The days of manually doing repetitive jobs, even marketing tasks like sending emails, have long gone since marketing automation made its appearance. Marketing automation (MA) has revolutionized digital marketing in the same way that the assembly line revolutionized the automobile industry. Put the tediousness of repetitive jobs, especially marketing jobs, behind you forever. Marketing automation is here to stay.  

What Is Marketing Automation?

Now, you can take advantage of software platforms, software, and technologies which are specifically designed for marketing departments and organizations. Carry out your marketing functions more effectively on various channels online. These could be sending out several emails from lists of prospective customers to publishing updates on social media, and posting new offers, competitions, and promotional runs on websites ― your own, and of others. Automating repetitive tasks takes the drudgery out of marketing processes.

Reduce Overheads, and the Margin of Human Error

When robots and other machines take over the routine jobs, you take away jobs from humans, but also save on overhead costs of hiring people to carry out the same jobs. Think salaries, incentives, insurance premiums, electric bills, and electronic devices. Instead of all this, automation software serves to interpret, store, execute, and schedule tasks and processes, which increase efficiency, and reduce the margin of human error.

Add Complexity to Your Drip Campaigns

You can customize messages to match the precise segment your customer falls under to cater to their specific interests. There are three aspects to keep in mind. The first is that MA is as useful for business to business (B2B) marketing as it is for marketing your products and services to individual buyers. The second is that you won’t need to create a new campaign every time you need to communicate with your customers. The third is that all marketing functions of MA are scalable.

A Horse for Every Course

Marketing automation is done through marketing automation tools (MATs), and utilizes marketing automation platforms (MAPs). There are thinkers who reason that MA is most useful for very young companies trying to find their feet, and established companies which lack a well-developed digital marketing presence. When companies begin to diversify, expansion occurs both horizontally, and vertically. More market segments, and verticals require more complicated processes. This is where you might need MAPs.

Streamline Marketing and Sales Processes for Greater Efficiency

Most importantly, MA does not restrict itself to a single marketing function. Rather, when you utilize different MATs, they cover multiple areas such as lead generation, tracking the online surfing and purchasing behaviour of prospects, fine tuning the content of marketing messages and emails, and above all, automating internal marketing processes. Renewals of subscriptions, cross selling, and up selling products and services, measuring marketing return on investment, and integrating numerous touch points of communication like emails and social media pages can be laborious. MA does it for you.

Convert Leads into Customers

You can develop and analyze marketing campaigns, customer behavior, and the drivers of buyer choices; apart from managing marketing campaigns by utilizing appropriate customer data organization and storage with savvy use of marketing automation tools. These tools move contacts from leads to customers using lead scoring, which is a way of assigning numbers to perceived value of each customer; and manages leads to integrate multiple touchpoints such as email and social media. These tools assess campaign performance analytics — i.e. open rate, or click-through rates on emails, and conversion rates on landing pages for you to fine tune your marketing strategies.

Synchronize Work Using Done Diverse Tools ― And Their Results

It’s important to understand the difference between marketing automation tools, and digital marketing platforms. For example, an effective MAT would be able to schedule, and simultaneously post on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to give your promotional offers maximum exposure on social media. Another might publish landing pages for email offers. Tools like Google Analytics work from the outside. However, you need to check which one of the diverse options would be compatible with your industry segment. The effective MAP would eliminate your need to manually update and synchronize the information stored in different tools.

Send the Right Message to the Right Person at the Right Time

It is these platforms which offer you the benefit of synchronizing strategies, activities, and results across departments, and even geographic locales. They handle varied tasks from collecting customer leads, prompting prospects with relevant offerings, and metrics for social media engagement to perform in-depth analysis of prospective customer behavior. These MAPs generate options for surveys to test two different marketing campaigns or even changes in logo, colors, landing page design, or web page copy. A great MAP can be mined for industry information by utilizing its monitoring capabilities to identify industry influencers, and delve into their knowledge to create stellar copy. Since these platforms use cloud technology, you can always consider Oracle which provides cloud marketing.

Gain customer loyalty: Your customers will appreciate it more when you treat them as individuals, rather than one of a sea of faceless consumers. This engagement is likelier to translate into customer loyalty as personalization often drives customer loyalty. This is especially true when people receive welcome mails, or reminders of all that they might be missing out on such as items left in a cart; or even coupons in their mail to reward loyalty; they feel valued.

Compare the Top MA Tools Available Before Deciding Which Is Best Suited for Your Purposes

HubSpot is the top rated digital marketing website recommended by the marketing pundits as the best marketing automation tool. It enables you to grow your business without compromise by handling all the marketing, sales, and service functions of your business. However, it does nothing in-depth.

Build and sustain engaging customer relationships with Marketo which is the leading cloud-based marketing software platform for companies of all sizes. It provides you a complete suite of tools for your sales and marketing teams.

Collate all your contact data in one place through Mailchimp to get a holistic view of your audience as a whole. You also get a visual breakdown of data, such as where your fans are located, how often they engage with your emails, and more insights which you can utilize to refine your strategies and actions.

HootSuite is your best bet for managing the social web in one place. You can schedule when to send SMSes to multiple recipients ― even diverse messages; push notifications regarding upcoming events, launches, and promotional offers on social media sites; and prioritize conversations and opportunities for following-up with customers, associates, and vendors.

Survey Monkey is the most commonly used online based survey development software. Great marketing requires accurate surveys to refine your target audience, your strategy, even the readiness of your natural market to accept your innovations. So, automating surveys is sensible. 

Some other MA tools worth considering: Oracle Eloqua aids you to plan and execute automated marketing campaigns to deliver a personalized customer experience for your prospects. Eliminate the hassle of dealing with writer’s block, or if you simply don’t have the creative resources essential for creating crunching copy, or blogs by posting your project on MediaPiston. Normally, you’ll get a professionally written and edited article within 48 hours. 

Defining Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) covers anything connected with making machines smarter. Some MATs are so imbued AI with that they develop the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed to do so. This machine learning (ML) allows computers to learn automatically without human intervention so that software applications become accurate in predicting outcomes. To master the concepts of ML, and utilize it effectively, you also need to learn powerful languages like C++ and Python.

The Future of Machine Learning

With Google working at the forefront of AI and ML, it is easy to see that in the foreseeable future ML will run on algorithms generated by data points, and clusters of data points to guide education, search engine operation, healthcare, and digital marketing. However, ML performs better when exposed to large quantities of data longer as it learns from historical data.

Takeaway: Whether you are a start up or an established giant conglomerate, automating marketing, and machine learning can prove key assets for data mining, utilization, and simplifying marketing tasks. It will also go a long way in eliminating the need for doing several tasks manually.