system. You can do this on the online marketing platform GetResponse. Create landing / landing pages , include them in Marketing Automation, run and start testing.
Then you can connect A / B testing of two or more different landing pages for webinars , download an e-book and see which ones bring you more sales.
The routine tasks of managing various marketing campaigns and funnels will work in one click when you configure them. Reassign all these tasks to a smart software platform. And she will work for you when you sleep or relax on vacation. But remember: you need to check this work to eliminate possible failures when scaling processes.
Automate marketing and increase sales!
If you do not know the reason for failure or success, it will be difficult to understand who (or what) is responsible.
Digital marketing programs allow you to measure the number of subscribers, the involvement and the process of heating them before transferring the lead to the sales department. Measuring marketing results separately from sales makes the responsibility of each team transparent. Now poking fingers at each other will not work!
Shorten the time
The Industrial Revolution provided tools and machines for scaling up production.The computer age gives us programs for scaling up marketing. Marketing funnels can now be debugged once and used many times.
We have already removed the routine tasks of sending and publishing announcements and messages, as well as measuring their effectiveness. Things like the numerous statements of marketing processes by the management can also be controlled by cloud technologies. All this saves a lot of time. Therefore, we can concentrate on the really important things. And this is the brainstorming of new ideas, research and testing of various content .
Interact on large-scale tasks with partners around the world
Such a collaboration in the modern Internet community is becoming the norm. In the past, for many it was too difficult.
Here before there was such a dark art, which was called affiliate marketing. He was scolded from time to time, but now everything is changing. This type of marketing will help your small business build up huge marketing muscles. First, launch a new online product, book, or training. Then build a team of your agents, other small businesses that have access to your potential buyers. And it will increase your marketing by 10,000%.
Nowadays, interaction with 100 or more partners is already common practice. She created a new economy, built on trust and sharing content. Information transparency is what allows different businesses to work together. And this is impossible without smart software solutions.
Previously, interaction with affiliate partners required a lot of paperwork, and it was almost impossible to measure the exact contribution of partners and the amount of payments for them. The Internet and technology have changed everything. Leads can now be tracked and distributed using special browser markers (cookies), determining which partner made the lead your subscriber.
Therefore, joint ventures and collaborations are a huge advantage in modern marketing, which at times enhances your efficiency, thanks to new digital technologies.
Provide more qualified leads
Between marketing and sales there was always a showdown on the question of who did not fulfill the plan for revenue.
Sales blamed marketing for not providing them with more or less qualified leads.Marketing responded to sales that they do not know how to close deals. Old analog systems, guesses, and intuition made it difficult to determine the qualifications of leads and made it longer. Very often I had to rely on feedback from sellers and their assistants. This horror lasted for decades.
Marketing Automation to digital systems allow you to score the level of heating and lead involvement as you move along the marketing funnel.
Here is how it looks on the simplified scheme:
Step 1. Low engagement is like, share or even a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn comment.
Step 2. Higher engagement is a subscription to your email list when the subscriber downloads an e-book or attends a webinar.
Step 3. A phone call from sellers. If you are selling online products, then this is the offer of a landing page or educational webinar that has a call to action
Step 4. Making a personal meeting with a potential buyer
Step 5. Deal!
Digital automation platforms help build and manage the entire process, which was previously done manually and based largely on guesswork and intuition.
Practice creativity and innovation.
Freeing people from routine tasks always stimulates creativity. It is worth freeing people from the long suffering on papers and spreadsheets, as the computer can do this work in seconds.
In this case, the marketer will be able to focus and spend more time on new design of landing pages or more creative viral content.
BuzzFeed at one time used this opportunity to create virus tests with various topics, for example, with this: “What career should you choose.” She became the most popular. This test attracts and holds attention with the image of Oprah and such bright questions as: “What would you take with you to a desert island?” Result: the test has more than 20 million views.
Interestingly, creativity rises when you use technology, and not vice versa.Therefore, to sit without movement is not an option in our rapidly developing digital world. And this applies to technology and creativity.
Marketing Automation – Challenges
Implementing and managing Marketing Automation in digital is not an easy process.It includes:
- Attracting the right specialists
Big data specialists and conversion optimizers are completely new professions, and education, finding them in the market, and also hiring is quite troublesome. But the training in this area is not enough.
- Attraction of financing
When resources are limited, it is always difficult to ask for money to buy software and the resources needed to manage it.
- Overcoming stereotypes and inert thinking
Old-school marketers who grew up with the mass media will desperately resist change. And this is a fact that should not be underestimated. “The question is not only to support new ideas, but also to abandon old ones,” said John Maynard Keynes at the time.
Perhaps you have not yet implemented marketing automation in digital.
The reasons are most likely in the following:
- Fear of the new, the unknown
- Apparent complexity
- Lack of resources
I am sure you immediately thought of any other obstacles. But do not let them interfere with your next steps. And you will be amazed at what new tools can do with your business. Scaling, control and measurement are just a few things that will be available to you. Not to mention increasing the number of leads and sales, if you do it right. “