EDITOR’S NOTE: The following post is from guest blogger Lilach Bullock.
Automated marketing. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Indeed, many still believe that it is.
After all, the promise automated marketing makes is to allow marketing professionals to specify criteria and outcomes for certain tasks and processes, which specialist software then interprets, stores, and executes. This, theoretically, leaves marketers with more time to spend on higher level tasks such as strategy, planning, and analysis, as well as improving efficiency and reducing the likelihood of human error.
It sounds like a marketing professional’s utopia. So why does automated marketing, amongst some groups, have such a bad name?
When automated marketing first hit the industry years ago (at first focusing on email marketing automation alone), these tools were limited in their capacity and, as such, often achieved poor results. Indeed, automated marketing tools became known for, at best, poorly targeted campaigns and, at worst, spam.
Many of the issues customers had with automated email marketing stemmed from three main aggravations: poor opt-in/out practices; a dislike of the use of images in advertising emails; and poorly executed, impersonal messages.
Indeed, as recently as 2010, Smart Insights wrote a post detailing the critical factors for email marketing success, and the recurring issue that was highlighted was the need to be relevant and targeted, and for the email to therefore meet the need of the recipients.
However, now we’re at a point where the industry has learned enough, and the technology has been developed sufficiently so as to allow for more nuanced, intelligent, automated campaigns that are able to avoid many of these problems.
So, whilst in some circles automated marketing may still have a bad name, there’s good reason to believe that this should no longer be the case.
And this turnaround couldn’t have come at a better time. Of course, since social media marketing erupted a few years ago, today’s marketers face an ever-growing list of arduous low-level tasks and chores – writing posts, updating statuses, responding to messages, and so on.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that according to this marketing automation report from emailtoday:
So it’s clear that automated marketing is becoming more popular. And, looking at the benefits emailmonday.com lists, it’s easy to see why:
The fact is that, as marketing automation tools get better and better, more organizations are choosing to adopt them, which allows the tool providers to invest in more technological developments which in turn make them even better still – and capable of achieving even better results for their users. As it stands, the marketing automation industry is worth $1.62 billion per annum; it is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2020!
As the industry has grown, marketing automation has become able to effectively aid marketers with:
Whilst the above lists some of marketers’ favorite uses of automated marketing tools, there are plenty of other marketing automation tools out there – and some offer incredibly bespoke functions. In fact, if you can think of an area of marketing that would benefit from some level of automation, there’s a good chance that there’s a tool that does it.
Using one or more marketing automation techniques, marketers can benefit from a higher volume and quality of leads, accelerated growth of qualified leads entering the sales tunnel, and huge gains in time (and thus money). Combined, these advantages translate into a far more effective marketing department and significantly improved business.
The question now is not whether automated marketing is effective; but which businesses are going to use it to their advantage and which are not. If you’re reading this article, then the chances are that I’m preaching to the converted (since you’ve already displayed an interest in the topic). However, if you’re still umming and ahhing about marketing automation, I’d strongly advise you to take it seriously: as online business continues to grow, those companies which invest in excellent marketing automation solutions and structures are likely to break away from the rest.
Are you using automated marketing? If so, what are some of your favorite functionalities and tools? If not, why? Let us know in the comments!
ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER: Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach Bullock has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Liilach has been named by Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle.