Look, we're lazy. We can't lie - we like saving cash and time where possible. I mean, who doesn't? We have a saying at Neighbourhood that if you have to do a repeated task more than twice, automate it. This applies to internal processes, customer services, communications - the lot. Let's take a deeper look into what marketing automation actually is, and why we'd vouch for it to be your next business decision to save your team time, and ultimately money.


What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is the technology to automatically manage marketing processes and campaigns across multiple channels and platforms. Marketing automation helps businesses target prospects and customers through automated email, web, social media, and SMS. Messages are sent automatically according to a set of instructions called a workflow. Workflows can be created from scratch using custom templates or modified mid-campaign to achieve better results.

Marketing and sales departments use marketing automation to automate online marketing campaigns and sales activities to increase revenue and increase efficiency. By effectively using automation to perform repetitive tasks, employees can solve high-level problems and reduce human error in their marketing efforts.

Marketing automation can help you create, promote and score leads and measure the overall ROI of your campaigns. As organisations grow and become more complex, so do the time and cost savings of automation. A good marketing automation system is designed for your business.


Benefits of Marketing Automation Tools

At the heart of marketing automation is a suite of tools designed to streamline and simplify some of the most time-consuming tasks in modern marketing and sales functions. From automating the lead qualification process to creating a hub for creating digital campaigns, automation can simplify the increasingly complex and fast-changing world of business.

Marketing automation allows you to execute your digital marketing strategy without having to manually hit the "send" button on every email, message, campaign or post. A good automation tool can help you identify your target audience, design the right content, and automatically trigger actions based on customer plans and actions, helping you nurture customer relationships.

Once the campaign is up and running, you can focus on other tasks and analyse and adjust your marketing plan as results emerge. Automated marketing strategies save time and resources, and increase revenue and ROI, while freeing you to focus on growing your business.

1. Efficiency

Above all, marketing automation helps make a marketing department more efficient. Reduce staffing costs while freeing up time for your team to work on more important and strategic projects. Instead of manually posting on social media every day, marketing automation software can automate this process. This means teams can focus more on innovating, planning and brainstorming future campaigns and projects.

2. Coordinate marketing and sales

We love to use the word 'Smarketing' where possible. It's because we're advocates for connecting both departments to hit your customer journey out of the park. Combining sales and marketing automation efforts using the same software helps align efforts with business goals. It greatly simplifies the conversion process from marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads. In fact, marketing automation can increase sales productivity by 14.5% and reduce marketing by 12.25%. It also helps you generate more leads and increase sales. Marketing teams can spend more time thinking of ways to increase conversion rates, and sales teams can be more productive in contact management and communication.

3. Increase your conversion rate

When it comes to increasing conversion rates, marketing automation can make your team more efficient. Marketing automation software can increase CRO by tracking leads and using them to retarget non-converting website visitors. Again, marketing automation should give your team more time to analyse their marketing strategies and think about how to convert visitors.

4. Accurate reporting

Reporting on analytics can seem like a daunting process, but with a marketing automation platform, it doesn't have to be. Functions are readily available to generate automatic reports. Marketing automation platforms provide a high-level view of your processes, helping you gain a granular look at the level of success of your current efforts. This will help you see challenges and friction points. Tracking customer behaviour through reports helps you fine-tune your processes. For example: if your leads are dropping during email marketing campaigns, an accurate analysis will help you identify gaps for you to action.

5. Personal marketing strategy

Because teams spend more time generating data than entering it manually, marketing automation software can help you create personalised content with segmentation and reporting capabilities. Marketing automation allows you to target people across multiple channels. You can target through social media, search ads, or email campaigns.

How can marketing automation make this easier?

Marketing automation turns website visitors into leads, helping categorise and rank prospective customers based on their interaction with your content. Once you know who your leads are, you can categorise them by behaviour or characteristics. Now comes personalised lead nurturing where you continue to engage the customer and work them down the funnel.

6. Score in advance

Marketing automation software can set up lead scoring for teams that notifies sales teams when leads convert from marketing-qualified leads to sellable leads. Again, this means better coordination between marketing and sales teams (smarketing). It also automates the process, making it simple - saving time, your sales team can communicate directly with prospects rather than directing time into manual data entry.

7. Data Management

It’s worth repeating that marketing automation platforms track your leads and how they interact with your website. This means data management is easier than ever. It also automatically updates your data.

8. Process scalability

It's important to consider scale when setting up your marketing systems and processes. Can this process grow with your company? Without scalability, business expansion is difficult.
Marketing automation allows you to create scalable processes without the need for additional staff. 

9. Encourages lead generation, nurturing, and conversion

Finally, marketing automation enables lead nurturing. Marketing automation software is where you create drip email campaigns and track their success. It becomes more difficult to convert leads into sales leads without nurturing them. You can also balance other departments such as sales and customer service.



Best practices checklist for developing a marketing automation strategy

  • Define and express your goals.
  • Use your past mistakes to justify investments in your marketing automation platform to your stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with other teams. Marketing automation strategies affect multiple teams within a company.
  • Listen and agree before you start.
  • Create process visualisations.
  • Use detailed marketing automation workflow diagrams to efficiently and effectively communicate your overall goals across your organisation.
  • Prepare the database partition.
  • Think about customer data.
  • Think about who you're trying to reach and why.
  • Prepare your content strategy.
  • Create a content library.
  • Reach every stage of the customer lifecycle by creating compelling, engaging and relevant messages.


Where and how should I start implementing marketing automation in my company?

The most successful marketing automation companies in the world are tumultuous startups. For the best chance of success, test and optimise the following program blocks early. Analyse on the go. See what works and what doesn't. Take the time to explore and automate analytics to make changes that grow your business.

Different marketing automation platforms have slightly different implementation requirements. The settings can also be affected by the structure of your company (for example, if the tools are used by the same team or by several teams in different departments). Finally, there is a recommended set of standard steps to ensure a well-planned, accurate and error-free implementation.


1. Make a plan

Before you begin implementing your chosen marketing automation software, the first step is to create a documented plan that outlines the following:

What are you asking your development or IT team?
Set up email domains, whitelist IP addresses, add tracking codes to your site and more.

Then think about:

  • Who are the users and what privileges should they have?
  • What kind of integration is most important to you, such as CRM and third-party tools?
  • How should your account information be structured? Consider using lists, tags, and subdivisions.
  • What is the best way to migrate forecast data from the old system to the new system?
  • How does your campaign map or structure affect the way you work and report? Need to migrate or update forms, landing pages or email templates?
  • Do you have a lead management system? If so, do all relevant team members know?
    What training and education should be organised for employees?

Marketing automation is a tool that implements a pre-planned marketing or lead strategy. No replacement! Start with a marketing plan and build your lists and targeting accordingly.


2. Technical parameters

If you're leaning into utilising email marketing tools, it's important to check the correct domain configuration to avoid emails going to spam folder or causing problems with personal business emails. To ensure good delivery and maintain sender reputation, you must add or update items such as Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DKIM records in the Domain Name Service (DNS). If these acronyms mean nothing, work with your IT team to implement them.

It's also important to use a separate email domain for your campaigns, as a low sender reputation can also affect your personal business email. Finally, if you want to track your email subscribers on your website, you'll need to add or update your tracking code, install a plugin in your chosen automation software, and update your preferences tracking. Controls page or Privacy Policy for GDPR compliance.

Prioritise these important tasks to ensure your emails and marketing activities are received and tracked correctly.


3. Get data

A documented plan allows you to create required lists, custom fields, and tags before importing the database. If you're manually importing from a spreadsheet, we recommend doing a quick data cleanup during the migration process to ensure that all leads imported into the new system are as up-to-date and error-free as possible. When you import, you should be able to easily map the spreadsheet columns to the correct data fields. However, you may want to import a few records before importing thousands of databases.


