Among the key tools to carry out your marketing strategy and achieve your objectives, Marketing Automation is the essential solution to implement! What is it exactly? And what are its benefits? We tell you everything in this article…
Marketing automation: definition
Marketing automation refers to methods and tools that automate repetitive tasks by running preconceived marketing scenarios, with the purpose of motivating the user (customer or prospect) in the purchase process.
Analyse your users’ actions 🔎
Thus, Marketing Automation consists of analysing and recording users’ actions to evaluate their behaviour. For example, it is possible to analyse :
- Their purchase history and/or product preference of an existing customer.
- Their journey on a website: which pages were consulted, via which link, at what time, for how long, from which location (country, city…), via which device (PC, tablet, mobile)…
- Their actions from an email: was the email opened, how many times, which links were clicked, was the email forwarded, did it result in a purchase…
- Their interactions with the company on social networks: what content has been read, liked, shared…
All these actions are recorded and stored in the Marketing Automation tool. This gives you a journey through the behaviour of each of your users.
What is an automation made of? 🤔
A marketing automation system works on an action/reaction basis. Such a system consists of:
- A database in which the information and actions of users (e.g. visitors to a site) will be recorded.
- Communication channels such as email or SMS.
- A logic engine to trigger a scenario based on a set of predefined conditions such as: “IF the user CLICKS on the link, THEN an email is SENT“.
Case study: lead generation and marketing automation
Let’s take the example of a prospect’s visit to your website. You can see which page they visit, the duration of their visit and where they come from, but at this stage you have no information about their identity.
Setting up CTA
As visitors of your website are registered in anonymous mode (identified thanks to their IP), you must invite them to tell you more thanks to calls to action – very much used in inbound marketing. For example, you can invite them to :
- Follow your company and/or product on social networks.
- Provide their email address to subscribe to your newsletter.
- Download a white paper in exchange for their contact information.
- Book a free demo with a link to your calendar by filling in a simple registration form.
Your visitor is no longer anonymous, so you can now have a personal conversation with them!
💡 Limber’s Call-To-Action allow the integration of contact forms from Marketing Automation tools. Lead generation allows to obtain fine-grained information. For example: lead Y was generated thanks to the distribution of such a blog post, on the Twitter channel.
Take your prospect step by step through nurturing
The next step is to get them into a nurturing cycle (see below “Nurturing through marketing automation”). Nurturing consists of feeding the prospect with specific content that will help him to mature.
The objective is to move your now identified prospect through the buying cycle and then to get them to make a purchase. You need to convert the prospect into a customer with the help of your marketing automation tool.
React by triggering a series of automated actions
The strength of marketing automation is that it allows you to react to your prospect’s actions in a personalised way. If, for example, your prospect has downloaded a trial version of your product, you can react by emailing them a guide for the first few connexions, followed by examples of customer cases…
💡 You can imagine all possible scenarios. Be careful though to always send relevant marketing content!
Scoring and marketing automation
Beyond the simple action/reaction process, you can also set up a scoring system. The interest for you is to be able to estimate when your prospect is mature and therefore probably ready to listen to your sales team.
In other words, it is a matter of assigning points to each of your prospect’s actions. For example, you can assign points to your web pages:
- A visit to the homepage is worth 5 points.
- If he visited the “Customer cases” page, it is worth 10 points.
- The contact page = 15 points, etc.
You can also apply this system to e-mails: 3 points if the person opens your e-mail, 5 extra points if they click on a link, etc.
All these points allow you to estimate the maturity of your prospect in his decision process. And you can react at the right time, by adapting the right marketing and sales strategy.
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) ou Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
Depending on the criteria you have determined, your prospect is considered to be an MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) or SQL (Sales Qualified Lead). This means that he has shown a particular interest in the content sent and that he has reached a certain stage of maturity in his decision-making process.
In the end, if for example your prospect reaches the 60 score level to be considered as SQL, the prospect enters a particular segment. Your sales team is notified and can enter into a personalized relationship with him. The entire path is recorded (visits, downloads, email openings, clicks). This knowledge of the prospect’s journey gives your sales team major advantages.
💡 The score can of course change downwards: if your prospect has not been back to your website for a while, it is possible to take away points as time goes by.
Nurturing through marketing automation
Nurturing, which in our context could be translated as “education”, consists of nurturing your prospect’s interest by sending them relevant content until they contact you or reach a certain score.
In long sales cycles, it is difficult to imagine selling to your prospect at the first interaction.
If we take the example mentioned above, after having sent a trial offer by e-mail, you could send a second e-mail two days later with a few simple examples of use, and then in a third e-mail a few examples of successful projects by your customers (customer cases)…
The benefits of marketing automation
The operational benefits of marketing automation can be seen quite easily, the productivity of your marketing team is increased tenfold:
- As all low-value tasks are automated, the team can concentrate on other tasks.
- Real-time information processing (big data) allows your team to process hundreds of visitors and prospects at the same time.
- Your prospects receive personalized content, corresponding to their behavior, leading to improved satisfaction.
- You significantly improve your customer knowledge thanks to the data you collect.
Marketing automation, an exploding market
The marketing automation market is growing by about 20% each year and is expected to reach $5 billion by 2024 (Deloitte Insights, 2019 – source).
Previously reserved for large groups, companies of all sizes are now seeking access to these technologies.
Limber was designed to deploy your Content Marketing, Social Selling and Employee Advocacy strategies with ease. The platform allows you to centralise content and share it on various channels such as newsletter, blog and social networks.
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