Marketing automation is one of those new trends that isn’t always easy to understand, but offers tremendous benefits.
At its most basic, marketing automation helps you market your business faster, simpler, and more effectively – with less effort. You take the core tasks of your marketing process and delegate them to a computer, leaving you with more time to perform other core tasks for your job.
Knowing when and how to automate marketing, though, can be tricky. We have a few guidelines that can help you make that decision.
Look at Repetition
Automating your marketing (and by marketing, we generally mean marketing, sales, and advertising, both traditional and digital) can help reduce the time you spend on repetitive tasks.
These can include (but definitely aren’t limited to):
- Following up via email when your customers or prospects take action (like subscribing to an email newsletter or buying a product)
- Sending out a message after your collateral is viewed or downloaded
- Tracking how much sales collateral you have in your inventory and its usage rates
- Scheduling posts for social media or your blog
- Sending reminder messages to subscribers or regular customers
- Emailing customers when they fill a shopping cart but leave the website without checking out
The opportunities are virtually endless. If there’s something you do on a regular basis, but don’t want to invest a lot of time in doing it, automated marketing can help.
For example, as digital printers, we frequently help design, print, store, and ship sales and marketing collateral to businesses all over the country. Our customers don’t always like keeping track of it, so we invented a marketing asset management system called DigiFLO™ that basically automates that entire process. Customers have loved it – just another benefit of automated marketing.
Essentially, look at core tasks that can be handled automatically without regular input from you or your team. Figure out what you can “delegate” to computer software that simply requires initial setup – and no ongoing interaction from you.
Things You Shouldn’t Automate
Of course, once you’ve decided to automate your core tasks, you’ll need to recognize what shouldn’t be automated.
Content is first on the list. Whether it’s a blog post or a sale letter, each piece of content needs to be carefully composed and orchestrated. Sending and publishing content can be automated, but creating it shouldn’t be.
You also shouldn’t automate customer service. Customers expect genuine, personalized responses, not automated replies. The same goes for responding to feedback. If a customer leaves you with feedback, reply to it yourself (or have a team member do it). Automated responses for feedback – especially critical feedback – have resulted in major black eyes for some brands.
Marketing automation can free up a lot of time and energy; you just have to learn when and why to start automating your marketing processes before you begin.
Contact DMS, Inc. today to learn more about automation for your business.