Marketing automation best practices: a guide to maximize efficiency
Within the hyper-competitive, constantly evolving digital landscape, marketers must proactively engage strategies and technologies that can give them a competitive edge.
While managing diverse campaigns, marketing teams often find themselves balancing a multitude of objectives that may, at times, seem conflicting. Creating a personalized and engaging audience experience while optimizing content for search and the specific platform while ensuring that the marketing campaign generates leads, converts, and provides ROI—these are just a few of the concerns marketers must juggle at any given time.
With so much to accomplish, digital marketing agency teams increasingly rely on automation to make their lives easier by streamlining marketing tasks and workflows. From automating routine tasks like email campaigns and social media posts to segmenting customer personas using data analytics, marketing automation can be an indispensable tool in any business’ marketing arsenal.
And, today, we’re revealing the marketing automation best practices businesses can use to optimize their campaigns and drive revenue.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation involves the use of marketing automation software, a marketing automation platform, and SaaS platforms specifically designed to help marketers automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflows. This can, in turn, save time, convert prospects into sales, brake down silos, and improve customer relationships.1
In fact, the benefits of marketing automation include:
- Increased efficiency – By automating routine tasks—such as email marketing automation and social media posting—brands can streamline workflows and free up time for individuals to focus on value-add activities.
- Enhanced customer experience – With the help of customer data, businesses can tailor messaging and engagement strategies to cater to a customer’s tastes and needs, creating a more personalized experience.
- Data-driven decision-making – Automation tools gather, collate, and analyze troves of consumer data. These marketing data analytics are then used to generate actionable insights that marketers can use to improve their campaigns and drive revenue.
- Lead management – Automation helps nurture leads down the marketing funnel with personalized touchpoints, which boost conversion rates.
- Scalability – Marketing automation enables a brand to scale marketing campaigns, even with fewer resources.
- Multichannel marketing – Thanks to marketing automation, businesses can effectively engage consumers across various marketing channels, delivering personalized content through the most impactful channel.
What marketing tasks can be automated?
Marketing automation is an all-encompassing term that can refer to various tools and technologies that enable marketers to streamline their efforts and amplify their impact. Some solutions may be designed for a niche aspect of marketing automation, whereas comprehensive marketing automation platform choices, such as a customer relationship management (CRM) system, come equipped with dozens of built-in automations that are ready to go out of the gate.
In this era of rapid digital transformation, the question isn’t so much “what marketing tasks can be automated,” but rather, “what marketing tasks can’t be automated?”
The beauty of this technology is that there are seemingly endless areas to create new efficiencies. As such, it seems as though the marketing landscape undergoes a daily reshaping.
That said, let’s explore just a few of the specific marketing tasks that can be automated to drive efficiency and effectiveness:2
- Email marketing automation:
- Welcome emails
- Drip campaigns
- Sign-ups and permissions
- Customer segmentation
- Abandoned cart emails
- Automated list sanitizers
- Post-purchase follow-ups
- Upselling and cross-selling emails
- Event reminders
- Feedback and review requests
- Lead nurturing workflows
- Social media marketing:
- Content scheduling
- Social listening and monitoring
- RSS feed integration
- Social media advertising
- Auto-responses and chatbots
- Hashtag monitoring
- Influencer outreach and engagement
- Social media analytics
- Content marketing:
- Content planning
- Content curation
- Content distribution
- SEO optimization
- Content performance trafficking
- Lead generation and nurturing
- Social media sharing
- Customer segmentation:
- Data collection and analysis
- Behavior-based segmentation
- Demographic segmentation
- Purchase history segmentation
- Engagement and interaction segmentation
- Predictive analytics
- Customer lifecycle automation
- Paid ad:
- Ad campaign scheduling
- Ad bidding and optimization.
- Ad creative rotation
- Dynamic ad personalization.
- Retargeting and remarketing
- A/B Testing
- Ad budget allocation
- Ad placement optimization
- Ad reporting and insights
- Customer relationship management (CRM):
- Data entry and management
- Lead scoring and routing
- Email automation and personalization
- Sales funnel and pipeline management
- Task and activity reminders
- Customer onboarding
- Customer support and ticketing
- Customer surveys and feedback
- Reporting analytics
4 marketing automation best practices for maximizing efficiency
The possibilities for automation within marketing are seemingly endless, but it’s important to recognize that these technologies must be implemented carefully and strategically; a haphazard approach could result in a dozen new headaches for every issue that automation was meant to solve.
For this reason, consider keeping the following four tips in mind to ensure marketing automation efficiency and success.
Tip #1: Get to know the audience
“Know your audience” is the golden rule of marketing, and automation makes it possible to know audiences more intimately than ever before throughout the entirety of their customer journey and buying cycle.
