Streamlining your business

Marketing automation: the unicorn of digital marketing

It’s a brave new world when it comes to digital marketing.

If you’re responsible for marketing, you’ll be expected to expand your digital knowledge and capabilities and keep up with digital transformation. You also need to manage increasingly complex technology integrations and devise a marketing strategy and campaigns that directly affect the bottom line.

But what does a unicorn have to do with marketing? Plenty, when it’s a full-time digital marketing unicorn that sends emails, creates landing pages, tracks what everyone is doing on your website, creates content, posts on social media and drives leads and sales to your business.

Your digital marketing unicorn isn’t a person. It’s marketing automation, which combines email marketing, analytics and a basic web page builder to help you save time and money. It’s powerful automation tools that allow you to automate repetitive tasks, reduce human error, manage complexity, and measure and optimise your efforts.

Is marketing automation the answer to all your prayers?

When used effectively, marketing automation can help you generate and qualify sales leads, shorten sales cycles, and demonstrate marketing accountability. What it doesn’t do is the marketing strategy. The ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ are core to any business’ digital strategy.

In every marketing campaign you need to ask:

  • who: identify customer groups

  • what: audit their information needs

  • where: audit their communication preferences

  • when: that’s your campaign but understand the timeline of the purchasing chain

  • why: the reason for the campaign

  • how: measurement of KPIs that give you the ROI.

I have walked into many nightmares where clients believe marketing automation is the be-all and end-all of the marketing strategy and all hopes and dreams will be answered with a piece of software.

What you need to build is a successful marketing strategy in your business using marketing automation, coupled with a road map of the journey you want to take your visitors and prospects on.

An example of marketing automation in small business

ACME Co is a small real estate training company. It brings in most of its leads using a free report. Most of its sales are gained from leads attending a seminar.

The customer journey works like this:

  • landing page with opt-in form for free real estate report

  • email: thank you with PDF download of the report

  • email: piece of education content

  • email: great piece of content #2

  • email: invitation to a seminar

  • email: reminder to register for event (if not registered yet)

  • email: event registration details

  • email: reminder email

  • email: post-event follow-up thank you.

  • email: post-event follow-up feedback form.

All of the instances above are handled by the email marketing automation software.

Traditionally, ACME Co needed to send out these emails manually over a period of time. Using email automation, they had the opportunity to save time, resources, and analyse the quality of the engagement the leads had during the whole process. They had the analytics of who had opened and clicked on certain links in the emails.

How do you think marketing automation will fit in with your marketing strategy?

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