Marketing automation is the technology marketing departments use to support multi-channel digital marketing campaigns, establish a consistent brand presence, gain leads, and nurture customers.
As its name implies, the technology automatically manages all the marketing processes, saving marketers time and energy. Moreover, marketing automation enables strategic communication with prospects to create cohesive customer experiences that yield consistent revenues and improve brand image.
Automation is a growing industry: Statista revealed that the global marketing automation market value will reach 25.1 billion by the end of 2023 from 22.6 billion in 2022. The statistics show a need for marketing automation software and platforms.
Marketing automation offers significant advantages to businesses. Statista surveyed hundreds of marketers worldwide in February 2022, and here are its key findings:
- 43% feel that marketing automation improves the customer experience;
- 38% said that marketing automation enables better use of staff's time;
- 35% said marketing automation improved data and decision-making.
The statistics are also indicative of the key marketing automation benefits for businesses.
How Does Marketing Automation Work?
Marketing automation uses all the customer data you collect from emails, social media, chat, and other forms of communication to automate the marketing work and deliver tailored, personalized messages through streamlined segmentation and targeting processes.
Every time you get a new lead, you collect specific data about that customer, including contact details, but also website visits or app usage. This data creates a unique user profile that includes user behaviour and interests.
Eventually, you will have a database of thousands of leads. Imagine having to browse all these profiles to find the right audiences for a specific marketing campaign; it will be daunting. However, marketing automation can efficiently deliver personalized experiences -on email, mobile, group chat, messaging, SMS/MMS, push notifications, etc.
How Can Marketing Automation Help Your Business?
It's easy to answer the question: marketing automation helps you with everything it does:
- It saves time by offering you all the tools you need to automate the marketing process: lead generation forms, optimized landing pages, email nurturing programs, multi-channel campaigns, etc.
- It automates collecting and nurturing leads by gathering customer data at all touchpoints and leading consumers to the right content based on their interests and activity.
- It identifies the right audiences eliminating the guesswork and delivering your brand's messages to the consumers most likely to read them.
- You can set the marketing automation software to give customers prompt replies to their inquiries and FAQ.
- Personalized messages and marketing campaigns can help you build strong customer relationships.
- It offers analytics and reporting tools that can help monitor your campaigns - click-through rates, timing, channels, conversions, etc. - to see what works or doesn't work and improve your strategies for efficiency and effectiveness.
- It helps you reach customers with timely, relevant, and compelling content along their journey when they want, wherever they are, and how they want.
- It allows you to bring together your marketing, sales, and customer service teams to consolidate your brand message across all organizational departments, thus keeping your branding strategy consistent when you communicate with your clients.
Marketing Automation Software Features
Most marketing automation software and platforms offer features and tools to help you with:
- Lead capture: collecting customer data across all touchpoints;
- Lead scoring and management based on demographics, behavioural data, etc. to identify the best leads for every campaign;
- Lead nurturing: for example, sending regular one-off emails or personalized messages on other communication channels to keep existing customers engaged;
- Content management: customize all your marketing assets, from website content to emails, images, social media posts, push notifications, etc., all from within the marketing automation platform;
- Campaign management: automate the collecting and processing of all campaign data, qualified leads, SEO, A/B testing, social signals, and more to give you more time for strategy;
- The analytics and reporting feature gives you insights that will help you understand what works for planning future campaigns and real-time alerts to address issues and problems that hinder the success of a current campaign.
Marketing Automation Platforms
According to Statista, in 2021, the leading marketing automation solution providers worldwide were HubSpot, Adobe Experience Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Active Campaigns, and Salesforce Pardot, making up over 63% of the market. Of the top five, HubSpot was the most popular, with a 29.51% market share.
PC Mag identifies HubSpot Marketing Hub and Salesforce Pardot among the best marketing automation software of 2022. The magazine also recommends:
- Infusionsoft by Keap for small businesses;
- SendinBlue, with marketing automation and built-in CRM functionality suitable for small businesses;
- Zoho Campaigns for all-around digital marketing and automation solution for small and mid-sized businesses;
- Constant Contact for email automation, social media, and media buying;
- Campaigner, with email marketing, automation, and analytic features for advanced marketers.
These, however, are not the only players in the marketing automation landscape. Therefore, it would be best to research which solution works best - in pricing and features - for your business.