If you are a marketer, it is evident that you are already accustomed to the term ‘marketing automation‘. According to a Social Media Today survey, almost 75% of B2B companies are using a marketing automation tool. The number is not surprising, given the broader implementation of AI and machine learning to trigger predictive marketing. While 75% of respondents in the same survey said marketing automation is inevitable at a level in their business, there is still a handful who are unsure what to do or where to begin.
Also, it is a surprising revelation that out of the 75%, many still have some of the fundamental questions unanswered. So, to put rest to all confusions and queries, here are 21 marketing automation questions to ask before you implement a marketing automation tool. Incase, you have one implemented, but it is still blank, time to pause and go over from the beginning.
Marketing automation encompasses everything you can think of while marketing your product- starting with email campaigns to drip emails, conversing with your users, social sharing, content marketing, and so much more-but all automated!
For those who think automation means spamming your users, it’s time we let go of such myths.
Here is how Wikipedia explains Marketing Automation:
Marketing Automation: Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.
Another touchpoint to understand is that Marketing automation is NOT software. When someone claims to be an expert in marketing automation, it is more like rephrasing that they are experts with any particular marketing automation tool, not necessarily the concept.
In The Definite Guide to Marketing Automation, Neil Patel and Ritika Puri mentions
Marketing automation starts with understanding the difference between ‘strategies’ and ‘tactics.
Once you get the concept right, any software can be a ball-game for you. Now that we have discussed marketing automation and how to go about it, let’s understand the basic queries you must have before you think of implementing marketing automation for your business. Here is a list of 21 crucial marketing automation questions to go through.
Here is the list of 21 important Marketing Automation Questions:
1. When should I start implementing a marketing automation platform?
Well, this is one of the most crucial marketing automation questions related to implementation; as your company grows, it becomes challenging to continue one-to-one interaction with lead or prospects and keeping a record of the conversations. Even if you hire a bunch of marketing and sales professionals, it will ultimately be more like the drain of wealth. That time when manually managing your brand relationship seems to be at stake, and marketing automation will save the day!
2. What are the basic features for which I should look out?
The first thing to look for is, the marketing automation tool must be GDPR-compliant. There can be no alternative to this.
Contrary to popular understanding, marketing automation is more than just email marketing. So, before you decide on a software application, you must understand what features you will need. On a general note, features like drip email campaigns, autoresponders, omnichannel marketing messages, sales enablement, social media marketing, lead tracking and scoring, CRM integration, and content marketing are vital.
Also, make sure the marketing automation tool you choose is GDPR compliant. GDPR and marketing automation go hand-in-hand now.
3. What do I plan first after purchasing a marketing automation app?
After purchasing comes proper setup and configuration of the marketing automation platform, it’s wise to connect with the support team as soon as possible and configure your choice of marketing automation application with your domain name online. Generally, all of this software has easy configuration processes, with few DNS updates, but you never know when you will need technical help!
4. Does marketing automation have social plugins integration option?
It should. If your marketing automation tool does not have social media integrations and robust social media marketing features, then you must re-think. When everything and everyone is going social, you really cannot compromise on your brand’s social presence. Your customers need avenues to stay connected with your brand even when they are not on your website or app. And what better place than social media? Opt for a tool like Aritic PinPoint, where you can streamline your social media updates across multiple social platforms, track and monitor social activities, trigger automated replies, and run customized social ads.
5. What other software apps can I integrate?
Multi-tasking is not just a nice word to use in lectures. You will need a host of apps to use when you sit to automate your marketing plans. Many apps may not come integrated by default. Hence it is important to see if your choice of marketing automation application can integrate all the apps that you might need as you proceed or have been using already. Most of the time, you need very close integration with CMS, Social Media, external applications.
6. What kind of support will I get from a Marketing Automation vendor?
One of crucial marketing automation questions that you as a user must ask. You should check what all support options are available and in what time zones. That may include email, phone call, or real-time chat support. You can get email support most of the time, but real-time chat and phone call support are added benefits.
7. Can both the sales and marketing team use it?
It is the most frequently asked question when it comes to marketing automation questions. Sales and marketing automation go hand-in-hand. Hence, the application will be required by both your teams, the sales and marketing. Dig in deep, do a lot of research, and see if the application you purchased will be useful for both your teams. You should check how many users can be added and how emails are sent out from the tool.
8. How is a marketing automation tool different from a CRM?
CRM and marketing automation tools are not the same but complementary to each other. You must understand the fine line difference between these two tools. While CRM has been mainly designed for sales purposes, an automation tool is designed for marketers mainly. You can use the combination of marketing automation and CRM for startups, small businesses, and even enterprise businesses to get more leads and close more deals. You can read here how a CRM is different from a marketing automation tool.
9. Can I customize the marketing Automation suite as per my needs?
Customization becomes a vital necessity in the long run; that’s why you should ask these marketing automation questions. You might want to change some settings or add/delete some sections of the application you are using as per your immediate need. Make sure the software you purchase gives you the liberty to tweak it as required by your business, else you will not be able to reap the benefits of marketing automation properly.
10. Does the Marketing Automation suite provide API support?
Be entirely sure that the automation suite provides complete API support. Without technical backing, it might be an issue in the long run when your marketing activity requires more speed, new apps, and more integration in the coming future.
11. Can I automate my social media outreach?
It is a valid question from the list of marketing automation questions; the importance of social presence needs no explanation. However, when you invest in automating your marketing strategies, it is better to see if it can enhance your social presence. Can you reach out to a better and targeted user base through your social media profiles using your automation tool? If yes, then smash it! Look for features like RSS feed auto-updates, auto-engagements like comments, follow-backs, and likes. P.S. Aritic PinPoint now has all these features + more (like social bots, social calendars, etc.)
12. Will I get analytics integration with a marketing automation suite?
Marketing strategy has its backbone in analytics. Without the numbers and metrics of your competitors, how can you possibly etch a full-proof marketing plan? Make sure your automation application has analytic integration in it.
13. Can I get weekly or monthly data-based reports?
Regular updates are essential to understanding the fast-paced user demand and how your competitors are handling it. Your status in the market and how far or near, fast or slow you are in the race. Make sure you have the option to avail weekly or monthly detailed reports.
14. Is marketing automation only for email?
No. Suppose an application claims to be a marketing automation application yet has just email marketing listed down in its feature list. In that case, you should check if it has plans to integrate other forms of communication like SMS or Mobile app notification in the future. The marketing automation funnel is much more than just email marketing, which is otherwise a marketing automation component.
15. Can I automate the complete lead nurturing?
Analytics and reports will go in vain if lead nurturing is not done effectively. Specifically, Lead nurturing branches out into many activities that are not possible manually when you have many users. Your marketing automation application must have all the facilities, starting from acquiring to retaining your users.
16. Can I track registered lead behavior on our website and landing page?
It is quite an important question from the list of marketing automation questions. See if your automation application gives you the option of tracking your leads’ behavior on your web page and website. If this option is not present, you should probably keep looking for other alternatives! It is a must-have feature of a Marketing Automation suite.
17. Is marketing automation app multiple-device friendly?
Your users are not on one device ONLY. They use smartphones, laptops, tablets, and every other smart device to stay connected. Hence, if your automation app isn’t compatible with any device (at least with those that most people use), it will be a waste.
18. Can more than one person work on such a tool? As in, can a whole team (between 5-100) use it?
Another essential question from the list of marketing automation questions is that team collaboration is mandatory when trying to market your product. If your marketing automation tool does not allow more than one user to collaborate, marketing will be a costly affair and time-taking.
19. Should I do research on the company profile whose automation tool I am to purchase?
Before investing in a marketing automation tool, make sure you have an in-depth knowledge of the company making the product. It’s not because your decision might backfire, but only because you can have a fair understanding of how the tool might shape up in the future by understanding the company’s background and history. Your knowledge about the company will help you know which industry precisely they are targeting, who their immediate competitors are, and how long the product can survive in the market with complete support.
20. Will my marketing automation tool have more promising features in the future?
Blimey! An unusual but vital question to note amongst marketing automation questions. When you decide upon an automation tool, apart from all the above queries, you should also check whether it will have more promising features in the future. Email marketing is just one part of marketing automation. You should check what else your tool would be able to offer in the future. If that aligns with your business effectively, then you have made the right choice.
21. Should I choose an automation tool based on price only?
The last question from the list of marketing automation questions you should ask, as budgeting is essential but make sure you do not limit yourself. That doesn’t mean you will go ahead and splurge, but deciding by merely looking at the price chart may incur more cost in the future.
Choosing a Marketing Automation Tool for Your Business
Every business has different expectations from its marketing campaigns. Hence, choosing a marketing automation software depends on what you want to achieve with it. A Marketing automation tool needs a proper fertile ground to function. You need a proper pipeline of leads to get your marketing automation campaigns started. If you have a minimal number of leads, it is impossible to get accurate results; however, you can best implement your automation campaigns. So, there are two things you need to analyze:
- Will your marketing automation campaigns give you your desired results?
- Will your customers/leads react to your automation campaigns?
- How much are you willing to invest in your marketing?
Things you can do with the perfect marketing automation tool
If you have answers to all these marketing automation questions, you are quite ready to start implementing marketing automation strategies now. Your marketing automation tool’s core functionality is (and should be) focused on lead behavior tracking, whether on the website or in-app. Unless you track and monitor your lead behavior, you can never trace their browsing pathway or understand what they are looking for exactly. And to get your marketing campaigns to show results, you need to give your leads precisely the right information at the right time.
A marketing automation software like Aritic PinPoint helps create a brand image and position your business socially. It enables you to opt for a multichannel marketing approach, wherein you can engage your prospective users over email, mobile, website, apps, social media via push notifications and landing pages. Advanced lead nurturing and lead management features help in dynamic list segmentation. List segmentation is mostly dynamic and is based on demographics like location, country, age, gender, etc., the stage in which the prospect is present, behavior-based, and event-based.
You can create intuitive landing pages, cross-channel drip marketing campaigns, SMS campaigns, push campaigns, re-engagement email campaigns, assign lead scores, and establish a one-on-one relationship with your customers. Your marketing automation tool will help you push your leads through the marketing-sales funnel and after conversion has happened.
Lead information capturing has evolved to become smart and relevant. Using embedded forms in landing pages or emails can help you speed up the process. Also, using progressive profiling to capture lead information without annoying them is always great. If your marketing automation enables you to use gated content, you can ensure more lead information quickly.
Based on lead scoring and A/B testing features, you can launch relevant drip campaigns that will work. It offers integration with a wide range of websites and mobile, CRM, CMS, social media plugins, and other plugins. It is adept at bridging the gap between your marketing and sales team and improving your marketing team’s productivity. You get detailed reports and analytics to measure your campaign performance against actual data, along with all these.
Marketing automation is steadily moving towards incorporating high-end predictive and recommendation-based marketing with the help of artificial intelligence. Are you ready? Do you have any other marketing automation questions that I’ve missed out on probably? Tell me, and I will make sure to answer it for you.
⭐ How to implementing marketing automation platform?
Installing and setting up the software helps to implement marketing automation successfully. Setting up marketing automation helps to clean up the data.
⭐ Who requires Marketing Automation?
Marketing and sales teams of different sized organizations use marketing automation to build campaigns for achieving a high return on investment.
⭐ How is a marketing automation tool different from a CRM?
Marketing automation performs repetitive marketing tasks to enhance the conversion rates, whereas CRM optimizes the contact and sales management for automating sales and customer satisfaction.
⭐ What is marketing automation primarily used for?
Marketing Automation generates a more systematic approach to proper marketing execution, like sending emails and publishing social media posts without any manual actions.
⭐ What is marketing automation integration?
Marketing automation integration enables a marketing automation program to connect and sync with other applications to promote a friendly software ecosystem.