A marketer's worst enemy: trapped doing repetitive tasks that prevent you from focusing on the bigger picture and the long-term marketing strategy of your business.
This is why Marketing Automation is so sought after: increasingly accessible, this technique saves valuable hours and quickly improves your brand's online user experience and customer relationship while saving you your most valuable resource: time.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation refers broadly to the automation of digital marketing campaigns triggered by a set of predefined conditions and according to the user's information and/or behaviour. Examples include the automatic sending of emails, sms, contact segmentation, lead scoring or lead nurturing.
Automation is carried out through the execution of preconceived scenarios based on the user's behaviour. For example, sending a welcome email when a new user has subscribed to your newsletter list or a reminder email when an online shopper has abandoned their shopping cart.
How is it Different from E-mail Marketing?
Email marketing consists of sending an email to a list of contacts (one to many). It generally serves a rather broad purpose, such as announcements of promotions, new products, or the sending of news content via a newsletter.
In a classic emailing campaign, the content is not necessarily targeted and does not respond to a specific action on the part of the user.
In contrast, emailing with marketing automation allows you to send automatic and targeted emails (one to one), triggered by the specific actions of your customers. These messages are timelier and individually calibrated for each user according to their progress in the customer journey.
However, marketing automation is not just about sending emails: you can also use it to automatically add your contacts to specific mailing lists based on their actions, assign them a score in your database, and many other ways to refine and define your relationship with your most engaged users.
How does it work?
The first step to automate a task is setting up a workflow.
Each scenario begins with an entry point. For example, the registration of a new contact on your site or the addition of a product to the shopping cart.
Once one of your contacts enters a scenario that you have pre-programmed, the automation takes place either linearly or according to implication connectors (" if / then ") that separate the automatic actions into two branches that can themselves branch in turn.
Each workflow is composed of different scenarios according to a very simple question: does this contact satisfy condition x? If the answer is yes, the contact takes the corresponding branch of the scenario. If not, the other branch of the scenario is activated.
The conditions that will trigger the execution of a scenario can be of two types:
Identity: these conditions use the information collected in your user database. For example, using your contacts' birthdates to send them an email on their birthday.
Behaviour: corresponding to a certain type of behaviour or an action (a specific action on your site or opening an email). For example, sending an invitation for a private sale to customers who have purchased at least x products in the last y months.
Depending on the result of each condition (yes or no), you can trigger different actions for each contact:
Send them an automatic message,
Add them to a new email list,
Give them points for your lead scoring and customer profile categorizations
You can also add timings and deadlines of your choice. For example, if you schedule a series of welcome emails, you can specify that your contact will immediately receive a first email, then a second follow-up email a week later, and so on.
A small example:
What Are the Steps to Effective Marketing Automation?
To start Marketing Automation, you need specialized software. There are several on the market, such as Marketo, Hubspot and Webmecanik, with more or less the same digital campaign management features.
1. Attract and identify leads
You may seek to attract new visitors to your site, through social networks, a blog, SEO or any combination of advertising techniques.
Once visitors are on your site, you will capture their attention through Calls To Action, resource downloads, newsletter subscriptions or forms, which will allow you to track leads and retrieve their information, such as their name, e-mail, company and location.
This will then allow you to study their behaviours and better understand them and their needs. You can then create your buyer personas, which are profiles of your ideal customer segments. It is then possible to identify, thanks to the data collected, the specific interests of the contacts, their habits, their needs, their behaviours, and adapt your actions to make them as relevant and effective as possible.
2.Qualify and feed the leads
Once the leads are identified, what do we do with them?
Scoring makes it possible to assign a predefined number of points to each lead action (visit a page of the site, download a white paper or subscribe to a newsletter for example). The more points the lead gets, the more qualified it is considered. With scoring, you can quickly detect the hottest leads and therefore those most likely to become loyal customers or brand advocates.
After classifying them by maturity, you will segment them. Depending on their points or interests, leads will be classified into contact segments. Segmentation makes it possible to adapt your communication strategy to each target group and send specific email flows to each segment.
Once the leads are classified and segmented, the time comes for nurturing these leads. You will be able to "feed" leads with content tailored to their interests or needs, until they are "mature", i. e. until they are ready for conversion. For this, you will be able to use different digital platforms such as e-mail, sms or web notifications.
3. Build customer loyalty
Marketing Automation is mainly used to recruit new prospects, but that’s not all it’s for. It also allows you to maintain your relationship with active customers, thanks to regular contact, for example through emailing, newsletters, events or your social networks.
How to build your algorithmic paths with neuromarketing?
How Can Neuromarketing Help?
The most important thing for automation marketing is above all an intelligent construction of the different paths. This is where neuromarketing can be very useful. You will need to understand how your customers make decisions and experience the various touchpoints through which you communicate with them. Neuromarketing tools are ideal for this as they can identify what is/isn’t working so that your marketing automation strategies can be optimized.
Who Can Benefit from Marketing Automation?
Any business looking to expand the number and lifespan of their customers can simplify their lives with marketing automation. However, it will be even more profitable if you already have a certain marketing maturity and know your conversion tunnel.
You should adopt marketing automation if:
You already generate a lot of leads: marketing automation is particularly powerful to transform your leads into customers, thanks to lead nurturing and lead scoring.
You want to improve the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategies: thanks to the segmentation and dynamic management of your contact lists, you can significantly improve the engagement generated by your campaigns.
You want to improve your customer relationship: by triggering the sending of communication on specific actions, automation marketing allows you to address each of your contacts individually when they are most receptive, open and willing to engage with your brand.