When Does Marketing Automation Work, And Where Is The Limit?

Iryna Deremuk

Creative storyteller with an unfailing exploratory spirit. Iryna will guide your brand from an idea to a compelling story.

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Digital marketing automation is constantly growing in demand, and its global market size is expected to reach USD 8.42 billion by 2027. With the right approach, automated marketing can boost your company’s performance by optimizing workflow and providing consumers with better experiences. Nevertheless, you may face various challenges while deploying automation software. We gathered expert tips for you to discover when it’s possible to automate repetitive tasks and when it is better to do everything manually to avoid overspending and pointless work. 

 

When It’s Time to Automate Your Processes?

time to automate your processes

Before you start thinking about how to streamline your processes, it is vital to understand what marketing automation technology generally is. In the nutshell, marketing automation is the use of specific solutions to manage the company’s workflow efficiently. According to Lenskold, 78% of marketers state that it is vital for growing revenue.

Although applying marketing automation integration sounds fantastic, your company should be ready for it to grow in the market without losing in quality of the operations. Below, we provide the most critical points that show that you are ready to automate marketing processes.

  • You get predictable results after a certain operation. It is impossible to evaluate the quality of the automation if you don’t know what outcome you are going to receive. You can try applying a marketing automation solution only if there is a stable chain from investing resources to getting profits that cover all the investments.
  • You do too many repetitive tasks and don’t have time to think globally. There shouldn’t be automation without a clear understanding of the workflow aspect you are going to streamline. If the process can be done manually with fewer resources spent, this means you don’t need to automate it. Additionally, when the task isn’t clear, we recommend decomposing it and working on the marketing strategy
  • You have a clear vision of the company’s goals and marketing processes. Until you develop a brand platform — the document which describes the target audience, mission, values, tone of voice, competitive advantages, etc. — there is no reason to automate something. You should also have a stable demand for the product and know definitely how many resources you need to spend every month. This will let you ensure that capacity will be able to deal with the number of orders.
  • Marketing automation opportunities correspond with your growth stage. You should automate your company consistently according to the necessities you currently have. If you need to make decisions based on specific data, implement the tools that make collecting it easier. Always think about whether you need a definite software right now. Sometimes it is better to save money and automate more effectively later. 

 

Types of Marketing Automation

how many types of marketing automation

When choosing what marketing automation integrations to apply, resource spending reduction should be the main KPI. You can automate your digital marketing to save time, money, avoid unnecessary efforts, expand the capacity of the business and influence revenue and lead conversion. Various features of marketing automation should be applied according to the specific case your business faces. Let’s take a look at the most widespread ones.

  • CRM automation is one of the most powerful ways to organize workflow inside your team. This can help your employees by alerting them about new leads and their scoring, leaving notes and reminders, tracking consumers’ stages in the sales funnel and organizing more personalized communication.
  • Social media automation is necessary to free your team members from routine tasks. There are plenty of marketing tools that allow managers to schedule posts and publish them without effort. However, there are things that cannot be automated as they require a human approach, like comment answering or content creation.
  • Advertising automation is useful to reach consumers in the most suitable channels and persuade them effectively. This guarantees a high level of personalization of your marketing campaigns, as automation tools ramp up their strategy by responding to the behavior of each separate user. 
  • Mobile marketing automation allows companies to reach customers through mobile apps and tools. You can apply in-app messages and trigger notifications that will appear on the users’ screens after a specific action. 
  • Marketing analytics automation is necessary to make reports after digital marketing campaigns faster, without combining big amounts of data manually. This will let you launch the next promotions efficiently based on well-organized information. 
  • Email marketing automation is one of the oldest and the most widespread type. You can automate email campaigns based on triggers and send ‘welcome emails’ or ‘thank you emails’ without human intervention. Additionally, most marketing automation platforms provide users with pre-designed customizable templates to make their campaigns more branded.
  • Omnichannel automation can be useful for complex marketing automation planning. Usually, companies apply it to reach consumers through different channels and persuade people based on buying behavior of each separate user. Thanks to machine learning and AI that are implemented in this marketing software, you can provide tailored experiences by empowering human efforts with digital solutions.
  • Chatbots are an ultimate trend of recent years and this fact is quite reasonable, as they can handle 68.9% of chats from start to finish. By applying them within your marketing automation campaign, you can answer FAQs much faster. However, there are specific cases when human intervention is required. Nevertheless, you can make your communication managers deal with a small percentage of chats, solving most consumer queries automatically. 

 

How Can Business Benefit from Applying Marketing Automation Solutions? 

marketing automation benefits

When applying marketing automation software to streamline your company’s processes, you shouldn’t wait for immediate results. Firstly, the quality of the workflow will get worse, and you will need to organize your marketing efforts according to the new reality. Then, gradually, the efficiency will improve and reach the same level as it had been before. Finally, your processes will get smoother, so you’ll be able to focus on other aspects of your business.

This is a common mistake to hope that automation software will be effective at once. However, if you do everything correctly, this will help you grow and scale. Let’s take a closer look at the key benefits of marketing automation.

 

Helps improve lead generation and sales productivity

Implementing marketing automation tools lets your company provide customers with relevant and handy information once they need it. This strategy allows you to reduce waiting time and deliver positive experiences about your company. Because of this, 77% of businesses have an increase in conversions after automating their marketing.

Look at the example of chatbot deployment, which is one of the best ways to use marketing automation. Companies that use chatbots or web chats can manage consumer queries 24/7 and lead users through the sales funnel almost without human intervention. Some bots can even accept payments, this way raising profits and increasing opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.

 

Allows for reducing support costs, freeing up time and resources

Using marketing automation to improve the regular flow of work can help your employees focus on more strategically important tasks. This allows them to concentrate on sales improvement and customer retention, increasing your revenue. Moreover, by applying automation solutions you can reduce the number of employees needed, and this way avoid unnecessary spending.

Consider an example of marketing automation CRM for ecommerce. Taking advantage of this digital solution lets companies manage all shipments, returns and exchanges easily. What’s more, this marketing automation platform allows employees to lead potential buyers through the sales funnel more effectively, as they can remember all the details about each customer.

 

Helps to retarget effectively

The fact that 72% of customers only engage with personalized messaging proves the importance of tailored experiences. Consumers want to feel that they are a top priority for the brand, so retargeting emails and SMS, as well as advertisements with promo codes, work well. This way you can reach out to potential clients who searched through your website but haven’t bought from you.

For instance, email marketing software can be one of the best B2B marketing automation examples. By sending pre-scheduled emails, you can follow up with your clients and reach them out again without the need to organize this process manually. You can also launch trigger campaigns based on the behavior of each separate consumer. 

 

Challenges of Applying Marketing Automation Technologies

marketing automation challenges Although most business owners consider applying a marketing automation strategy as an effective way to scale their business, there are still some drawbacks worth mentioning. Below, we describe what challenges you may face and how to overcome them.

System Limitations

61% of business owners and top managers state that the implementation of marketing automation was difficult for them. This is the first problem you may discover while trying to streamline your workflow. Even the best marketing automation software has limitations, and sometimes it is impossible to deal with them without the help of a specialist.

 

Control Required

One more drawback is that system issues can occur when you already work with the automation tool. If you don’t notice them at once, this may lead to unpredictable results. So, it’s better to have a team member who will track the software’s performance.

 

Workflow Imperfections

Finally, different business strategies require various approaches. For example, tools applied for inbound marketing automation will work quite differently than the same programs for outbound marketing. Thus, it may be difficult to organize the flow directly as you want at once. Your team should be ready to adapt to new realities and change their process accordingly, in order for your company not to lose in metrics.

 

When Marketing Automation Doesn’t Work: Examples

when marketing automatization isn`t suitable

Although marketing automation seems to be a universal way to scale your business, there are still cases when it doesn’t work the way you expect it to. In this section, we explain when it is required to involve specialists and not rely entirely on the software.

 

When a business requires a high level of personalization

There is a huge number of companies that provide personalized offers to clients. Usually, these are businesses working in the B2B field. There isn’t a reason to automate the sales funnel for them, as every customer requires a personalized approach. Marketers working in this industry can take advantage of a CRM system or a chatbot that answers FAQs, but there is always a necessity to combine marketing automation products with a human approach.

 

When the customer data isn’t clear enough

If you intend to automate any aspect of your business, all information you use should be reliable. Using an outdated contact base for email campaigns or providing unclear answers through your chatbots can harm your business. Thus, it’s better to verify all the data you are going to apply and update it regularly, not to confuse your customers and not to spoil the reputation of a trustworthy brand.

 

When the task requires creativity

There are some marketing tasks that you simply cannot automate without a considerable loss in quality. As a rule, employees deal with creative tasks, like content writing, design and idea generation. You can take advantage of AI-based tools to make the process easier, but they still require specialist involvement, who will add something new to the pieces generated by artificial intelligence.

 

When dealing with customer complaints

Although communicating with critics is not a pleasant thing, you can still turn them into satisfied customers. But how? This requires patience and a personalized approach. No automation tool is able to provide unsatisfied clients with the answers that will convince them to stay with your company. However, people can. Thus, it is critical to avoid applying marketing automation products to reduce churn rates and improve customer satisfaction.

 

Conclusion

It is difficult to overestimate the benefits of marketing automation. However, there are still some challenges and risks that should be taken into consideration. In the article, we’ve provided the main drawbacks for you to combine automation with a human approach to marketing and save time and resources, freeing up your employees from repetitive tasks.

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