Marketing Automation explained

Marketing automation is hot and is being used by more and more companies. But what does it actually mean and what can you do with it (as a sales or marketing professional)? Exact found out for you.

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Marketing Automation: the basics

More and more processes are automated nowadays. And the role of the marketing officer has also changed rapidly in recent years. Instead of being a manual planner and communicator, the marketing specialist becomes more and more a strategic and technical expert. Marketing automation is hot and is applied by more and more companies. But what does it actually mean and how can you use it in your profession? ExactPi talked to an expert and collected the answers for you.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation refers to software to increase the effectiveness of marketing across multiple online channels (like email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks. Marketing automation thus creates a digital infrastructure that helps the marketing and sales department to interact with their customers in a well-timed and personal way throughout the contact life cycle. An important aspect of marketing automation is the automatic delivery of specific information to potential customers. The purpose of this information is to convince these interested parties to become customers. With marketing automation, you ensure that this information reaches your potential customers in a personalized way and at the right time. This way, they will develop an interest in your company, product or service faster and they will proceed to a purchase faster.

An example: the moment you download a whitepaper about writing web texts from a web builder’s website, a personalised flow of e-mail messages about that subject starts, preparing you to outsource some of the work concerning your website. And on social media, too, you suddenly see relevant ads. If you then send out enough signals of interest (clicks), a call to make you an offer will follow.

The platforms for marketing automation are becoming more extensive and more advanced. By aggregating and enriching the data on the behavior (click behavior in emails, search behavior on your website, activities on social media etc.) of your contacts, you can better predict what is the best moment to make a potential customer a certain offer.

What is the purpose of marketing automation?

Of course, in most cases the goal is to improve business results by converting more. But there is more to it. Marketing Automation saves time because formerly manual actions are now done automatically. It provides better leads because the leads you approach personally are already warmed up and you approach them at a relevant time. This is an application that is often used in BtoB. It provides structure and uniformity in the activities. It works efficiently, you can make use of the possibilities of the platform you are using and thus quickly and relatively easily set up digital campaigns and funnels without in-depth IT knowledge. The brand relevance increases, because you communicate with personal and appropriate messages. And finally, it provides a lot of insight into your target group. How does the consideration and purchase process run and which routes deliver the most conversion and ROI? A big advantage of marketing automation software is that everything you do with it is measurable. Therefore, you can immediately see whether you have achieved your goal or not.

Will all personal contact disappear?

Doesn’t this make the marketing profession very technical and also a bit boring if everything revolves around data and without the old-fashioned personal contact? We asked Marketing Automation Specialist Mirthe Wildeman, partner at Up in Business. “With marketing automation you build a relationship online. But personal contact ultimately determines success, especially in BtoB sales or if you use marketing automation in your recruitment strategy. Using marketing automation does not mean automating all your marketing and sales activities. The human touch still makes the difference. But a good balance between your own activities and automated ones will make it much more efficient. Because you can take very specific follow-up steps with the insight you gain by following someone’s behaviour. And with all the developments and possibilities that are still coming, you really don’t have to worry that it will be boring. On the contrary, our profession is very dynamic and varied.”

Mirthe Wildeman – partner Up in Business


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