How Does Marketing Automation Help Businesses

How Does Marketing Automation Help Businesses

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Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Senior Executive Content
Updated on Dec 19, 2023 16:19 IST

This comprehensive blog explores the significance of marketing automation, its benefits for businesses, key tools, and differences in B2B and B2C strategies. It delves into challenges, core functionalities, top tools like HubSpot, Sendinblue, Marketo, Salesforce Pardot, ClickUp, and Oracle Eloqua, offering insights on implementation for business growth.

marketing automation

Marketing automation streamlines all online marketing activities, makes businesses efficient and eventually helps in increasing ROI. Learn about how it works and which marketing automation tools are great for your business.

Table of Contents

  1. Defining marketing automation
  2. Why marketers need marketing automation
  1. How does marketing automation work
  1. How marketing automation differs for B2B and B2C marketers
  1. Marketing automation tools
  1. How to use marketing automation tools to grow your business

Defining Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to the process of automating repetitive activities across all digital marketing channels. The process leverages marketing automation tool (s) to increase efficiency in marketing efforts, improve the customer journey and so on. 

Businesses can use marketing automation software to communicate to customers at any stage of the sales funnel. This is done to build and nurture customer relationships, deploy solutions to overcome why qualified prospects are not converting to leads, improve productivity across sales and marketing teams, etc. All these factors result in increasing the bottom line of a business through maximum efficiency.  

Marketing automation also addresses the growing adoption of digital marketing channels across the world. With increasing competition and rising technological trends, even small to medium-size businesses are adopting marketing automation strategies. 

In 2020, the global marketing automation size was $4,438.7 million. By 2030, it is estimated to be at $14,180.6 million according to Research and Markets.  

Why Marketers Need Marketing Automation 

Have a look at the top challenges that businesses are facing without marketing automation. You will also see how marketing automation helps overcome the challenges. 

Email Deliverability

Email deliverability lets marketers measure the success of sending the email to the recipient’s inbox. It depends on factors such as the sender’s reputation, infrastructures – IP and Email Service Providers,  Authentication Frameworks, etc. 

When businesses do not use marketing automation software, it is next to impossible to know if emails are successfully delivered. According to Statista, ‘spam messages accounted for 45.37 percent of e-mail traffic in December 2021’. 

2022_05_spam-emails.jpg

There are specific tools such as SpamTitan that show you important metrics such as Sender Reputation. But there are other factors to consider. They are good subject lines, email content, a healthy updating list of email recipients, etc. 

Now, email marketing automation software can help in these aspects. Additionally, they also help you optimise your emails by providing authentication checkers, mobile-responsive email design templates and so on. 

Lead Management – Dealing with Non-Converting Leads

Lead generation is a multi-stage process. And 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when a brand offers personalised experiences (Epsilon research). 

Leads won’t convert into sales when there is a disconnect between marketing and sales teams. Usually, leads are generated from a variety of sources – websites, campaigns, etc. These need proper categorisation after they are collected. That is, some leads need to progress to sales and some to nurturing. 

Now, marketing automation allows marketers to filter such data automatically.  Without it, marketers make errors by passing all leads to the sales process instead of nurturing the correct ones. According to Marketing Sherpa,  due to the lack of lead nurturing, 79% of leads do not convert into sales. 

Tracking User Engagement Across All Channels in Real-Time

Marketing automation platforms come with a variety of features for different types of digital marketing needs. As you saw above, nurturing leads becomes easy with marketing automation. The platforms can be used for automating emails, mobile apps, and social media campaigns.

And since data is collected and filtered automatically, it is easier to engage website or mobile app users in a unified way. All marketers have to do with a marketing automation software is set up campaigns and workflows. They can be common workflows including welcome emails, cart abandonment reminders, etc. 

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These steps improve efficiency in campaigns across all marketing channels. It also means that running multi-channel campaigns will take less effort with a marketing automation platform. 

In general, marketing automation platforms allow communicating with the right people at the right time through the right digital marketing channel. As personalisation is the buzzword today, it is essential to send the right messages at the most critical time when the customer is about to buy or wants to know more about the product/service. 

