Today, hardly any company that pursues marketing strategically can do without marketing automation. Like all automation, it makes it possible to support tasks that used to be manual and time-consuming with suitable software and to let them run independently. An example from marketing is the sending of personalised emails or the placement of social media posts. However, it is not only efficiency that can be gained through this marketing automation. The interaction with leads can be made more personal and thus help you to create a customer experience that stays in the memory. This way, your leads find exactly what is important to them. A win-win situation for companies and customers.
Despite these benefits, there are still myths surrounding marketing automation that prevent companies from getting started. We would like to address these myths and show that every company can benefit from automation.
Email marketing is a field that was automated early on through features that are now taken for granted. An autoresponder, for example, is now an absolute standard, but nothing more than a small automation. Enquiries are answered automatically first. This is a very cheap and time-saving automation. But because email marketing was (partially) automated at an early stage, it is the first thing most people think of when it comes to marketing automation.
With email marketing, especially if it is very broad and non-personalised, there is a possibility that content is not aligned with the needs of the target group. Because as many readers as there are, there are also interests and needs. It is almost impossible to address each person individually and optimally via email.
That is why it can be very promising to address leads via social media and thus create a more individual, personal communication in real time. Companies make themselves approachable and can contribute a lot to addressing leads through good community management.
Marketing in particular is an area that quickly adapts to the latest trends, adopts the next technology and thus interacts with countless apps and tools. This is precisely why it is also a matter of course for marketing automation that a wide variety of channels can be integrated. Web shops, chatbots, CRMs or almost all cloud applications that support marketing can also be integrated. This way, more information about customers can be collected and you can get a comprehensive picture of what your leads are interested in and where you get conversions from.
Hmmmm, yain. Not if it's done right. And it is done right, ironically, if it is not done too complexly. As is often the case, good preparation is half the job. So before you start with marketing automation, be clear what your expectations and requirements are. Concrete goals can be developed through your personal business case. This step is essential for marketing automation to succeed, but also for it to create any benefit at all.
These requirements should also be the basis for choosing a marketing automation tool. No fancy advertising promises or the cheapest subscription. Of course, it can be helpful to consult experts who know marketing automation inside out - not only when choosing a tool, but also when evaluating your own requirements.
In addition to common tools, marketing automation can also become a reality in other ways. With iPaaS tools (What is iPaaS?) such as Make (What is Make?) or Zapier , it is possible to link cloud tools that are already in use and let them talk to each other. This not only has the advantage that existing tools can continue to be used, but also that your marketing automation remains flexible and scalable.
We all know it, daily newsletters flood our inbox without us ever having a look inside. Sometimes we even wonder where these emails come from (where did I give permission again?). It's understandable that you don't want your company to be one of them. But we can reassure you:
Well-done marketing automation is not spam. Have your customers given you permission to receive emails? Then you can revoke it at any time. In addition, the internet is now mainly used as a search tool. People are actively searching for information and products. See yourself as a helper:in to support and stop this search. If people are open to information, then why not fulfil their search needs? In this way
Marketing automation can be used to build a relationship with your customers. Yes - it's automated, but no - it's not spam. The bigger marketing automation tools now have built-in "spam meters". So after you write your email, you immediately get an overall score that tells you if your email has a good chance of success.
It is important that the emails are "communicative". Write as if you were meeting someone in the queue at the supermarket, for example. The aim should be to start a conversation, not to push a product on the reader with as little text as possible.
It sounds too good to be true. Just like analogue or manual marketing activities, your marketing automation needs to be readjusted at regular intervals, especially at the beginning. Finding the perfect marketing plan for your business on the first go is also a myth. Once you've found your target audience, you still need to find the right content. Just like the tools that are suitable to address the target group and the right channels. Especially the last two are subject to change due to constant development. Does that sound complex? No, it isn't. Software that responds to this change evolves with it and is therefore scalable.
Well, it depends. How realistic are your marketing plans? As a rule, good marketing automation mainly solves a time and efficiency problem. It takes care of the automatic execution of certain tasks. This also means that it creates efficiency, of course, but has no influence on the content. But the content of your marketing plan still plays the main role. And a flesh-and-blood human being is responsible for that.
After the previous five 5 points, this myth probably dispels itself. Marketing automation is not impersonal. By using the right marketing automation software, marketing activities are personally tailored to your leads. Based on search behaviour, you can get a pretty reliable picture of a person's interests these days. And by presenting the right content, those interests can be fulfilled. The days of starting an email with "Dear Sir or Madam" instead of neatly typed first or last name are long gone.
Convinced but still not sure where to start? We would be happy to have a free initial meeting with you to find out where you stand and which steps are suitable for you. We can not only advise you on various tools, but also analyse processes. Together we will find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable.
Cloud Integration, iPaaS, SaaS, BPA… Ough, hard to keep track of all these terms. They are currently used frequently (and increasingly) in the context of automation, and it is sometimes difficult to make a clear distinction and distinction. We have already written blog posts on the terms iPaaS, SaaS and BPA, but we’ll take them up again here to make the difference.
But let’s start with cloud integration, because that’s the central umbrella term in which we embed all the other technologies in this blog post.
Arrange a free cloud integration consultation now
Arrange a free cloud integration consultation now
To illustrate these advantages, an example is suitable that we know well from our everyday work as an automation agency:
The central data to be used here is the data of a major customer. This can be the simplest information, such as the address. This address is required in numerous but completely different processes in the company: on the one hand, for correct invoicing in accounting. On the other hand, in the CRM system, where all the data of the large customer is also stored. But the address is also important in sales, for example, when employees go to the sales meeting on site.
Now the customer announces that the address of the company has changed after a move. This information will reach you by e-mail. There are now two options:
01. The e-mail is forwarded to all affected departments, accounting, sales, customer service, marketing… All persons open their corresponding program, CRM, accounting software, marketing tools (such as newsletter marketing) and change the data already stored there of the customer. This means that in multiple applications, different people do exactly the same thing: change one address.
02. But there is also an alternative: By connecting your applications, thus by integrizing them, the customer’s e-mail, or rather the information it contains about the address change, is automatically passed on to all affected applications: CRM, accounting, marketing, ERP. This does not require any clicks, because the cloud integration detects a trigger, i.e. address change, and thus automatically starts the process.
What sounds unimpressive in a single process becomes more effective when such a process occurs several times a day or weekly. Because there is a lot of data that is available in different applications and should always be correct. If these applications are cloud applications they are suitable for cloud integration.
But cloud integration doesn’t just happen. There are now a variety of applications that enable and implement this. Such tools usually allow us to link the relevant cloud applications on a central platform and define clear rules on when, how, where, how much data should be passed on and what happens to them.
To realize cloud integration, there are various applications and technologies that are sometimes used interchangeably.
We have made a first distinction between iPaaS and BPA here.
We explain the term SaaS in more detail here.
Cloud integration is rather an umbrella term that includes numerous technologies, such as SaaS, iPaaS and BPA, and this is also absolutely necessary. Cloud integration is a concept that is made possible by appropriate technologies.
However, all terms share the commonality that they are cloud-based and thus offer enormous potential for growth and scaling. In addition, they are often cheaper to implement and maintain because changed requirements are easy to implement.
As an independent automation agency, we implement cloud integration according to your requirements. We use a variety of SaaS tools and iPaas (strictly speaking BPA) software. Together we find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable.