Sure. Marketing automation is a somewhat lengthy name. It can sound like it calls for a complicated process that requires a ton of tech knowledge and a big budget to get right. That’s the thing about assumptions. Sometimes they’re wrong.
With marketing automation, things are actually the opposite of what they appear to be. Marketing automation is designed to make a marketer’s job easier. It can worry about some of your marketing processes so that you’re freed up to do other things. It can also help small teams to do more with less.
This has huge implications for a small business that might not have staff or money to throw at lead generation and development. For them, the right marketing automation software can mean that a small business’s sales generation can, in fact, be bigger than the sum of its parts.
Here’s what we mean.
What Marketing Automation Can Do For You
On a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, marketing teams have a lot going on. Marketing automation can make all of this a lot easier.
It automates the customer communications process so that customers are already categorized into segments based on an initial set of data, such as their age or gender.
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It continues to segment these customers based on an ongoing set of data, such as their purchase history with you. They can also be scored as a prospect based on their online activity.
This kind of activity takes some of the work out of a marketer’s job of understanding their customers. In fact, it may do the job better. That’s because it is constantly categorizing data points about online activity that human staff might not have the time to compile.
Marketing automation systems also send out a regular chain of emails based on customer activity that are tailored to what that prospect is showing about their preferences.
These include thank you emails that happen after a sale, checking in on a customer who has been searching a specific page on your website, or basic emails to answer general customer questions.
The system does these things for you, while you’re focusing on other parts of your job.
Quantifying Marketing Activity
Another important component of marketing automation is its capacity to quantify marketing activity in a deeper, more meaningful way. As marketing staff sets up and runs targeted campaigns, marketing automation systems can provide feedback on each component of those campaigns.
It can tell them how often certain articles and links were clicked on, which pieces of information led to sales, and what coupons or deals were most popular.
Additionally, marketing automation has the capability for AB testing so that it’s possible to see how one set of information, headlines, or messages were received by a target group as compared with the second set of different information. It can also give overall information on campaign results midstream.
Small Business Marketing Automation Programs for Every Budget
There has been a number of marketing automation programs that small businesses, even those on a tight budget, have been able to use if they want to see what this emerging discipline can do for them.
One of these programs is Constant Contact, which entered the market primarily as an automated email delivery tool. The platform has evolved into providing a number of other services including coupon delivery, some social media integration, and event planning integration. It costs about $15 a month for the most basic service level.