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Types of marketing automation

In the dynamic world of marketing, nothing stays the same for long. With new marketing tactics popping up every day, how can a company stay one step ahead of the competition? It’s simple: marketing automation.

Automating repetitive and error-prone marketing tasks allows businesses to increase efficiency, improve sales, and create personalized campaigns. The end results are better lead generation results, fruitful engagement, and increased revenue.

What is marketing automation video

But when using automation in digital marketing, your success depends on how clear your marketing strategy/goals are and the strength of your digital marketing software. To set reasonable goals and obtain the right marketing automation tools, you need to possess an in-depth understanding of the following:

  • The different types of marketing automations
  • How marketing automation can be applied to your business
  • How to decide which tools are the most effective

Of course, this is easier said than done. Continue reading to discover the different types of marketing automation software, the benefits of using these tools, and how to sort through the various marketing automation platforms to find one that best suits your needs.

Understand the types of marketing automation

CRM automation

A customer relationship management (CRM) system can handle all of your marketing, sales, and customer success efforts. CRM automation has the same objective as other automated processes: to automate repetitive tasks, such as data entry, and encourage your sellers to focus on high-level tasks. When a CRM is optimized with marketing automation tools, it can be used to streamline everyday tasks, such as:

  • Storing and accessing customer data
  • Generating lead scores
  • Alerting your sales team to new prospects
  • Determining what personalized content should be used to nurture engagement

Marketing automation integration with CRM systems

Marketing automation software must be able to integrate with your chosen system. The best automation extensions seamlessly sync with your CRM to promote a compatible software ecosystem.

For example, Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation offers two-way integrations for multiple CRM systems, including Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. Oracle Eloqua’s CRM integrations are a native configuration that makes setup easy on your end. After these configurations are set, Oracle Eloqua can trigger a lead to be sent to your CRM based on any profile or engagement criteria, including different products, geographies, or types of prospects.

Marketing campaign automation

Campaign automation tools are designed to manage multidimensional campaigns that span different marketing channels. This form of automation helps businesses to create all types of marketing campaigns for social, web, text, and more. Some critical components of successful automated marketing campaigns include:

  • A/B testing
  • Personalized content
  • Eye-catching design

Creating automated campaigns that capture and hold audience attention

Automation alone won’t grab a customer’s attention. Your automated campaigns need to generate interest. To help you do that, Eloqua's campaign canvas provides a user-friendly, drag-and-drop graphical interface. It's equipped with many tools for creating engaging multi-step campaigns that will intrigue your customers and prospects.

Email marketing automation

Email marketing campaigns are still one of the most effective ways to engage customers. In fact, nearly 30% of marketers use email marketing to drive sales conversions and 20% use email campaigns to increase customer loyalty and advocacy.

Email marketing automation is a subset of campaign automation, but it deserves its own section because it’s such a vital automation feature. Email automation enables you to create and send personalized and targeted messages to the right audience at the right time. These automated email workflows are an excellent way to expand your lead nurturing capabilities, ultimately driving more sales from potential and existing customers.

Here’s an example: In today’s digital age, it’s common practice for customers to interact with your brand on the internet multiple times before they commit to a purchase. Automated features, such as email nurture campaigns, can take advantage of this fact. Email nurture campaigns help businesses foster loyal relationships with their customers by offering useful information regarding:

  • Industry trends
  • Company and industry thought leadership
  • Updates to your products or services
  • Latest company news
  • Opinions on industry hot topics

Regularly presenting timely, informative, and dynamic content to your customers can improve user engagement and increase conversions. Doing this by hand would take far too long, but email automation allows you to trigger messages that correspond to your customers’ actions. For example, by using a nurture campaign, you can automatically send your customers emails describing upcoming webinars after they register for an online event.

Email automation in action

Email automation is all about timing. Oracle Eloqua's AI capabilities improve your email open rates by predicting the best time to send emails and provide insights about how those emails will perform with a particular subject line. Oracle Eloqua’s email analysis dashboard also delivers a comprehensive overview of your emails sent within a specified time frame.

Marketing analytics automation

One of the most significant advantages of using marketing automation tools is receiving accurate and data-driven insights into your campaign performance. Traditionally, the data derived from multiple marketing campaigns has been siloed, making it difficult to know how campaigns performed. The most effective marketing analytics tools solve this issue by storing critical marketing data in one central location and analyze it to unearth insights into each campaign. Automated analytic capabilities allow you to leverage your marketing data at a scale by:

  • Tracking marketing metrics
  • Monitoring individual campaign performance
  • Generating automated insights into your marketing-related data

Marketing analytics automation tells you what’s working—and what isn’t

Before automation, it was almost impossible to identify the ROI associated with your marketing efforts. That is no longer the case. Now, advanced marketing automation software delivers extensive insights into all aspects of your campaigns, including your ROI.

