7 Features to Look For in a Marketing Automation Platform
In this digitized world, your customers are empowered with numerous resources to analyze and compare you with other prospective brands. As a result, simply promoting your brand is not enough to market your offers.
To gain a competitive advantage in marketing, during this technology-driven era, you need to build strong customer relationships and make them “fall in love” with you by offering them the best possible experience.
You need to keep sending emails and follow-up emails, collect data, grow the database to help drive marketing, and make a confident and informed decision about your tech stack’s future. If you are trying to achieve all this just with your marketing team’s help, you might end up wasting a lot of time with no real benefit. Rather, it’s time to invest in a marketing automation tool to take your marketing to the next level.
Unlike an inbound marketing strategy that focuses on only attracting potential buyers using various lead magnets; a marketing automation tool helps you generate organic traffic, nurture and track their behavior, and automatically initiate personalized conversions to scale up your business.
Why is a Marketing Automation Tool Important?
The primary objective of a marketing automation tool is to effectively bridge the gap between your sales and marketing teams to improve conversion rates. It not only streamlines the work of digital marketing professionals by automating marketing tasks but also offers more time for your team members to focus on other important aspects of the business.
Further, the right marketing automation tool; reduces customer acquisition costs, increases average order value (AOV) of customers, converts one-time buyers into loyal customers, and increases the frequency of purchases.
You should also note however great this may sound, not all marketing automation tools have the necessary features that your business might need. Moreover, with thousands of marketing automation solutions available on the market today, selecting the right one can be difficult. To complicate this problem even further, you should select the right tool that integrates seamlessly with your existing marketing system and places an emphasis on customers at its core.
Consequently, to truly leverage the power of marketing automation, you need to make sure that the marketing automation tool you are trying to incorporate must have the following features:
- Integrates With the Existing CRM and is Bi-directional
Marketing is all about gathering and analyzing customer data to improve your services and customer experience. The use of a great marketing automation tool captures customer information throughout the customer life cycle. But, what about the previous customer data existing in your present CRM?
Since all previous customer data is equally important, you cannot afford to lose any. As such, it is wise to select a marketing automation tool that can not only process your old data to put it to the best possible use. Additionally, you should ensure that the marketing automation tool (MAT) has bi-directional functionality integration with the CRM that you are currently using. A bi-directional integration feature ensures that customer information is automatically updated on both tools, existing and new, simultaneously.
- Automated Workflow
The entire idea of integrating a marketing automation tool is to automate the work burden of digital marketing. So, selecting a tool that can develop an automated workflow, such as pre-designing content templates and scheduling it for automatic delivery is very important. The software will scan through your CRM and generate follow-up emails with personalized messages. This helps when building customer engagement without having to spend the necessary time on it.
- Targets Every Anonymous Visitor
Is your marketing campaign failing to generate an expected number of leads? Well, not all visitors convert to leads the moment they visit your website or landing page. You need to have the right marketing automation tool to convert your potential customers into successful leads. Try selecting an MAT that Targets and nurtures all the anonymous visitors to your landing page to convert them into potential leads.
A marketing automation tool that uses browser fingerprint technology and chatbots can track all your anonymous visitors based on their source and behavior. With this enriched feature set, It will enable you to collect basic information like name and email address, which is important to target an anonymous website visitor.
- Manages Leads Post Generation
A good marketing automation tool will not restrict itself to just lead generation. It is also important to manage those leads, besides CRM integration, to escort leads from one buying stage to another. This process is critical to finally convert them into buyers. Lead management involves 360-degree lead profiling, progressive profiling, explicit & implicit lead scoring, lead point tags, behavior tracking, heatmaps, and secure data storage.
- Multichannel Marketing Scope
Using a MAT that enables you to connect with your customers via multiple marketing channels can create more leads than ones that use omnichannel marketing. While it is important to keep your customers in the center, you also need to offer a consistent marketing experience across all platforms and devices.
Unlike omnichannel marketing, which targets mostly through emails, multichannel marketing uses landing pages, social media, web, mobile, push notifications, and videos to target potential customers.
- Social Media Marketing Features
As social media platforms keep expanding, managing all your accounts manually can be very time-consuming and might not have a beneficial outcome. Modern-day social media marketing involves analyzing a lot of parameters such as; customer engagement, rate of success in lead generation, post-release time, and more.
To gain a competitive advantage in social media marketing, you need to make complete market research, stay updated on the trends, and build engaging posts accordingly. Thus, integrating a marketing automation tool that will automatically manage your social media activities like customer service and post scheduling is one of the ignored but vital features.
- Onboarding support
As much as the marketing automation tool (MAT) has eased the process of digital marketing, it has also complicated the technicality behind the entire process. Thus, just incorporating an automation tool into your marketing system may not be enough. You must be aware of how to properly use the technology to leverage the best out of it.
MATs that offer onboarding training on the system, helps you get used to your new marketing system faster. From configurations set up, to real-time help in accessing the system, your marketing tool must guide you throughout the journey.
“With thousands of marketing automation solutions available, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your company. Because the buyers’ journey and sales cycle differ between e-commerce and other types of businesses, some platforms may lack the tools and features you need to manage the customer lifecycle,” says HubSpot. But keeping the above points in mind will help you streamline your search for the right marketing automation tool.