By Daniel Emery

Automated marketing software: A beginner’s guide

We’ve all complained about needing more hours in the day, especially within a busy business environment.

Which is why marketing automation tools are proving so popular, in streamlining workloads and generating sales leads.

Marketers may be sending out thousands of emails every day, chasing prospects who are not all interested in what they are sharing. They run the risk of irritating a large proportion of their contacts. Automated marketing solutions are the answer.

But with so many out there to choose from, how can a business tell which is the right and the best marketing automation software for them?

Here’s our bitesize guide to get you started.

What is marketing automation?

In a nutshell, this is software used by businesses to reduce costs – in time and money – to carry out common business processes. It takes care of repetitive tasks such as emails, social media and other website actions. Costs are saved by the reduced need for people.

How does it work?

Ever wondered how Netflix tells you exactly what sort of TV shows and films you might like to watch? Or how Amazon is able to recommend new products you may want to purchase?

That’s generally how it works. Customer centric software allows businesses to analyse your needs and preferences, then send out highly-targeted, personalised messages.

What are the pitfalls?

Investing in inbound marketing automation is only cost effective when your company has built up a sufficient amount of traffic and leads. If you’re only getting a trickle, it’s not worth it. Hours of set up and training on marketing automation platforms also needs to be considered. It all comes down to the cost to sales ratio. Make sure there’s likely to be enough return on your investment before you dive in.

Will robots take my job?

The idea of marketing automation tools is to free up staff for other tasks – not to have machines take over someone’s job.

Marketing automation for technology firms has always been popular. But take the example of Microsoft’s trial of an automated system on Twitter. It proved you cannot beat a human voice when it comes to engaging one-on-one with the public.

Within hours of them piloting their AI chatbot Tay on the social media platform, wily Tweeters had taught her to make racist and highly political statements.

So is it worth it?

Marketing automation tools are a fantastic way to help a company with multiple leads nurture them across many different channels, then prioritise those leads to engage sales. But it’s not a panacea. The proper research is required before making a commitment.

Do some reading, check out what other companies in your sector are using, and if necessary, consult a tech marketing professional to explore what is right for you.

 

If you need help with tech marketing, call 0800 612 9890, alternatively you can contact us via our online form

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