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Marketing automation – all marketing activities in one tool

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 Marketing Automation (MA) is a term that comes up more and more often in the context of digitization of companies and there are quite a few MA tools on the market.

At SaphirSolution, we run paid advertising on social media directly through the panels provided by Facebook, LinkedIn or TikTok. The situation is similar with Google Ads, here marketing data can be analyzed with Google Search Console and Google Analytics. With so many different tools at our disposal, do we still need a dedicated marketing automation system? What does it actually consist of and why does it often prove to be the key to increasing a company’s business? Let’s take a closer look at what exactly marketing automation is and what all these solutions are actually used for. Here we go!

Table of contents:

  • What is Marketing Automation?
  • Omnichannel communication in a marketing automation tool
  • Where do marketing automation tools get user data from?
  • Marketing Automation Features
  • Email Marketing Campaigns
  • SMS synchronization
  • Social Listening
  • Paid Advertising (PPC)
  • Customer journey
  • Scoring as the basis for marketing automation activities

What is Marketing Automation?

By definition, marketing automation is the execution of marketing activities with the help of dedicated software. It aims to improve sales processes by using data about user interactions with the company. Such interaction can be, for example, entering certain cards on the website, signing up for a newsletter or a webinar. This makes it possible to carry out automated and personalized marketing communications with potential customers.

In the introduction to this article, the media were mentioned, without which it is difficult to imagine marketing activities in the age of digital marketing, such as Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin. A large number of tools and thus the huge amounts of data that are collected in all these sources is certainly remarkable. In practice, this leads to major challenges in analyzing marketing data and difficulties in making the most effective decisions.

Marketing automation tools such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud allow us to conduct activities and collect data across all of these mediums. In addition, the Marketing Cloud enables the analysis of keywords, trends, PPC campaigns on social media, email and SMS communication and thus the constant optimization of our actions. All this happens in a single tool that allows us to create dashboards analyzing the main profitability indicators of all marketing activities (such as ROI, ROAS or CTR). This is of great help in making the most profitable business decisions.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud screenshot
Source: Salesforce.com

Omnichannel communication in a marketing automation tool

One of the main benefits of marketing automation tools is message personalization. Especially in the e-commerce business, a large number of users visit the website. A single marketer is not able to create an optimal, effective and individual communication channel for specific users. Marketing automation tools make this possible by improving the whole process.

MA tools analyze information about which users open emails or text messages most often, whether they respond to discounts, and how they make purchasing decisions. This allows them to segment customers and customize the way they communicate to increase the chances for a purchase.

Where do marketing automation tools get user data from?

Our activities on the Internet are monitored by cookies and IP addresses. Cookies track what activity is being done on the website and in particular which bookmarks are being visited. Thanks to the IP addresses, the system is able to link data about activities with a specific user. Marketing automation tools do not provide us any information about who exactly visited our website. As internet users, we don’t want anyone to have such data. However, if the user voluntarily leaves their data (e.g. by creating an account on the website or registering for a newsletter), the system can associate the previously collected data with the user and enable the personalization of content and messages. If used wisely, this is beneficial for both sides.

Marketing Automation Features

Marketing automation tools are very complex and have many features. We already mentioned customer segmentation, campaign optimization and content personalization above. But there is more.

Email Marketing Campaigns

Marketing automation allows you to create automated email marketing campaigns. You can use this to send mass newsletters, for example. However, the greatest benefit comes from the so-called dynamic content. Let’s imagine we own a clothing ecommerce store and we want to run a spring sale. Thanks to the dynamic content, we can send an email with photos of t-shirts to the male part of the target group and dresses to the female part. Thanks to this type of personalization, we can significantly increase the conversion rate of such campaigns.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud email marketing screenshot
Source: Salesforce.com

SMS synchronization

For many businesses, SMS messages can be an excellent complement to marketing communications. Despite its short form, which requires a concise wording of the message, it can achieve a very high open rate. In addition, it is possible to tailor these types of messages to the respective location. For example, if someone is near your shoe store, you can send them a message with a promotional code for a specific shoe model.

Social Listening

Marketing automation tools are also very useful when it comes to monitoring social media trends. Accessible dashboards allow you to follow what’s being written about your brand online and review current trends, which can be very helpful for real-time marketing actions. If you are interested in how it works exactly, you can find more information here.

Paid Advertising (PPC)

It is also possible to display PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads, e.g. on Facebook, directly from the marketing automation panels. This is not only convenient, but also allows you to measure and compare the effectiveness of such actions with campaigns conducted in other media.

Customer journey

The real fun begins when we combine all of these functionalities into a personalized “customer journey”. In short, the customer journey is a series of specific actions. e.g. Messages sent to a specific user at specific points in their purchase process. When creating such journeys in professional MA tools, the sky’s the limit.

This way you can solve the problem of abandoned carts in e-commerce store, for example. In case a user adds products to the cart but ultimately does not make a purchase, such a path might consist of an email message that is automatically sent after a day and contains a reminder of the products waiting in the cart. After a further two days, a customer can receive an SMS message with a discount on one of these products, and at a later date a consultant can be notified to customize communication with such a user. Such promotions significantly increase sales in the e-commerce business.

Scoring as the basis for marketing automation activities

In the upper part of this article, we described how marketing automation tools get their data about users. The question arises as to how else you can use them.

By interacting with the company through the website, the tool adds points. For example, there is 1 point for entering a particular tab, 2 points for subscribing to the newsletter, 5 points for adding products to the cart and 10 points for completing a purchase. The more points a given user has, the more committed they are to the brand. In practice, this means that the company should communicate with this user in a different way than with a person who has a low score, such as e.g. B. a new customer.

 Scoring gives us another, very important piece of information about the distribution of points earned over time. If a particular user has accumulated a lot of points, but it has been a few months since the last points, we receive information about the loss of a customer who is committed to the brand and the need to try to persuade them to return.

Marketing automation not only allows us to send personalized messages across different channels, but also tells us when we should take certain actions in order not to lose a customer and offer them the best possible experience with our brand.

Salesforce Marketing automation screenshot
Source: Salesforce.com

Bottom Line – How Does Implementing Marketing Automation Tools Affect Businesses? 

As you can see, marketing automation tools can vary and have many features, both simple and complex such as AI-based features. The final design, functionality and cost of the tool depend entirely on the company’s expectations. However, most agree that it is a technology that has revolutionized both B2B and B2C businesses.

According to a report by Annuitas Group, the technology increases qualified leads by an average of 451% when deployed. It also helps increase sales efficiency by 12.2%, according to Nucleus Research. According to a survey conducted by Gleanster, respondents believe the greatest value of this type of tool is the ability to set measurable goals for a marketing campaign.

So if you’re wondering whether it’s worth introducing a marketing automation tool to your business, the answer is yes. Although the initial investment in implementing MA software, which is highly customized to the needs and model of a specific business, is relatively expensive, you can quickly achieve a high ROI with this tool. Thanks to the generated leads and the enlarged customer base, you will see a significant increase in sales. Also, your customers’ loyalty will increase and your employees will spend their time planning the most effective marketing campaigns based on quality data.

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