In the age of the internet, marketing is more important than ever. With so many companies advertising on so many venues, distinguishing yourself or your business might prove challenging. Since few people and businesses have the resources required to personalize their approach, many people might feel left behind. How can you compete with companies employing entire departments dedicated to marketing? The answer is simple: marketing automation.

What is Marketing Automation?

In a nutshell, it’s software designed to streamline your approach to marketing. It helps deliver targeted and personalized material to customers and potential customers through a variety of means. Some software focuses on emails while others target social media. You provide the criteria through which the software targets consumers, as well as the message you want it to convey. It does the rest, freeing up your time and resources so you can focus them on other aspects of your business.

Isn’t it a Cold Approach to Marketing?

This is perhaps the biggest objection to marketing automation. People assume it’s cold, that it doesn’t feature the human touch. While it’s easy to perceive it as such, marketing automation, in reality, delivers a personal message to your customers. It’s as warm and human as if you hand delivered the message.

The key for automation is that it delivers messages you’ve designed—and in some cases wrote—while personalizing each point of communication. To your customers, the message doesn’t seem as if it was written for a broad audience. Instead, it appears as if you’re talking to them, one on one. This is part of the beauty of marketing automation: you can deliver your message to large numbers of people while creating the impression that you’re talking to each and every one of them on a personal level.

The Many Uses of Marketing Automation

Generating and distributing email newsletters is an important feature of most marketing automation software. They go well beyond simple newsletters, however. Good automation software generates marketing opportunities by reminding your customers of items they may have left in their shopping cart, for example. It might also offer recommendations based on their habits, send welcome messages, or friendly reminders.

Some marketing automation can even bypass the Gmail spam filter or many other email spam filters to safely place your messages where people might see them. The important thing to note when considering whether or not to use marketing automation is knowing how it reaches out to customers. When used in conjunction with analytics, marketing automation might help you or your business tweak or evolve your understanding of your customers and their needs.

Instead of simply pitching ideas to customers, or gently reminding them of sales, marketing automation software, when used strategically, can help generate a dialogue with customers. This is an important step when reaching out to customers and potential customers. People don’t want to feel inundated with ads. They don’t welcome spam. Instead, they want to feel wanted and important. They also might feel a need or a desire, one you or your business might fill.

Marketing automation software isn’t magic, however. It’s only useful if you have developed a well-defined strategy.Before you decide which software fits your needs, you must understand your niche, potential customers and their needs, and how to persuade them you can offer what they want or need. Once you’ve developed an effective strategy and have decided on which software to use, then you can input your criteria and fine tune your messages and overall strategy. Then it’s time to allow your software to get to work while you focus on other areas of your business.

 

by: Mikkie Mills