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What is Marketing Automation?

The marketing automation is a toolset full of various instruments that help a marketer doing his job. A lot of things can be automated; you can use specialized software or a behemoth – a large set of software with many specialized modules. There is, however, another really important aspect of marketing automation – getting to know your consumer.

Marketing automation is not only about making life easier for the marketing department. It’s mainly gathering and analysis of behavioral and transactional data about your customers. Thanks to that, you can find answers to many crucial questions. They are important when launching a new marketing campaign. Here are some basic ones:

  • What are consumers’ likes and dislikes?
  • Where do they usually shop?
  • What is the average value of their shopping cart?
  • What products do they browse for the most?
  • What product categories are their favorite?
  • How much time do they spend in the online store?
  • How much time do they spend browsing a specific product category?
  • How often do they buy a specific product? Is it a one-time thing, are they coming back for more?
  • Which website do they use to come to our website?

Answers to these and many other questions are a base for online marketing. It allows for the optimization of web applications but also product offer as well. Thanks to that you can increase sales and increase or decrease the number of products at your disposal – everything according to the needs and preferences of your customers.

In practice it works like this – applications identify users and monitor their behavior with cookie files. That’s how they know who the user is, what his preferences are, what he did on the website last time around. They can help predict his actions and offer products or services tailored to his needs.

It’s still only a part of what marketing automation tools can do. They also allow for the segmentation of marketing messaging, product base and targeting them both to the specific target audience. Thanks to the marketing automation tools, you can create a personalized message to one single customer. He will feel special. He will experience individual care.

Marketing automation systems allow for personalization and increase campaign effectiveness in these areas:

  • Content personalization inside applications. Every user of the internet webpage can see slightly different content, tailored for him and him alone, based on his purchase or browsing history.
  • Email marketing. A personalized marketing campaign allows for targeting users based on their preferences. Massive email blast using the same content is nothing different than cold emailing. Personalization increases the chance for a high open-rate and more importantly – a higher amount of purchases.
  • Social media. Social media monitoring allows for customer identification and personalization of content. Thanks to marketing automation you can „listen” to social media channels and monitor them. If your brand’s name pop up, you can easily and quickly know about it. It’s handy if there is a crisis situation.
  • Push notifications in mobile and web applications. It’s another great way to reach a consumer and remind him about the brand, the ability to contact the company and the offer itself. Automation allows for bigger customer engagement. It’s also an element of surrounding him with marketing messaging (The Personalization of Message in 360 Degree Marketing).
  • Marketing campaign effectiveness analysis. A good marketing automation tool allows for advanced analytics. Thanks to that you know if you burn the client’s money or if the campaign is built well enough.

There is, however, another rarely discussed aspect of marketing automation you have to remember about – a post-sale support. Marketing automation is helpful in identifying the client and reaching him with the most effective messaging. In the long-term, you should treat this tool as a commitment to quality customer care. Using marketing automation tool for increased sales can be for nothing if the client will have a problem with the shipment, the product, the phone operator that has no knowledge about the product itself, is impatient and doesn’t have the right attitude towards the consumer.

Jarosław Ściślak

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