Challenge of Integrating Marketing Automation Software 

While the market size of marketing automation platforms is increasing, more and more companies are adopting it. But such tools are not a guarantee of instant revenue growth or success in marketing campaigns. Teams from marketing and sales need to be trained to use them. This is one major challenge among users as they do not have the right expertise and they may end up misallocating resources or communicating wrongly. 

How Does Marketing Automation Work

Let’s look at the core areas of marketing automation.

Workflows For Streamlining Communication

Generally, in marketing automation platforms, there are workflows or sequences that enable different actions at different stages of the customer journey. Workflow automation is an essential component of marketing automation. It includes the following areas. 

  • Triggers, when the lead or prospect purchases a product or service from the website or signs up for the newsletter
  • Delays, defining the time between different stages of workflow actions
  • Conditions, that the lead or prospect must match, such as signing up or purchasing. This relates to conditional logic such as If/Then. 
  • Actions, that the business makes when conditions are not met

As the marketing environment is becoming too customer-centric, a marketing automation workflow can help in personalising communication and optimising available resources. Workflows can be created for all stages of the buyer’s journey – from building relationships to improving engagement and brand loyalty. 

Predictive Analytics For Decision-Making

For making accurate future decisions, marketing automation tools feature predictive analytics. What these tools do is track customer behaviour in real-time across multiple digital channels. 

The tools can show what will be a good time to post or send a welcome or follow-up email to prospects. They also help in lead scoring, determining which prospect is ready for purchase. 

How Marketing Automation Differs For B2B and B2C Marketers

The need for marketing automation platforms differs from segment to segment. See below how B2B and B2C marketers use marketing automation. 

B2B Marketing Automation

Compared to the B2C world, B2B consumers do not buy on impulse. Lead nurturing takes in longer in the B2B environment, as prospects take weeks to months to decide on a purchase. Naturally, the sales cycle becomes longer. 

And, since it is a business-to-business market, there is collective decision-making. According to a Gartner study, 7 out of 100 people in a company are involved in a purchasing decision. And there are multiple touchpoints to consider while prospecting in the B2B environment. 

B2B marketing automation can be used to generate multiple workflows for the prospects to convert across the different touchpoints. The primary goal for B2B marketing automation is educating and showcasing one’s business as a thought leader in the niche business environment. 

Some examples are

  • Following up and sending the leads to the business’ product pages
  • Sharing educational content including whitepapers, case studies, etc to show authority over the product they sell. Based on that, B2B customers can research and get to understand how their business’s challenges can be solved. 

B2C Marketing Automation

There are quite a few similarities between B2C and B2B marketing automation. But it differs in terms of a shorter sales cycle and workflows. B2C marketing automation relies on providing brand awareness and loyalty, keeping consumers hooked, etc. For that, it revolves around personalising communication with individual customers from the target audience. 

Here are some popular examples of B2C marketing automation. 

  • Sending welcome emails the moment the lead signs up for a brand’s newsletter
  • Rewarding loyal customers with discounts on products or services
  • Retargeting customers who have abandoned their carts during the checkout process
  • Social listening and getting real-time insights on likes, comments and shares to develop or tweak social media campaigns

Marketing Automation Tools

Here are some common features to know in marketing automation tools. 

Most Common Features in Marketing Automation Tools To Look For

For Email Marketing 

  • Landing pages – Used for email marketing campaigns, the tools come with drag and drop editors for marketers to design without IT skills. 
  • Testing – Marketing automation tools provide A/B testing functionalities for each component of email – subject lines, copies, etc.
  • Email Deliverability – Such tools go beyond the regular email service providers. They further help manage subscriber and non-subscriber lists, provide dedicated IP addresses, etc
  • Report Analysis and Planning – Most marketing automation tools provide thorough analysis reports covering dedicated metrics such as bounce rate, number of subscribers, etc

