Does Your Organization Really Need a Marketing Automation Platform?
Marketing automation platforms revolutionize the way that businesses and agencies handle their advertising.
With the assistance of these smart tools, professionals can unburden themselves of the countless manual tasks that are necessary for managing and optimizing campaigns. AI assistants automatically compile audience data, guide performance, and oversee advertising budgets.
However, why use a marketing automation platform if your traditional strategies are already working?
Below, we’ll dive into what a B2C marketing automation platform is, the benefits of using one, and help you determine if it’s the right choice for your organization.
What is a Marketing Automation Platform?
A marketing automation platform is a collection of software that automatically manages and processes manual everyday marketing tasks.
This can include:
- Lead & sales pipeline management
- Email & SMS messaging
- PPC campaign analytics & optimization
- PPC campaign budget management
- Website analytics & optimization
- Product/service upselling
- Directory listing syndication
- Social posting & promotions
- Measuring ROI for all marketing channels
The software acts as a virtual assistant that can automatically oversee all of these processes, leaving you and your teammates with the ability to focus on more involved tasks that require hands-on attention.
With that said, a marketing automation platform does not give your organization the freedom to be complacent or uninvolved. Though these smart, automated tools may be able to rapidly handle certain tasks, you still need an experienced agent to help your efforts to ensure that the gathered data is utilized effectively.
Why Use a Marketing Automation Platform?
The benefits of using a marketing automation platform are powerful enough to make them a no-brainer for any company or agency.
1. Optimized Workflow
The first major benefit that we touched upon above briefly is that this smart software will help your team improve their workflow. Users can quickly visualize the entire process of lead management, from lead acquisition to closing the sale.
Then, you can set up your custom automation based upon your company’s unique needs to rapidly complete monotonous tasks. This saves the organization a tremendous amount of time and frees the talent up to focus on tasks more deserving of their attention.
2. Improved Accuracy and Mitigation of Human Error
Equally important, these AI assistants will provide far more consistent and accurate work than is possible with human efforts. Even the most careful individuals make mistakes and one unchecked error can upset the overall workflow.
Marketing automation tools collect data and manage key processes almost instantaneously, leaving you with the cold, hard data you need to guide your future marketing decisions.
3. Real-Time Analytics & Behavior Tracking
The minute you publish an ad, web page, or some other form of content online, your marketing automation software will immediately begin tracking performance. Without any additional effort, you can track:
- Page visits
- Traffic sources
- Session duration
- Keyword rankings
- Form submissions
- Intersite navigation
These metrics simply scratch the surface of what is possible depending on the software you’re using. You can not only monitor your performance but can quickly glance at competitor analytics to see how your efforts stack up in comparison.
4. Automatic Bidding & Budget Management
Finally, marketing automation is essential for staying competitive when it comes to paid search or paid social campaigns. You can utilize your platform to automatically set your budget minimum and maximum limits as well as your desired daily spending.
The software will then seek out opportunities to utilize your budget effectively when reviewing current bidding costs. It can even automatically allocate funds to higher-performing ads or landing pages when A/B tests multiple creatives at the same time.
This is a significant boon as it ensures that your organization maximizes its available ad spend. You can easily avoid getting caught up in fruitless bidding wars and focus your budget on ad sets that are delivering a worthwhile ROI.
Let’s consider an example.
A PPC campaign manager creates their initial ad set and landing page for lead discovery. The minute these assets go live, their automation platform (i.e. Google Ads, Facebook Ads) automatically begins to capture performance data.
The campaign manager also sets a maximum daily and lifetime budget they wish to use for the campaign. Thus, the automation platform also automatically tracks and manages bids in real-time to help your better-performing ads gain more exposure. All of these things happen around the clock without any additional input from the campaign manager.
With all of this additional time, your campaign managers can easily oversee several client accounts simultaneously. They can also utilize their extra time to prepare new ad sets, landing pages, or offers based upon the performance data they’re receiving from the active campaign. They can be more proactive and make decisions with reliable data as opposed to testing with guesswork.
Determining Which B2B or B2C Marketing Automation Platform to Use
With how significantly marketing automation can improve your efficiency and customer experience, our answer is clear.
Your organization needs a marketing automation platform if it wants to remain competitive and grow in an evolving digital landscape.
However, not every platform is the right fit for every business. You’ll need to ask the right questions to ensure that your team gains the right tools for your offerings.
1. What Are Your Business Goals?
Every business has unique objectives that they wish to achieve with their marketing. Clearly defining these goals and the process to get there will help you identify the tools you can leverage to improve your strategy.
If you wish to improve lead generation on your website, you’ll want to focus on tools that can provide clear analytics and custom goal tracking.
If you’re struggling with your sales pipeline workflow, you’ll want to investigate lead and pipeline management tools that can automatically define deal stages and move your lead through the process accordingly.
Defining this is important as not all marketing automation platforms offer the tools you need. Some position themselves as a comprehensive package, while others are highly specialized to serve organizations in key areas.
2. How Can We Measure Our Performance?
As we highlighted above, you can instantly measure the performance of any marketing channel with the right software. In addition to defining your goals, think about which aspects of the process you need assistance with measuring.
This can vary whether you’re focusing your efforts on social media, email marketing, paid ads, etc. Think about the specific types of metrics that are success indicators for the channel and seek out software that can help capture data and make the overall process more efficient.
3. How Does the New Platform Mesh with Our Existing Tools?
Finally, you need to perform an analysis of how these tools can augment existing strategies. To keep the transition simple, you may want to look for software that simply improves existing processes.
However, if your analysis determines that your existing strategies are inefficient, you may need to consider a major change. You’ll need to perform a cost-benefit analysis of what it will take to not only upgrade to the new platform, but the time it will take to retrain all of your employees to effectively utilize new automation tools.
You may also need to incur additional costs depending upon the available subscription plans to that platform and the account limits for each tier. Smaller businesses can typically take advantage of low-cost plans due to their smaller client base, but growing organizations may need to make a substantial investment to gain plans that effectively suit their needs.
Marketing Automation Platforms Are Essential for Your Organization
Your organization must mobilize and find the right platform for its specific needs. If you’re still relying on traditional marketing management methods, you’re moving at a snail’s pace while all of your competitors are lapping you in the race.
Because marketing automation platforms offer universal benefits and features to all types of industries, you must make one the center of your tech stack. It can make your workflow more efficient whether you’re content with your current success or positioning yourself for future growth.
Aside from the initial cost to transition, there are little to no arguments to make against using a marketing automation platform. These tools are long proven to be reliable, accurate, and will allow your talent to perform more effectively than ever before.