Another work week has almost ended, which means it’s time for another busting buzzwords post! This week we’re talking about an older digital marketing buzzword that has perhaps lost it’s buzz a little bit in the last few months – marketing automation. Like we said, the topic hasn’t really been as talked about over these last few months (thanks GDPR!) but it’s still a topic many people are unsure of. That’s why we decided to feature it in a busting buzzwords article. So what exactly is marketing automation and how could it affect your business?
What is marketing automation?
First of all, marketing automation is exactly what it says it is. It’s marketing that is automated. Be it social media scheduling software, automated APIs generating reports, marketing mail software like MailChimp and, well, you probably get the idea. Basically it’s not just one thing – think about it as an umbrella of which many different nifty marketing apps and software come under.
How can my SME use marketing automation?
As we said above, marketing automation can cover a lot of different aspects of digital marketing. One of the easiest and most effective ways to use marketing automation is in marketing emails. Take a service like MailChimp for example, it can help you grow a subscriber list while engaging with said subscribers for you – without any intervention from you. MailChimp can be set up to send emails to subscribers after many different actions have been taken by a subscriber. For instance; when a user first subscribes; when a user puts items in their shopping cart on your site but doesn’t buy; when it’s a users birthday; the list goes on.
Even more simply – you could automate your social media feed and set up “bots” to chat to your potential customers. If you have a Facebook business page you can now set up automatic replies if someone messages your business. But if you want to take it up a notch and you’re tech savvy you could even set up your own “bot” who will message customers back based on frequently asked questions.
But why stop there with automation? Do you have a certain digital marketing report that your business puts together each month? You can automate that too – you can even automate reports through free software like Google Analytics. Instead of setting up dashboards and exporting data every time, just programme Google Analytics to send it to you whenever you need it.
What are the benefits of marketing automation?
From what we’ve explored in this post, you can probably see that one of the biggest benefits of marketing automation is that it can be used in an array of different ways. This makes it suitable for a multitude of different businesses as it can address many different marketing related issues. However, the most obvious benefit of marketing automation is that you save time! Businesses, particularly SMEs can find themselves time or resources poor – so setting up something once to do a particular job again and again is a real life-saver.