Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Guide to Marketing Automation
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is a term used for the software technology that manages marketing processes and multi-functional campaigns, across multiple channels, automatically.
What does marketing automation do?
Watch your digital marketing strategy unfold without manually pressing “send” on every last email or social post. Identify your audience, design content, and schedule actions. Then, sit back and analyze the results as they roll in. An automated marketing strategy can save time and resources, driving revenue and ROI, while you focus on growing your business.
How does it work?
You collect customer data at many interactions: in emails, visits to your website, app usage, on social media, and so on. Use your data based on individual behaviors and attributes to create a 360-degree view of each customer.
Then, marketing automation does all the work. Streamline segmentation and targeting processes to determine the right audiences quickly and at scale. Automatically tailor messaging to each customer based on their profiles. Create relevant and personalized messaging across email, mobile, social, ads, Web experiences, and beyond with only a few simple clicks. You can deliver personalized experiences for your customers, whether you have 100 or 100 million, efficiently and effectively.
What does marketing automation mean for the customer journey?
Customer journeys are the sum of individual personalized experiences with your brand. Use marketing automation to tailor every interaction based on customer data — to create ongoing, seamless journeys through every touchpoint with your brand.
Marketing automation can create relevant content, and message across many channels at scale. Send email messages with dynamic content that personalizes far beyond simply entering your customer’s first name in the subject line. Integrate your mobile messaging with your email and social campaigns through SMS/MMS, push notifications, and group messaging. Generate digital ads that appear for the right person at the right time. Plus, recommend the right products on your website for each individual user — all automatically generated and placed.
Reach customers along their journey no matter where they are in the customer lifecycle: from acquisition to advocacy. Deliver timely, relevant content that reaches customers when, where, and how they prefer — converting customers into lifelong brand advocates.
What are some marketing automation best practices?
The following are some best practices when designing your marketing automation strategy:
- Define and present your goals. Use real numbers to justify the investment in a marketing automation platform to your stakeholders.
- Collaborate with other teams. Your marketing automation strategy will touch several teams in your company. Get their input and approval before you begin.
- Create process visualizations. Create detailed diagrams of your marketing automation workflow to relay your big picture objectives to your entire organization — efficiently and effectively.
- Prepare for database segmentation. Consider your customer data. Think about how who you’d like to engage, and why.
- Prepare your content strategy. Build your content library. Create interesting, engaging, and relevant messaging designed to reach any stage of the customer lifecycle.
- Plan for a slow roll out. The world’s most successful marketing automation firms stagger their launch. You can do some early testing and optimize the next block of programs to give yourself the best chance of success.
- Analyze as you go. See what’s working and what’s not. Use some of the time you get back from automation to really dig into the results and make changes where necessary — all to grow your business.
Is it easy to use?
Yes. By its very definition, marketing automation is easy to use. Drag-and-drop functionality can determine audiences and create relevant content quickly. You can schedule sends, one-off campaigns, and manage your subscriber base from one simple interface.
Set recurring tasks to automatically send and receive data from any source. Expand your single view of the customer beyond your CRM into web analytics or e-commerce data. Automatically A/B test your email campaigns, and determine the message that inspires the most engagement and conversion.
Define specific goals, and measure everything from CTRs, timing, channels, conversions, and beyond more easily than ever before. Evaluate your progress, and optimize as you go instantly — from one single interface, on any device.
Create connected customer experiences across your organization.
Your customer should see one brand identity across all your teams. Unite marketing, sales, and service to create one seamless customer experience with your brand. Use marketing automation to trigger messaging automatically based on a central hub of your customer data.