For Lead Generation and Management 

  • Segmentation – Such tools feature filters for segmenting an entire database of customers based on demographics
  • Online Behaviours – They also help in tracking the online behaviours of the target audience. They track emails, conduct social listening, etc
  • Bid Management – They enable automation for digital marketing campaigns. There are dedicated PPC automation software that help you bid in real-time.  
  • Device and Inventory Management – They can track your inventory levels. Based on that, they can send you alerts when the stock runs low automatically.  
  • CRM Integration – The solutions vary in functionalities when it comes to integrating Customer Relationship Management. By integrating both, businesses can provide a smoother journey for a customer. Not all marketing automation tools work equally when it comes to incorporating CRM into them. 
  • Sales Campaigns – You can automatically run targetted campaigns with such tools/ 

For Social Media Marketing

  • Social Listening – The tools can actively collect insights from all social media channels. This helps you know how the audience is engaging with your posts and how they are sharing or mentioning your brand’s name across social media.
  • Social Media Analytics – They help you with a complete picture of your marketing efforts on social media. Based on the metrics, tweak your social media campaigns.

Top Marketing Automation Tools

Here are the most popular marketing automation tools. 

HubSpot Marketing Automation

It is widely used for a variety of automation purposes. The platform can be used by an entire marketing team. The workflows are simple to create and you can further customise your own workflow triggers. Along with that, it allows integration with Salesforce. 

Who Needs HubSpot Marketing Automation?
  1. Small and medium-size businesses
  2. Content marketers
Is it free?

For using this tool, there are no free plans. You will have to choose the professional pack that starts at $800 per month. 

Sendinblue

Sendinblue is one of the top tools for automation. You can run campaigns on autopilot, handle lists based on collected customer behaviour and much more.

Create personal journeys for each customer based on their interests and test workflows with it. The platform also manages and cleans your contact list. 

Sendinblue also allows integrations with other eCommerce sites for you to utilise data more accurately. 

Who Needs Sendinblue?
  1. B2B and B2C companies
  2. eCommerce 
Is it free?

The platform is free for up to 2000 contacts. For unlimited use, you have to pay $65 per month. 

Marketo Engage

Acquired by Adobe, Marketo Engage helps in uncovering customer insights in real-time. It is powered by AI to help you segment audiences. Along with that, the parent company has been named as Leader for B2B marketing automation by Gartner. 

Who Needs Marketo Engage?
  1. Medium to large B2B enterprises

Is it free?

There are four pricing plans – Jumpstart, Select, Prime and Ultimate. For the pricing you will have to share your official details by clicking on the Contact Sales option on the website.  

Salesforce Pardot

It is a marketing automation software from Salesforce. Pardot is known for its visual functionality to include complex workflows other than a single drip campaign. The AI-driven tool is great for lead scoring as well as lead grading. (Lead grading is the process of determining which customer fits your focus group. On the other hand, lead scoring determines who shows interested in your product). 

Who Needs Pardot?
  1. B2B enterprises
  2. Sales departments
Is it free?

It does not offer any free plan. There are four versions, Growth, Plus, Advanced and Premium. The Growth plan starts at $1250 per month. 

ClickUp

This is a useful project management automation software for a marketing team. But is valuable for HR and Engineering departments in a company. 

It increases efficiency by automating repetitive tasks and allows multiple integrations with more than 1000 tools including Tableau

The tool also allows you to create your own CRM template with customisable dashboard widgets. You can store your contacts, and assign tasks for every action to be taken in the sales pipeline. 

Who Needs ClickUp?
  1. Startups
  2. Non-profits
  3. Large enterprises
Is it free?

It has a free plan with 100 Automations per month. 

Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation

This tool has a variety of features, from campaign, asset and lead management to sales and marketing integration. 

Use the advanced intelligence feature to customise communication to the right users. It features some unique functionalities – ‘fatigue analysis’, ‘account intelligence’ etc. These help in personalising communication to a great degree. 

For instance, you can use the ‘fatigue analysis’ to segment audiences based on whether they are active or inactive with your campaigns. You can then tweak your campaigns accordingly, in a much more accurate manner. 

Who Needs Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation?
  1. B2B Enterprises
Is it free?

