In the professional services market, we often hear “marketing automation is for the large firms” or “marketing automation will over complicate our simple processes.” In actual fact, leveraging automation helps marketers improve efficiency. No matter how big or small your business is, automation helps you stay one step ahead of the game.
So, what is marketing automation?
Simply put, marketing automation should take care of a portion of your communications and routine tasks. It uses technological software to streamline both repetitive and complex marketing processes to save time.
Some of the most common features marketing automation offers are:
- Structured email marketing campaigns
- Intuitive form and landing page integration
- A clear database outlining qualified leads, prospects and clients
- Automatic lead scoring
- Social media marketing programs
- Tracking capabilities and auto-analytics
How can automation help me achieve my marketing goals?
The first step in your marketing automation journey will be to investigate which strategies you could adopt. You’ll know which pathway is right for you based on your company’s challenges and what you are hoping to achieve for your clients.
It’s okay to start small - don’t be overwhelmed by all the tools available. Try starting with the basics and build up your strategy from there. Often, the more you use the software, the more opportunities you will uncover. Over time you’ll want to combine a variety of automation tools to deliver bespoke digital experiences for your clients.
These are some of the benefits automation can deliver for your business:
- Attracting leads: professional services firms sell expertise. The best way to educate your clients is through content; be it blogs, webinars, videos, social media, etc. With automation you can deliver your knowledge to the right prospect at the right time, convincing them of your expertise and service offering.
- Nurturing leads: as a marketing agency specialising in the professional services industry, we understand the challenges of long closing cycles. You could spend upwards of a year nurturing prospects to sign on to your services. Let automation do the work for you! These platforms make it surprisingly simple to create email drip campaigns. With user-friendly visual workflows, you can schedule regular content with your leads, produce a series of marketing-style or plain text emails, or even arrange meetings. Remember, automation won’t be the only tool in your relationship management kit, but it’s certainly a powerful one for nurturing brand loyalty.
- Personalising communication: while automation intends to be efficient, it shouldn't turn into a mass mailing tool. When you have one database list, it can be easy to treat all your clients the same. Automation enables you to automatically segment your list by demographic or behavioural criteria. It also allows you to create custom merge fields and tailor your communications even further. You can pull through highly relevant and personalised information such as account numbers, names, membership levels or renewal dates.
- Predicting qualified leads: qualified leads are the moving force of a B2B model. But how can you predict leads that show promise of conversion? Most automation software will automatically assign prospects a score based on predetermined behavioural criteria and identify sales-ready opportunities so you can skip the arduous process of manual classification.
- Tracking and optimising campaigns: there is nothing more valuable in a marketing context than figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Nothing provides a clearer picture than a marketing automation solution with tracking capabilities, analytics and advanced tools for monitoring and measuring your campaign results. Using this valuable feedback from end-users you can routinely optimise your content for maximum engagement.
For more marketing automation trends you can click here.
If you are not sure where to start take a look at our ultimate marketing automation software review and let us know if you have any questions.