4. Integration with CRM

It's always surprising how many companies use marketing automation software in their sales CRM. The only way to truly manage and track your customers from first contact to sales is to integrate CRM with your marketing software. Automation and CRM platforms make this very easy. For example, companies using Pardot for marketing automation typically use Salesforce as their CRM, and Salesforce and Pardot users can easily integrate and sync to see the entire customer lifecycle because both products are owned by Salesforce.


5. Initial setup for folder/campaign

How you group your marketing assets and how you do it depends on the automation software you use. No matter what software you're working with, group your resources in a meaningful way and set up naming conventions and processes to eliminate unnecessary projects or templates and clean up your account from scratch.


6. Bring your team on board

At this point, you've implemented basic marketing automation with the right technical setup, imported data, CRM integration, and an actionable campaign structure. Now it's your turn to get your team involved.

  • Set it to a user who needs the correct permissions.
  • Provide a library of tutorials that introduce the software.
  • Share the processes you've set up to import, categorise, and manage data, naming conventions, and associating assets with your campaigns.
  • Hold an introductory session with your team to help everyone understand their role, familiarise themselves with the platform and answer the questions.

Implementation is complete... mostly.

The steps above are for a simple but well-thought-out marketing automation software implementation. Different platforms have different nuances and requirements, so it's worth reading during the planning phase. These first steps are enough for a proper installation, but they are only a starting point.

Another difficult aspect of implementation is:

  • Creating a sample email campaign.
  • Setting your leaderboard score or rating.
  • Planning and organising your first automation trip. Integration with other available third-party tools.


What marketing automation tools to use?

The majority of premium marketing automation tools include training materials and a user community for assistance. For example, HubSpot has HubSpot Academy and Pardot has Trailhead learning resources. To get the software faster by inviting the team, register and learn about the software.

What are some examples of marketing automation?


The first step is to send a welcome email to make a good impression. Customers may be excited, but welcome emails can lead to clicks and opens. Automate email workflows to easily onboard each new customer and track key brand information.

The truth is, you have competition, and your customers know it. Even the most successful companies do not have 100% customer loyalty. However, you can increase retention by automating your returns program to reconnect with past customers. Every company faces growth challenges and is likely to have made mistakes with their customers. No need to pay attention after all problems are solved. You can also use bounce emails for at-risk customers. Fortunately, you don't have to spend a day.

Restricted content

Not only can you create new customers, but you can also provide useful information to your users. Downloadable content is another example of a proven lead generation and marketing automation strategy. Customers expect you to be a market leader. So, they want to download relevant content from your brand. Content is undoubtedly a proven way to generate leads. Restricted content is more targeted and serves as a guide to a specific topic. Users can download blocked content by providing their name and email address. It's a win for both sides.

Lead magnet

You can't close a sale without a prospect and every organisation needs a customer to fuel their business engine. The problem is that it takes a long time to get leads. Features consist of customer interests and contact information. Podcasting requires a variety of tactics, from social media posts to ads to videos and podcasts. Live chatbots like Mobile Monkey are another example of marketing automation for lead generation.

Customer testing

Today's consumers expect hyper-personalisation through digital devices. If you have hundreds or thousands of customers, you won't be able to meet them in person every day. It is also not prohibited or recommended during the epidemic. Even in video conferencing, it is impossible to make individual offers to each customer without automation. The most common way to understand the wants and needs of your customers is through a survey. It works because we offer special offers that are highly relevant. social media automation.

Adding new customers

Consumers, like businesses, are bombarded with data. Marketing is not just about attracting new customers. It's also about building loyalty. Keeping customers close takes time. They want and deserve attention. Personalised messages can save interactions. They are busy and don't have time to learn about all the new products and services.

Marketing automation tools are used to help marketers plan and execute their marketing campaigns. They help in analysing customer data, creating predictive models, and automating campaigns. These tools also help in better customer engagement by providing personalised experiences across the customer journey.

The key to success in marketing is to be able to use the tools that are available. This can include marketing automation tools, content automation tools, and social media automation tools. The use of these tools is important for marketers to engage with their customers on a personal level and build stronger relationships with them.

Discover how Neighbourhood can help you with HubSpot here!