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Organizations must find ways to increase their effectiveness in reaching customers and prospects to increase sales.
Advertising across multiple channels, such as traditional mailers, billboards, emails, social media posts or cold calling, has been the go-to method. But marketing funds can go to waste if those prospects aren't captured and tracked across channels. Organizations can use marketing automation to increase the efficiency of marketing campaigns.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is a technology that streamlines repetitive marketing activities and eliminates extraneous tasks based on a predefined sales or marketing process. These marketing activities can include, but are not limited to, social media posts, email marketing and even ad management.
For example, marketing automation software can capture relevant data when a prospective client visits a company's website. Using that information, the tool will assign the customer to a campaign where they receive automated emails with personalized content. From those emails, the automation can monitor clickthrough rates and website views and identify if the user needs to be contacted by the sales team or receive other emails with a call to action.
Automation can also apply to other channels, such as social media, where the system can respond to follows on Instagram, TikTok, X, formerly known as Twitter, and other platforms. Additional capabilities like content analysis, which can detect sentiments in social media posts and brand tags, can trigger an alert for the marketing team or perform an automated response to users on social media.
Marketing automation can also help companies with customer segmentation. AI-powered ads can optimize different campaigns by targeting the right audience at the right time with the right message. By leveraging customer or market data and aligning the ads to the right audience, companies can increase their ads' effectiveness and impact.
Marketing automation and artificial intelligence
The introduction of AI services has expanded the functionality of automation and its ability to perform certain tasks previously left to a person. Several companies are already working hard to incorporate GenAI in customer service, and the trend will only continue as GenAI becomes more established. Other AI-based tools can analyze purchasing data to identify those likely to buy certain products based on their purchasing history. Or determine the best candidates for future product recommendations and campaigns.
There are several areas in which AI expands marketing automation functionality, including the following:
- Lead analysis and scoring: AI tools can qualify leads and prospects to maximize the conversion rate.
- Virtual assistants and chatbots: AI can support the response and capture of leads from websites and social media through conversational AI, eliminating the need for humans to be available for those initial interactions.
- Personalized content: For companies looking to personalize communication with their prospects and customers, AI provides a method to deliver personalized content recommendations based on the customer profile and user behavior, increasing engagement.
- Recommendation engine: Regarding e-commerce sites, marketing automation can leverage AI to provide customers or site visitors with product recommendations based on user purchasing habits. This method increases the chances of upselling products and creating a personalized buyer experience.
- Sentiment analysis and market listening: Marketing automation can detect customer and market sentiment through AI to measure the level of engagement. Marketing departments can better understand their market position by monitoring social media platforms, finding possible new leads and assessing overall brand opinion.
Marketing automation is critical to any company's sales and marketing strategy. It helps enhance messaging and personalization, eliminates repetitive tasks that increase brand awareness and conversion rates and helps support a seamless customer journey.
Reda Chouffani runs the consulting practice he co-founded, Biz Technology Solutions, Inc. He is a healthcare informatics consultant, cloud expert and business intelligence architect who helps enterprise clients make the best use of technology to streamline operations and improve productivity.