The number one task of most marketers is to grow a business. And as it grows, it's typical for the workload and the fragmentation of marketing efforts also to increase. Unfortunately, this often happens in parallel with expensive investments in sophisticated marketing tools, whereby questions about the ROI of marketing ultimately arise. In this article, we'll focus on explaining the three main reasons why marketing automation is vital in breaking this cycle.
Modern marketing happens across channels and each campaign, whether inbound or outbound content, can target different audiences, drawing them into various funnels based on interests or demographics. Doing this manually at scale isn't very efficient. While hiring more administrative staff is one solution, the added value is low. Hence, this is where marketing automation typically comes in and takes over manual tasks, allowing the marketing team to dedicate more time to content and the creative components. Thus, efficiency doesn't necessarily lead to fewer resources needed in the marketing department, simply that resources shift from manual tasks to higher-value tasks.
There are many ways to automate manual tasks and many tools you can use to do so. Here are a few examples:
As marketing efforts evolve from printed adverts, radio and linear TV to becoming substantially or even entirely digital, it offers both challenges and advantages for marketers. One such benefit is the opportunity to learn more about customers, potential customers and increase loyalty and conversion with a more personalised experience based on content tailored for them. To be able to do this at scale, content and distribution logic needs to be automated.
For brands such as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google, personalisation has been an integral part of their business models from inception. But all brands who are great at personalising apply the same basic principles of using past data about you to predict and influence your future behaviour; viewing history, interaction history, purchasing history, time, location, device type and hundreds of other parameters.
Some of these companies were - and might still be - even listening in to private conversations, to illustrate the length to which they are willing to go to try to be relevant in advertising or improving their service. (If you ever wondered why you got lawn mover robots in your news feed hours after talking with your spouse about buying one, then this is the answer.)
It's easy to understand that the most significant challenge to doing personalisation well is the amount of time and investment involved. But on the other hand, when done well, the results are overwhelmingly positive. Personalisation based on automation is what has built some of the most dominant companies on earth at the moment, and there is no sign of it becoming less significant.
Truly effective marketing automation both relies on and enhances, data about those that engage with your content and the content itself. In short; it helps marketers measure the success of campaigns, understand how to tweak them and to find actionable trends in the information.
Here are a few examples of data that HubSpot can store for marketers to use to create segments or provide individual contacts and sales teams with relevant content through automation (if you're curious about the full list view HubSpot's default contact properties):
Did this article make you curious about marketing automation? Through our extensive marketing automation guide: what, why, when and how to use it you'll find much more to read, and it's also available for download!