What is marketing automation and why most businesses in Singapore need it

What is marketing automation and why most businesses in Singapore need it

Digital marketing in Singapore is changing very fast. If you are in touch with what your competitors are doing online, you will notice that some of your more savvy competitors pick up new digital marketing strategies every now and then. One of the up and coming aspects of digital marketing is marketing automation.

Marketing automation is the bread and butter of any modern marketing, but for various reasons, many businesses in Singapore are not using it. The potential for marketing automation to change your business positively is huge. Among the many benefits, marketing automation can produce up to 451% of increase in qualified leads, and improve sales productivity by up to 14.5%.

In this article, we’ll cover how marketing automation can be relevant for different types of business, the benefits of marketing automation, the key to marketing automation success, and factors to consider when implementing it.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation has been in the market since 2005. There are many different definitions of marketing automation. But to put it simply, marketing automation refers to using software to help automate marketing tasks. These tasks are generally related to engaging with your customers or prospects, social media, email. Marketing automation software helps you do these tasks at scale, hence, it’s becoming more important for digital marketers.

Benefits of marketing automation

#1 Scale

Any business that requires you to engage with your customers at scale, will benefit from marketing automation. Regardless of whether you’re a B2B, B2C, small brick and mortar business, or an eCommerce shop, you will benefit from marketing automation as long as you need to engage with your customers.

Have you ever experienced the pain of copying and pasting a text message template to each customer, replacing the (name) text with your customer’s name? Marketing automation software allows you to do such things within a few clicks.

#2 Personalized messages

Personalized messages

Whether you’re creating email content, social media content, digital marketing ads, or any follow-up messages, it’s important that content is personalized and speaks to your customers, because personalized and highly relevant content generates huge ROI.

Some statistics report a 20% increase in sales due to personalized content. Personalized email marketing campaigns have a 26% higher open-rate than generic email content. Some digital marketing campaigns even have 700% increase in ROI from segmented campaigns.

#3 Segmentation

Not all leads are the same. Some leads are easier to close, some leads need more nurturing before you can close the sale. That’s the idea of segmenting your customer database. You can set various permutations so that your leads can see content that triggers their interest in your service/product.

#4 Holistic view of your customers

Marketing automation software allows you to see the full picture of how your customers from each marketing channel are engaging with you. Whether it’s Google ads, social media marketing, events, email marketing etc, you will benefit from seeing the full picture of how customers are engaging with you at various marketing touch points.

#5 Productivity and reliability

Because we are using technology to do repetitive tasks, human errors can be reduced. Recently, a client told me that he hired a new staff to follow up on new leads that came through Facebook marketing. They get a few hundred leads a month, so it’s difficult to manage the leads by themselves, that’s why they got a new staff to do that. Little did they know, a few weeks after, that the new staff forgot to follow up with a BUNCH of new leads.

It’s too late to follow up with the leads by the time they realized. With technology, you won’t have this problem. Marketing automation software follows up with your leads according to the algorithm you set, and the cost of this type of software is definitely cheaper than hiring a staff to do this.

#6 End-to-end customer lifecycle management

Marketing automation allows you to manage the whole customer journey. It begins when a lead first contacts you through your online ads, or through your telemarketing/sales team, then continues through the stage of education, which leads to a trial, then the first actual purchase, followed by retention and loyalty building.

The Key to Success with Marketing Automation

Many companies use marketing automation but see no significant improvement in terms of sales or customer retention. The most common question they ask is: What is the best marketing automation software out there?

That is the wrong question to ask.

Having the right software will not give you success. The key lies in the marketing strategy. But not just a marketing strategy. Most companies’ marketing strategy just involve getting the customers to the door. After that, the process of following up and retaining them is non-existent.

You need to have the right end-to-end marketing strategy to see success. 

Choosing the Right Marketing Automation Software

There are many good marketing automation software out there, Hubspot, Infusionsoft, Marketo, Eloqua and etc. Tt can be overwhelming to find the best one for your business. The criteria to based on your decision on depends. It depends on your business requirements, and how your company is structured

Think about how it’s going to sync with other parts of your business, such as:

– CRM system

– Website analytics

– Online booking/payment platform

– Email marketing software

– Telemarketing tools

Does the API integrate with your other tools?

Defining your Processes

What are the processes at the different parts of the marketing funnel?

– How do you handle enquiries? Most customers would ask common questions such as “What’s your price?”, or “Why should I choose you over your competitors?”. Do you have a good standardized answer?

– How do you follow up with these leads? What’s the nurturing process? Do you get them to come down for a free trial, or a discounted first-time trial? Do you share with them certain series of content depending on what they are interested in, how they behave, and how they respond to your content? There are multiple scenarios of a customer journey, and you have to think about that. Come up with a nurturing process for each of these common customer journeys.

– What’s your digital marketing strategy? How are you ensuring that you are constantly getting streams of new leads enquiring about your services/products everyday? If you are not getting new leads consistently, then your marketing funnel is not growing. One of the main benefits of marketing automation is scale. When we talk about scale, one of the best ways to scale your marketing efforts is through digital marketing.

– Getting the right digital marketing team in place. Getting the right digital marketing team in place is not easy. There are many digital marketing strategies, and each requires different skillsets. SEM, SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, and etc. If you are hiring a digital marketer, you will need to ensure that he/she has enough experience to advise you on what are the digital marketing strategies to implement. Depending on the strategies, the digital marketer needs to be good at designing, writing social media content, copywriting, analyzing and optimising digital marketing campaigns, to name a few. It’s almost impossible to find someone who can do all that, that’s why most of the time, it’s better to hire a digital marketing agency. You get a team of experts working for you, from the campaign manager, designer, copywriter, to the account manager.

Xavier Tan
Co-founder, Managing Director
Xavier is the Marketing Director at Canny Digital. He started social media marketing and SEM long before it became popular in Singapore. His passion is in helping businesses grow through effective lead generation. He has overseen campaigns for Amara Hotel, NTU, Marina Bay, L'Oreal, and 100+ SMEs.