A term like marketing automation might sound a little scary to a pixel jockey like yourself, but at some point in your career, you may need to be able to talk intelligently about it. Here’s your primer; skim through it before the meeting with your project manager, and you’ll be ready to go!
What is marketing automation?
Do you picture robots taking over the workforce, just itching for the day when they become self-aware? Are you conjuring an Ayn Rand book cover? Thinking about the Terminator? Marketing automation isn’t any one of those things.
Modern-day automation allows the rest of your marketing team to set up fully-integrated resources–no, that’s starting to sound like jargon. Here’s a version you, the graphic designer, needs to know:
With marketing automation, you pay a fee for a service that:
- does a lot of repetitive work for you,
- responds instantly to customers,
- makes those customers happy, and
- helps your company make loads of money.
Doesn’t that sound better? Take a look at these chatbot examples and think about how much of a load they take off of a startup team.
How do graphic designers and front-end developers use marketing automation?
Graphic designers will likely need to be able to incorporate the chatbot into the overall design. The calls-to-action and the chat fields may already exist if your website (or app) was using a live chat feature. If not, you’ll need to help incorporate this into the website’s design.
Front-end developers may be a part of that, but will also have to get the chatbot up and running. The awesome thing about modern chatbot services is that they’re fairly plug-and-play.
Now, let’s take a deeper dive:
When did marketing automation start?
Marketing automation began way back in 1992 with most of the marketing automation systems concentrating on email marketing. (Is that a long time ago? For some of us, it’s not.) The industry started taking shape in early 2000, with significant corporations embracing it for their marketing and email resource management. Of course, email marketing in those days was nothing like it is today.
The adoption of Customer Relationship Management (CRM – here’s the Wikipedia on that if you need to rip some facts for a presentation) systems in the modern business world show the potential of marketing automation. Research reveals an increased return on investment (your boss probably name-drops her friend ROI all the time) and overall business growth for corporations implementing automation in their marketing strategy.
Approaches to marketing automation
You can use marketing automation in one of three ways. These include (and your eyes might start to gloss over now – skip this section if you want):
- Marketing Intelligence – This means: the use of technology to help in monitoring and tracking the behavior of the customer when online. The information collected is then analyzed and patterns identified for behavior-based marketing strategies.
- Business Development – This approach in marketing automation focuses on moving the customers at the upper tier of awareness to the bottom tier of purchasing.
- Workflow Automation – Workflow automation refers to the automation and optimization of everyday marketing tasks. (Yay, less work for you!) The repetitive tasks include internal processes that the organization needs to run the marketing department.
But can you lay down the benefits in bullet points?
(Sure – here you go! We’ve used a lot of passive tenses so it will look like you graphic designers did a lot of research.)
- Monitoring of marketing campaigns – Marketing automation software helps the business track and monitor the campaigns. The software helps track the expenditure and response monitoring, hence providing measurable data to determine success or failure.
- Customer retention – Retaining customers and having clients who are more than repeat clients is a goal for every marketer. The marketing automation software helps retain customers by understanding the customized needs of the existing and prospective customers.
- Increased productivity – Marketing automation software helps in increasing the productivity of your business by simplifying the repetitive marketing and organizational tasks. This factor helps the marketing department to concentrate on other tasks that require keen focus and attention.
- Automation of workflow – Automating workflows through the use of marketing automation software goes a long way toward increasing efficiency. They also help you eliminate any human-related errors by ensuring that all the documentation, activities, and processes are automated.
- Increase in revenue – The marketing automation software is not cheap, yet it has several benefits, including the increase in revenue, which is the goal of every business. This factor can be attested by businesses that adopted the use of marketing automation.
- Customized follow-ups – Marketing automation can help your business in conducting targeted follow-ups by studying consumer behavior.
- Prioritization of leads – The marketing automation software can help you establish clear and pre-defined objectives for enhanced customer participation.
- Accurate prediction of future investment – The closed-loop feature in reporting can give proper information on the ROI of your efforts. This feature allows you to make a predictive analysis of your business.
Tips for Graphic Designers & Front-End Developers Who Are Tasked With Setting Up Chatbots
Okay, you can wake up now. We’re back to the fun stuff.
So let’s assume you’ve been tasked with incorporating a chatbot into your website. Aside from the technical requirements, you’ll want to:
Identify the needs of your users: The first step is to figure out what your customers want. Sit on a meditation map and call your ideal customer to mind, because these people are the reason you drive a Tesla (or: the reason somebody in your chain of command drives a Tesla). Figure out your end-users’ needs, behaviors, and attributes. In this step, make sure that you can define, categorize, capture, and organize the customer needs while building performance metrics.
Define the journey map of your customer: The business (a.k.a. “youse guys”) interacts with customers (a.k.a. “the customers”) on numerous occasions through their customer journey. It should define this journey by creating a visual representation of the interactions. This journey map will be instrumental as you monitor and evaluate the business experience and services from the perspective of the customer.
Automate the marketing activities: The automation of marketing activities is essential at every stage of the customer’s journey. Automate the interactions from the time of conversion from a prospect to an actual client. The benefit of this action is that you can gain more revenue using the automation platforms.
Congratulations! You’ve made it through over 900 words on a subject that continuously threatened to put you to sleep. Chances are, you’re probably excited to give marketing automation a try now. Or, if not, at least tweet a link to this article, so your followers think you’re smart.