Nowadays, marketing and content teams have a considerable amount of responsibility on their shoulders. Tasked with driving the growth of their companies in a highly competitive marketplace, they must achieve the ambitious objectives of their organizations while striving to keep hold of their existing customers.
Fulfilling these responsibilities means managing a multitude of connections across a variety of channels, and attempting to do this manually quickly becomes overwhelming. The result is that marketing creativity suffers, and growth typically follows suit.
So how should we seek to free marketing teams from these constraints and foster creativity? The answer lies in digital transformation.
The key to unlocking the potential of marketing professionals is to give them the freedom to think creatively. Of course, this is close to impossible to do when they are lacking in good data that uncovers opportunities and guides improvements to customer experience. And this issue only worsens with scale.
It’s clear, then, that a centralized customer data solution is in order, and this is where such systems as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and marketing automation platforms (MAP) come into play.
As a central hub for data on leads, prospects, and customers, CRMs provide a single point through which all actionable information can be accessed. In some cases, this can help to relieve a variety of administrative burdens by itself. However, the true potential of a CRM lies in its integrations. With applications like MAPs that introduce a variety of content marketing, email marketing and lead-generation tools, marketers can leverage this centralized data as part of a holistic approach to customer engagement.
All of this is to say that when fed the correct data, CRMs can provide a stable base from which marketing professionals may begin to liberate themselves from repetitive, routine tasks. If marketing teams are to pursue their goals at scale, then they must seek to harness the innate power of data with marketing automation.
Lead generation is a pivotal aspect of marketing, but it can also be a painstaking process if not handled correctly. With automation, AI, and machine learning, however, it can become a comparatively facile task. Depending on the goals of your team and the specifics of your strategy, there are a wide variety of ways to automate lead generation.
SEO tools, for instance, can help marketing teams gain essential insights into emerging trends and quickly execute optimization and content development initiatives to gain traction with their desired audiences. Moreover, when such tools can leverage the wealth of data that a CRM provides, they can allow marketers to painlessly create more efficient, accessible, and intuitive websites that make for a more engaging and satisfying customer experience.
Similarly, it’s possible to automate social media posting. This means that a brand can continually publish updates across its channels without requiring a marketing professional to invest time in manually posting them. The result is that marketers can focus their attention on the bigger picture without losing out on brand awareness or engagement, and this is why digital transformation is so crucial.
Crucially, leveraging technology and data in this way fosters alignment between marketing and sales teams, creating a seamless transition between lead generation and quote-to-cash processes when the time comes to convert. This is central to a holistic, data-driven approach to CX and customer engagement, and 85% of sales and marketing leaders agree that alignment between the two is the largest opportunity for improving business performance.
Image Source: LinkedIn Moments of Trust eBook
Of course, to turn leads into customers and generate ROI, they need to be nurtured, and this is where digital transformation and marketing automation truly begin to bear fruit.
Through the use of analytics and a well-implemented CRM, marketers can track key engagement metrics, collate data about leads, and create detailed profiles of individuals. This enables marketers to efficiently segment leads into neat categories and create personalized content for each stage of their journey.
Email marketing software allows marketers to create automated workflows, such as drip campaigns, which gently encourage leads to progress on their customer journey. Similarly, they can set up triggered emails to respond to specific user behaviors, ensuring that each member of their audience receives the right message at exactly the right moment. Such emails can also be personalized using email marketing platforms, meaning that all subscribers get a more authentic resonant experience with no extra effort after post-setup.
Simply put, marketing automation allows marketers to handle the complex task of content creation and curation, while software tools handle the practical aspects of which messages to send and when.
Effectively implementing automation in this way requires an initial investment of time and effort, and that is one of the primary challenges associated with digital transformation. However, the net benefit to efficiency, creativity, and engagement is enormous.
The true value of enterprise marketing teams lies in their ability to look at the bigger picture, drive sustainable growth, and meet organizational aims in the long term. However, if they are to do that effectively, they must not be hindered by the burden of repetitive, menial tasks.
This is what marketing automation is all about, allowing content creators to focus on what matters most — creating unique, engaging content that resonates with their audience.
By embracing digital transformation and leveraging the power of data with automation, we can free marketing teams from the trivialities of today, allowing them to be the architects of tomorrow.
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