The world of digital marketing is one where technology and innovation rule, which is why a recent study revealing that over a quarter of marketers were not aware of automation has come as such a surprise.
The research, carried out by Adestra and involving a survey of 200 senior-level marketing professionals across a range of UK sectors, found that 26% of marketers had never heard of marketing automation. If you’re one of them, automation refers to technologies and software platforms which enable brands to more effectively and time-efficiently market on multiple online channels. Repetitive, time-consuming tasks can be automated, thereby freeing up marketers for other activities.
So, is there a reason why a quarter of the UK’s leading marketers aren’t making use of automation? While it’s true that automation software and platforms do need to be used with a certain degree of skill, up to 60% of those surveyed by Adestra have reported that the implementation of automated technologies has had a positive impact on their marketing efforts. Could it be the case that the 26% of marketers who have never heard of automation have simply been left behind? Digital marketing moves incredibly fast, and only those with their fingers on their pulse are able to keep pace with their competitors.
If you’re considering giving automation a try but you aren’t sure whether it’s worth looking into, consider these 3 key benefits of marketing automation:
1. Time saving. This is by far the biggest advantage of automation, as the burden of so many routine tasks can be taken off your marketing team’s workload. It’s the equivalent of automating paperwork for police officers, so that they can get back out on the streets – with your marketing team freed up from time-consuming tasks, they can be more proactive, creative and dynamic in running your brand’s campaigns.
2. Increased engagement with customers. Nearly 70% of the marketers surveyed who had heard of automation named this as one of its key benefits, as it offers the chance to tailor content and personalise marketing to the individual customer without having to spend quite so much time on it.
3. More timely communications. After time saving (74%) and increased engagement (70%), over half of the survey respondents said that they thought automating marketing activities enabled communications to be better planned, scheduled and timed.
However, there are also pitfalls to avoid with marketing automation. The survey respondents named technology shortfall, data integration and lack of skill as some of the main barriers to and burdens of using marketing automation technology effectively, and marketers also need to ensure they don’t rely on automation for practically every marketing activity.
What do you think about marketing automation? Are you currently using it, and if so – what do you think are the biggest benefits and drawbacks to the technology?