Powerful machine learning, AI, and data analytics tools harness the potential of consumers’ behavioral and purchasing data. Using this raw data, these technologies can develop highly detailed customer personas by segmenting groups according to their defining characteristics, including:
- Preferred messaging channels
- Pain points
Equipped with this knowledge, a brand is no longer simply targeting an abstract consumer segment; instead, it’s now engaging with individual personas. This enables marketers to craft personalized content within an automated marketing campaign that still resonates with the unique needs and preferences of the individual.
Put simply, automation doesn’t just amplify a brand’s reach—it enhances the targeting and precision of each action taken.
Tip #2: Set up lead scoring
Automated lead scoring can help marketing teams rank prospects according to perceived value and then determine where they fall in the sales funnel. This knowledge can help businesses better target customers with the ideal follow-up via automated campaigns.
By establishing a lead scoring model, brands can prioritize the top leads and respond accordingly, which increases the rate and likelihood that they turn into customers.
How does this work?
Each lead is assigned a numeric value (or score) based on multiple factors. As Oracle notes, most models will prioritize two scoring dimensions:3 “Prospect identity: Who the prospect is, signified by explicit data that determines fit, such as title, industry, and company revenues. Prospect engagement: How interested the prospect is, indicated by implicit data that determines the level of engagement, such as frequent visits to your website and responsiveness to promotions.”
This analytical approach ensures that hot leads don’t get lost in the bottom of the pile of junk leads. And even better? This information can be applied throughout the entirety of the marketing and sales funnel.
Tip #3: Engage in dynamic lead nurturing
Along these lines, even two customers within the same segment may be at different places within the sales funnel. In other words, each lead’s journey is unique.
So, instead of forcing every lead down the same predetermined path, marketers can create dynamic lead nurturing cycles bespoke to the individual’s needs and preferences.
Dynamic lead nurturing is an adaptive process that forgoes a one-size-fits-all approach by adjusting the content, timing, and communication method according to the individual’s tastes and actions.
How would this play out?
Let’s consider the dynamic lead nurturing workflow for a SaaS company selling project management tools:
- Lead capture – SaaS acquires a new lead when a tech startup manager downloads a free
- Initial nurture – The lead begins receiving automated email content relevant to their interests and industry, which might include in-depth articles on project management.
- Behavioral trigger – The lead clicks on the link in an email about advanced project management features, which then triggers a change in the nurture campaign to start sending more detailed information about that topic through email automation.
- Sales-ready trigger – After engaging with multiple pieces of content about advanced features, the lead visits the pricing page, which triggers a sales-ready alert that passes nurturing from the marketing to the sales team.
- Sales follow-up – The sales team, equipped with the lead’s interaction history and specific interests, can reach out with a tailored demo focusing on the advanced features.
Tip #4: Continuousl track performance metrics
While marketing automation may offer the allure of streamlined, hands-off operations, the mantra of ‘set and forget’ couldn’t be further from the truth when the rubber meets the road.
In other words, although automation may seem like a set-and-forget solution, it’s anything but.
The power of automation lies in the ability to consistently track and analyze performance, empowering marketers to make the necessary tweaks to refine strategies and adjust workflows as necessary.
Successful automated campaigns undergo a continuous optimization process. A business needs to know what works and what doesn’t, then adjust accordingly. Armed with metrics on conversion rates, customer engagement, open rates, and so on, marketers can fine-tune their strategies in real-time in line with variable market dynamics.
Maximize efficiency to inspire brand growth
In a competitive marketplace characterized by rapid change, marketing automation is an essential tool for gaining a competitive edge. By harnessing the power of this maerketing automation software, businesses can automate repetitive tasks, streamline workflows, and generate actionable customer insights from customer data.
And if successful, efficient automation is the goal, keep in mind the following best practices:
- Get to know the audience
- Establish lead scoring
- Leverage dynamic lead nurturing
- Continuously track performance metrics and adjust as needed
To stay up-to-date about other marketing best practices, partner with Power Digital. Our marketing strategists thrive at the intersection of brand and growth, utilizing cutting-edge technologies and innovative best practices to take our clients’ marketing efforts to new heights.
Reach out today to learn more.
- Adobe. Learn about Marketing Automation and How it Works. https://business.adobe.com/blog/basics/marketing-automation
- American Marketing Association. What Marketing Tasks Should I Automate in 2022 https://www.ama.org/2022/04/29/what-marketing-tasks-should-i-automate-in-2022/
- Oracle. What Is Lead Scoring? https://www.oracle.com/cx/marketing/lead-management/what-is-lead-scoring/