If you work with marketing, you have probably heard of marketing automation. But not everyone knows what it means exactly. During the last ten years, marketing automation has become more popular and has proven its value in the marketing toolkit. But what does it mean, and how is it applied in practice?
Those of you who have followed us on The Internship Hub know that we are currently in our last term as marketing automation students.
Before we started our course, we didn't know too much about marketing automation or the impact it can have on a company's overall marketing efforts. But once we'd studied for a while, we asked ourselves - how did companies manage to automatically adapt their messaging to their target groups? The answer is simple - it didn't work out nearly as well as today.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is a series of marketing and sales-driven activities triggered by dynamic and generated data, such as automated emails or text messages sent after a user completes a specific action on a website.
Marketing automation means sending the right offer to the right person at the right time. As a result, targeted marketing has shown a massive increase in conversion and, thanks to that - business growth.
But how do you know you send the right offer to the right person at the right time?
Collect and analyse data
Collect data, analyse data, collect data and analyse data. It's not just about collecting the data of a customer's demographics, but data about how they interact with you as a company. Examples of exciting data that can be used are visitors' behaviours on your website using different tools. For example, the pages they visit, how long they stay, if they add something to their shopping cart, what it is, etc.
You can identify and fix roadblocks in the customer journey by analysing this data - ideally through automation.
The same thing applies to ads and email marketing - reading the reports will give you an idea of the quality of your messaging, the behaviour of your target group, and when they most likely are open for converting.
Know your audience
Thanks to collecting and analysing the data, you will be more aware of your target group. This is a vital factor for sending out the right message at the right time. Knowing how they found your website is essential since it can tell you which sources are worth focusing on and which ones you can skip. It will also give you an insight into where your audience is and what will get them interested enough to visit your page or click on your ad.
Adapting your message to your target group
Automation allows you to adapt your marketing to your target group, bringing you one step closer to always sending out the right message to the right person. This saves time, money, and effort since you sieve away the groups that don't have an interest in interacting with you and only focus on the ones where you have the potential to build a relationship.
Sending out relevant information to a specific group will likely give you a significantly higher conversion rate than if you would market to "everybody." Personalisation is one of the main factors in marketing automation.
Nurture your leads and customers
After your data collection, you've built up a bank of high-quality information about your leads and customers; you can start nurturing them effectively.
Lead nurturing is one of the building blocks of a successful customer journey. Leads and customers who have already interacted with you are more likely to make a purchase, saving you time, money, and effort.
Our education and courses
On the YrkesAkademin website, there is a quote that clearly explains our education: "The education Marketing Automation Specialist provides a broad understanding of marketing automation as a mindset and strategy. We do this through courses that deal with inbound marketing, content management, CRM systems and social media so that you get an understanding of how everything is connected."
Customers Relationship Management (CRM) The course gives us knowledge and skills about defining a customer, customer value, how customer loyalty is built up, and what the customer's journey looks like. In addition, we must be able to run processes for good customer support before, during, and after a business to build relationships and strengthen the brand and knowledge of various system support within CRM.
Content Management In Content Management, we learn how to deliver relevant and targeted content of high quality. In addition, we must analyse and measure the outcome of different content and plan and lead improvement work within content management.
The customer cycle - RACE-model We must understand how the customer cycle and buying behaviour work, how the RACE (Reach, Act, Convert, Engage) model is structured, and how it can be used to find initiatives to implement a plan and drive improvements. We learn to analyse a company's current situation and propose and run an activity plan for improvement and increased customer engagement.
Terminology The course provides knowledge of relevant digital abbreviations and English technical terms so that we can communicate credibly about the concepts and understand their meaning, usefulness, and business potential.
LIA 1 During internship period 1, we build up professional knowledge and skills in the role of marketing automation specialist. In addition, we will gain knowledge and skills using analysis tools and CRM systems to identify qualified leads.
Laws and regulations Here we learn the necessary knowledge about regulations and legislation regulating marketing, sales, and use of data.
Social Media The course gives us knowledge of the most common social media channels, the target groups, and use areas. In addition, what form of campaigns can be carried out on each media and the cost picture.
Lead generation management & Marketing automation Around the topics of Lead Generation and Market Automation, we learn what each concept means and how they are used for marketing and sales purposes. We know how to identify qualified leads to the seller with the help of collected data from different sources and understand that each customer's purchase commitment needs to be as relevant as possible.
LIA 2 In this course, we are on an internship at a company where we will be able to lead a change project in digital marketing, automation of processes, and sales with the help and support of analysis materials and models.
Master thesis Here, all courses are linked together, and we get qualified professional knowledge in the role of marketing automation specialist. The thesis shows our practical skills in measuring, collecting, analysing, and reporting digital data for conversion optimisation and increased sales.
What can we work with after this education?
The education itself can be perceived as narrow since it focuses on automation. But it's a broad education since it allows us to work within several focus areas within digital marketing, such as:
Market Automation Specialist
Lead Generation Specialist
Marketing Automation Coordinator
Content Marketing Specialist
Digital Marketing Coordinator
Depending on our interests or knowledge, we can work towards the data and analysing part, or if we desire - towards the content and more creative track. Marketing works closely with sales, so working with a market and a sales role is also an opportunity if desired.
What are we interested in and want to focus on after graduation?
My previous professional experiences have been in sales, but I became interested in the digital world and began to study Business Development over the years. Then I opened my eyes to marketing and decided to immerse myself in marketing automation.
During the internship at Zooma, I have discovered that planning is one of my strengths, as I am very meticulous and structured. I like to review and create the process and find new solutions. It is fascinating to create and analyse the entire customer journey from start to finish to see the opportunities for increased sales and find suggestions for improvement.
I am also interested in SEO, the strategy behind getting content ranked high in search engines with small funds and driving traffic to the website.
Before starting my internship at Zooma, I was scattered about which direction I'd like to dig deeper within marketing.
I have previously worked with creating content for social media and newsletters. At Zooma, I've continued to deepen my knowledge in that area thanks to The Internship Hub and the campaigns and emails we've been working on. Using marketing automation gives a considerable advantage in adapting the communication towards the desired target group, regardless of where they are in the buyers' journey.
Since I have an in-house sales rep background, I find it extremely interesting to understand the process "behind" sales itself. Working with marketing automation opens up the possibility to know whom you are sending a message to, when they should have it, and how they prefer to receive it. Analysing customers' behaviour and adapting marketing and sales processes accordingly is something I want to continue developing in future.