Marketing Automation is a true revolution in the world of marketing. It changes the approach to the client and to communication itself: it enables delivering an individual message to a defined person at the right time. Marketing automation has the following benefits: obtaining leads, increased sales efficiency, cost reduction, increased conversion, up-selling and better targeting. What does marketing automation really involve and what can be achieved by it?
Globally, Marketing Automation (MA) is one of the most dynamically growing markets of marketing and sales support systems. In Poland, this topic is still a terra incognita, although over the next few months, we will be observing increased interest, and above all, implementation of this solution to many companies operating on our market. As research demonstrates, just over half of the companies using MA realize the potential that lies within this technology. There is a great amount of software and tools of this type on the market, however there are only a few comprehensive marketing automation platforms which fully respond to the needs of contemporary companies. According to recent reports by Gartner, the leader of this market segment is the Oracle Eloqua system, used by over 5 thousand companies worldwide. The vast majority of these are the biggest international corporations. One of the first companies in Poland to use Oracle Eloqua is Sage Polska.
What is a marketing automation platform?
In a nutshell, it is a tool for building complex interaction schemes with the client, which uses digital impact. The strongest MA software is Eloqua, which is also part of Oracle Marketing Cloud, an even farther-reaching solution, aimed at supporting businesses at every level: from data management, marketing and sales to service or support for decision making.
Eloqua is a fully cloud-based solution, so data are stored on servers located in data centres, using state-of-the-art security procedures. Therefore, access is possible from any place on earth which has Wi-Fi.
It is a multidimensional system, which means that it enables combining many types of actions and evaluating their effectiveness. It enables for example creating and distributing emails (it is capable of sending as many as 1 250 000 emails per hour!), creating a landing page, tracing user behaviour on websites, in forms and emails.
This is the creator of landing pages – dedicated websites which may be built and launched on Eloqua. A site launched this way makes is possible to collect information about the behaviours of users who visit it.
MA tools enable a more effective combination and partial automation of operational and sales processes. This in turn allows you to formulate new tasks and create sales opportunities or generate leads. A great advantage of this type of system is the integration of various databases, as well as updates and verification of data from various databases. For example, Eloqua also uses other measures of impact, such as: text messages, webinars, virtual presentations etc.
MA systems enable the collection and analysis of Big Data, but also of Small Data. Any user interactions with digital media in order to create behavioural profiles may be recorded and analysed, which enables, further on, to create impact schemes matching user preferences.
One example of such an impact scheme may be the following sequence:
- A user has filled in a form and granted consent to marketing communication, and then over the following two weeks paid two visits to a website which offered training.
- The system automatically sends them a pre-composed e-mail with the offer.
- If they open the email, click the link, follow to the landing page and fill in the form, then a moment later it sends a thank-you note for filling in the form.
- Then, for example 5 days before the training, the system generates an e-mail with a reminder about the event, but if it is not opened for two subsequent days, the call centre receives and order to contact the client to remind them about the training.
- One day before the training, the system sends another reminder, this time with a map of the location and other useful information.
Sounds complicated? When adequately prepared, the system does all these steps for us automatically. This is what marketing automation is about: after prior programming, it performs such (seemingly) complex client interactions.
How to measure the effectiveness of MA actions?
Advanced Marketing Automation systems, such as Eloqua offer users a wide range of analytical tools. Thanks to these, we are able to measure precisely the effectiveness of our actions, better manage marketing budgets, even secure against various risks related to legal restrictions concerning marketing communications or personal data protection. For example, at every stage of the impact scheme, Eloqua checks whether the user has not withdrawn their consent for market communication.
One of the biggest advantages of MA platforms such as Eloqua is the ability to combine them with CRM systems. What is more, the system can also connect to the data bases of various digital products or aftersales databases, e.g. data bases of departments dealing with aftersales support. Using many sources of data, Eloqua enables the creation of a multidimensional, multifaceted profile of a prospect or a client, and thanks to the easy execution of complex, tailor-made schemes of marketing impact, it allows better effects in sales, aftersales support, training, informing or building relationships with clients.
*This text was originally published on Sage Poland blog.