Marketing is the lifeblood of any business. It can drive it forward or slow it down. Unfortunately, it also requires a lot of work and resources. There are times when working as a sales representative for a small business means that you have to handle certain marketing tasks on your own, like following up on a lead. Otherwise, it might hurt your sales numbers. Fortunately, there is a way to automate these interactions to free up your time to do real sales work while still maintaining marketing engagement. This method is called marketing automation.
As the name suggests, marketing automation is the process of using software to perform the repetitive and menial tasks involved in marketing for you. In this way, you and your agents will be able to focus on other tasks, such as sales.
There are numerous marketing methods that you can set up ahead of time. Here are just some of them:
Email is not dead. It is one of the most efficient ways to personalize your customer engagement and send out promotional messages. However, emailing the hundreds of clients in your email list is an impossible feat to perform manually. Fortunately, there are numerous email marketing platforms out there that allow you to construct various email templates that you can simply schedule or trigger to send out to your intended recipients. The ability to segment lists ensures that you’re targeting the right audiences with your messaging.
Social media marketing requires diligent posting regularly. This isn’t really an issue if you only manage a single account. The challenge comes when you have to juggle multiple social media platforms. For that task, you will need social media management software that will allow you to schedule your posts in advance. Schedule batches of your posts at the frequency and times you prefer and let the software do the rest.
There are CRM platforms that allow you to keep track of customer activity. It provides a lot of insight into how your marketing efforts work. For instance, it will let you know which of your emails were opened, read, and clicked on. While already beneficial on its own, further integrating it with a marketing automation system will automate report creation and sending so you won’t have to provide reports for sales all the time. This allows your sales team to stay on top of customer engagement while not wasting precious time on putting together reports.
Here’s a fact: there are more marketing data available today than we have the human capacity to process. Hence, it is imperative to have a program that can go through this collected information and provide data-driven analysis. The insights from this analysis can be used to build more effective campaigns faster. Marketing analytics software can do that for you on a timely basis.
Don’t let your leads getaway. Marketing automation tools capture them from wherever they might come from – your website, your chatbot, your blog, etc. Some features can sort them automatically and send them to their respective sales contacts.
Your marketing materials should be tied together with similar design elements. You don’t have to waste precious resources creating all of them from scratch. Marketing automation programs allow you to set a central theme, color palette, and graphics for a collection of marketing materials including newsletters, social media posts, and even offline flyers.
Most of the marketing process happens during your engagement with your clients. While it remains ideal to reply to each comment or query personally, it’s simply unrealistic to do so, especially with multiple inbox channels and hundreds of messages to go through at a time. You’ll be pleased to learn that you can automate responses as well. Automating responses to form submissions and other customer requests also takes some of the pressure of sales to immediately reach out. The customer knows their request has been received and sales have the time to review the request and make a plan before reaching out.
Finally, here’s something a little bit more practical. Most marketers would agree that we deal with dozens of emails on a good day. Hence, any one of us would certainly benefit from the convenience provided by an automated inbox filtering program that can wade through all those messages and separate the important ones from spam.
The good thing is, email providers like Gmail and Outlook already have easy to set up filtering parameters that automatically re-route emails to folders you specify. This will allow you to focus on high-priority emails first, so you never miss an important communication.
Relieving yourself from the burdens we have mentioned above will allow you to focus your efforts on sales instead. You will finally have the time to turn your plans into a reality. How about setting up a POS financing system? Or expanding your international shipping locations and payment methods?
While we are on this topic, we’d like to point out that there are automation tools for sales as well. There are also automation platforms equipped with features that serve both the sales and marketing needs of a business.
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Marketing is a challenging pursuit. It’s part of its charm. But that doesn’t mean that you and your sales teams should be consumed by it. There are a lot of programs that can automate most of your regular tasks.
Doing so will free you to focus not just on sales but on other aspects of your business as well. Just imagine it. You will finally have the time to work on that branding project you wish to do or develop that new product you’ve been thinking about for a long time.
Martha is Editor-in-Chief at finturf.com. Her career started in 2003 when she worked as an Investment Banking Analyst. Then Martha continued her career path as a financial advisor for Investments. She has a passion for writing and is mainly focused on covering financial and business management topics.
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