It is not free. To know the pricing tiers, you will have to request a demo on the official website. 

How to Use Marketing Automation & Grow Your Business

Here are some basic steps to incorporate marketing automation tools for your business. 

  • Identify your business goals and choose the right marketing automation platform.
  • Integrate CRM tools for collaboration between marketing and sales teams.
  • Create a marketing automation workflow visually for all teams to understand the processes
  • Segment customer data
  • Create a content marketing strategy
  • Track the most important KPIs from top to bottom of your sales funnel. You can do that by determining the different attribution models. These include first touch, last touch and multi-touch attribution. 

Parting Thoughts

Hope you got to know all about marketing automation and the best marketing automation tools. If you want some hands-on experience, do check out the beginner-level Marketing Automation: Strategy & Implementation course on Udemy. Along with that, you can also look into the top digital marketing courses

FAQs

What are the top uses of marketing automation for marketers and customers?

The major uses and benefits of using marketing automation are the following: 1. Lead nurturing 2. Customer segmentation and improving customer journey with a 360 degree view of customers. 3. Campaign management 4. Integrating sales and marketing 5. Optimising ROI and faster business growth

What are the types of marketing automation tools?

Some of the main types of marketing automation platforms include: 1. Email marketing automation 2. Lead capturing marketing automation 3. eCommerce marketing automation 4. Social media marketing automation 5. Split testing marketing automation

What does a marketing automation person do?

A marketing automation professional is responsible for managing and implementing automated marketing strategies using specialised tools. Their tasks involve creating, executing, and monitoring automated campaigns across various digital channels such as email, social media, and websites. They design workflows, set up triggers, analyse data, optimise processes, and collaborate with teams to enhance customer engagement, lead generation, and overall marketing efficiency.

What skills do you need for marketing automation?

To excel in marketing automation, individuals require a blend of technical and analytical skills along with a solid understanding of marketing principles. Some essential skills include:

  1. Technical Proficiency: Competence in using marketing automation tools like HubSpot, Marketo, Salesforce, or similar platforms. Understanding how to set up campaigns, workflows, and automated processes is crucial.

  2. Data Analysis: Ability to interpret and analyse data to derive insights and make informed decisions. Skills in data segmentation, A/B testing, and interpreting key metrics are valuable.

  3. Content Creation: Capability to craft engaging content for emails, landing pages, and other marketing materials. Understanding the impact of content on audience engagement is essential.

  4. CRM and Database Management: Proficiency in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and database management to organise and manage customer data effectively.

  5. Coding and HTML Knowledge: Basic knowledge of HTML for email template editing and the ability to troubleshoot coding issues within the automation platform.

  6. Strategic Thinking: Capability to strategise and plan marketing campaigns aligned with business goals and audience needs.

  7. Communication Skills: Effective communication is vital, especially in collaborating with cross-functional teams like sales, content creators, and designers.

  8. Adaptability and Learning Agility: Marketing automation tools evolve; hence, individuals need to adapt to new technologies and continuously update their skills.

  9. Problem-Solving: Ability to identify issues within automation workflows and implement solutions to enhance efficiency and performance.

  10. Project Management: Skill in managing multiple projects simultaneously, setting priorities, and meeting deadlines within a fast-paced marketing environment.

What are the benefits of marketing automation?

The benefits of marketing automation encompass several advantages for businesses. 

  • Automation streamlines repetitive marketing tasks, saving time and resources. It allows for smoother workflow management across multiple channels.
  • It aids in nurturing leads by segmenting them based on behaviour, ensuring personalised interactions and higher conversion rates.
  • By optimising marketing efforts and targeting the right audience at the right time, automation contributes to improved return on investment (ROI).
  • Personalised and timely communications foster better relationships with customers.
  • Automation platforms generate valuable data insights, aiding in better decision-making through analytics and metrics tracking.
  • Automated campaigns ensure consistent messaging across various channels, maintaining brand voice and integrity.
  • Automation minimises human errors in marketing processes, ensuring accurate and consistent execution of campaigns.

     

About the Author
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Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Senior Executive Content

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio

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