For example, Oracle Eloqua’s campaign analysis abilities offer you a comprehensive overview of your activity and profitability. Each campaign is entered into the system and organized by properties such as campaign type, product, or region. Its closed-loop reporting provides an overview of how sales revenue is attributed to individual marketing campaigns. This enables you to analyze your overall marketing campaign ROI and accurately identify individual campaign performance.

Lead management automation

Although marketing is ever changing, managing and generating leads remains a top priority. When businesses use automation, lead quality increases by 80%. Automating the processes involved with acquiring and qualifying leads empowers marketers by:

  • Identifying the most prosperous touchpoints in the marketing and sales funnels
  • Nurturing leads by sending automated responses based on where a lead is in the customer journey
  • Alerting marketers when prospects complete certain actions, so marketing knows when to nurture that lead

Identifying the right leads at the right time

False positives and dead-end leads are all too common, but with the right lead management automations, they don’t have to be. Oracle Eloqua’s rule-based lead scoring model determines a lead's quality by evaluating a combination of individual profile and engagement criteria. A rule-based approach allows you to generate individualized insights into a lead’s potential by setting multiple models. This gives you an all-inclusive view of your lead scoring.

Sales and marketing alignment automation

How do you align sales and marketing? This question has puzzled businesses for far too long. But in recent years it has become clear that automation has enabled sales and marketing teams to collaborate more than ever before, bringing them closer together.

Automation can help sales and marketing teams achieve greater communication and alignment with their strategies by:

  • Sharing buyer personas, conversations, and purchase history data
  • Acting as a bridge between marketing and sales operations
  • Identifying common marketing and sales goals
  • Bringing marketing and sales closer together through unified buyer and account intelligence

Unify sales and marketing to achieve the ultimate customer experience

How do you ensure a successful customer experience? By using automation to improve sales and marketing alignment. Oracle Eloqua enables sales and marketing teams to identify, prioritize, and track high-value opportunities and premium accounts across the sales cycle.

Additionally, tracking and storing accurate data gathered from marketing efforts, such as email opens and social activity, gives the sales team a complete customer view. With this customer 360 view, sales can prioritize potential opportunities and leverage specific buyer interests.

Multi-channel automation

Without automation software keeping track of every campaign, streamlining your brand experience across multiple channels can become quickly disjointed and disorganized. Multi-channel automation has one goal: maintain a unified brand experience across all marketing channels. Automating multi-channel marketing processes allows marketers to ensure that each channel has a unique message while still aligning with your brand’s core strategy and catering to the interests of individual audiences. Some standard features associated with multi-channel automation include:

  • Push notifications
  • Retargeting ads
  • Automated SMS follow-ups

Create a unified voice across all channels

When taking a multi-channel approach, every email, social post, and newsletter should align seamlessly. Using templates and automated design editors helps you build beautiful, responsive emails, landing pages, and forms that provide personalized journeys based on a prospect’s visitor data, without compromising your brand’s voice and style.

How to choose the best marketing automation software

The benefits of marketing automation are only achievable if you have the right marketing automation tools in your tech stack. However, with so many marketing automation platforms available, it can be difficult to identify which tools best suit your needs. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind before committing to any automation software:

1

Consider the cost

When searching for new marketing automation software, the cost is likely to be at the forefront of your mind. Although some pricing may look reasonable at first glance, the cost can quickly skyrocket when you assess the hidden fees and revised rates after the first month’s subscription.

Your ideal automation partner should not have any hidden costs and should be straightforward about the extra fees involved with add-on features you are interested in. Additionally, you should be able to try out any platform before you make a final purchase. Which is why Oracle offers free demos to anyone interested in our platform.

2

Evaluate features carefully

Before you begin to assess your options, you should focus on your goals and determine which automation features align best with your needs. For example, if you know that email is a primary source of lead generation for your business, then you should invest in automation software that has fully stacked email automation capabilities. In addition, here are a few commonly desired automation features to look for:

  • Lead nurturing capabilities
  • Visitor tracking
  • Lead scoring
  • Multi-functional campaign tracking
  • Customized templates
  • Personalized messaging
3

Take scalability into account

Naturally, you intend to grow, and your automation software should be able to grow with you. A SaaS automation provider is a better choice for scalability than on-premises software. With SaaS marketing automation software, you can seamlessly update to the latest features. At Oracle, our marketing cloud software gives you the ability to scale your marketing processes to support any future growth.

4

Review customer service capabilities

You deserve a robust customer service system for services, such as onboarding or bug fixes. Although the best marketing automation platforms are reasonably self-sufficient and user friendly, there will be times when inconsistencies will arise and adjustments will be needed. Your automation partner should offer immediate and comprehensive customer support in these situations. Ideally, your provider’s hours should be able to accommodate you, and they should offer multiple support channels, such as a simple support ticket system and direct point of contact.

Learn more about Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation