To be successful in business, it’s vital to stand out from the crowd and build a recognizable brand. However, like many others, you may be experiencing marketing pain points hindering your success. Marketing automation can help solve some of these issues, but it can also be hard to understand and time-consuming. What if there was another way?

A Hybrid Approach

Taking a holistic approach to marketing automation could give you an edge over your competitors. According to a report by Salesforce’s State of Marketing, more than 81% of business leaders admitted to using a marketing automation platform to overcome many of the roadblocks they’re likely experiencing. 

While some businesses opt for a ‘pure automation’ approach to achieve this goal, others search for a system tailored to their needs, big or small. In other words, if your company doesn't want a major overhaul of its marketing operations or can't afford expensive onboarding, a user-friendly system that gives your staff more control may be just what you need. 

Having a flexible hybrid platform that can automate your business's marketing without upsetting your whole business model is worth a lot. Wrk’s novel system is an example of this hybrid approach. Wrk automatically determines whether tasks must be executed on its platform via automation or through its roster of skilled workers, freeing up your marketing team to concentrate on more pressing projects.

Understanding Marketing Automation 

Marketing automation is a practice that has grown in popularity in recent years and has, quite frankly, become indispensable to businesses of all sizes in both B2C and B2B markets as they look to grow to the next level. Marketing automation technology is becoming more and more important for ambitious start-ups that know how important inbound marketing and sales are. The uses and benefits of marketing automation are endless. 

"According to a report by Salesforce’s State of Marketing, upwards of 81% of business leaders surveyed admitted to using a marketing automation platform to overcome many of the roadblocks you’re likely experiencing at the moment."

The widespread growth hacks that automation in marketing can assist with range from social media posting to streamlining repetitive tasks across different online channels. Delivering attentive and personalized experiences tailored to your unique customer segments can be done much more efficiently with automation. What are the results? Saving time and labor on repetitive tasks, optimizing your marketing efforts to reach a wider audience, and generating better quality leads in a shorter time. 

Example of Market Research Wrkflow.

Read on to learn more about some of the top marketing automation trends and hacks to help you achieve scalable growth.

Rewarding Your Clientele: Incentivize Consumer Engagement

Let’s face it, most users are wary of giving away their personal information to eager online businesses without some promise of return. Consumers usually think that being asked for their email addresses or demographic information is annoying or an invasion of their privacy. In response, many brands frame their requests as an exchange with potential customers, giving them something in return, like a discount code or special offer. Lead scoring automation is a promising way to reward customers for being interested in your brand and getting involved. Here’s how:

1. Lead Scoring Automation

Through marketing automation, your marketing team can use several tried-and-true methods to keep customers returning. One such tactic is establishing partnerships with social media brand advocates —the people who engage the most with your posts through likes, shares, or tweets. Start by tapping into the many potentials of lead scoring by exploring these functionalities: 

Identify micro-influencers with web scraping 

Employ web scraping to identify your brand’s most vocal fans. Through web scraping, you can tease out your followers’ level of engagement and discover the ones who would be best suited to grow into enthusiastic “micro-influencers” to amplify your brand.

Reach out with personalized messages

Once you’ve discerned your list of prospects, you can start reaching out by sending them carefully crafted, personalized emails. In this stage, you’ll get to express your appreciation for their loyalty through offers of discounts or merchandise to review, for example. This is a great chance for ambitious new businesses that want to grow to start an affiliate program and invite some of their followers to join. (We go more in-depth on this topic in our Marketing eBook!)

Incentivizing an existing or potential customer for their engagement doesn’t only lend your brand credibility and foster loyalty, it also bolsters their interest in your business. It increases their likelihood of recommending you to their extended circle.

2. Create targeted content 

An important marketing growth hack is to make content that speaks directly to your target audience. It's the difference between a company that's just surviving and one that's thriving. A robust content marketing strategy is vital for lead generation and increased sales.

Why? Start by putting yourself in the shoes of the average consumer—until you realize there is no “average” consumer, is there? As you've probably figured out from the insights you've gotten from your customer data, the people you want to sell to are all different, and they'll want to hear messages that speak to their unique qualities and needs. 

The steps leading up to creating targeted content will require a detailed sketch of your target personas and thorough customer segmentation. Given how labor and time-intensive traditional customer segmentation methods tend to be, savvy marketers can leverage automation to develop personas using data from an existing or target customer base. 

3. Have up-to-date Market Research

Sort this data with the help of automation to find the key categories that make your customers different, such as age group, profession, gender, location, etc. Then, automate the distribution of the targeted content you produced for each persona. Successfully targeting content ultimately depends on how deeply you understand existing and prospective customers.

"Creating content that speaks directly to your target audience is one of the most essential marketing growth hacks—it truly marks the difference between a company that’s merely surviving to one that’s thriving."

If your bandwidth is limited, it's important to walk a fine line between personalizing content for each customer segment and not overdoing it. Many tools for marketing automation let you automate lead scoring in a more advanced way. This lets you go beyond the most basic scoring criteria and include other important factors to make a more comprehensive scoring system, such as your website visitors and the pages they viewed, the assets they downloaded or asked for, and the emails they opened, among other things. 

Once your library is replete with relevant, quality content, other tools for marketing automation can help you distribute. You can use marketing automation to measure your content's success and determine what works and doesn't with your audience. This will help you answer questions like, "Which social media channel is getting your blog post the most clicks?". Or "Do your morning tweets generate more engagement than your afternoon tweets?" 

4. Boost your ratio of qualified leads

Simply put, marketing business process automation can help businesses generate more leads. Here’s how:

Automate email campaigns 

Email services are one of the best channels to reach your audience. Fine-tuning email marketing is one of the best automation hacks for getting B2B leads. Email automation has been shown to increase the number of people who open emails. There is, however, a catch: your automated emails can’t sound like a template. So, make sure to sound as natural and personal as possible.  

Automate your lead nurturing

Marketing business process automation can help you keep in touch with high-quality leads. The first step for lead nurturing is to align your marketing and sales teams on an optimal lead. The next step is to clearly understand what an ideal journey for a lead looks like. Marketing automation can help you understand how your audience reacts to your marketing content. This can help you quickly determine what your prospects want and change how you talk to them. 

Example of a Lead Scoring Wrkflow.

5. Scale your communication process

Marketing has come a long way since the days of cold calls and mobile salespeople. Human factor is a crucial component of a good customer experience. Personalized one-on-one interactions are usually hard to scale, especially for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and start-ups. Marketing automation platforms like Wrk can help businesses streamline their communications process for a growing audience without compromising on the “human touch”.

People often think marketing automation will replace your current employees, but it doesn't. At its core, marketing automation is revolutionary. It makes it easier for more people to communicate more effectively and efficiently.

Targeted inbound marketing is a strategy that takes into account and meets the specific needs of each customer segment. This post by Marketing Automation Insider perfectly encapsulates this point: 

“Your contacts want relevant and useful information. When you send bulk email newsletters you are not providing that. You are, ironically, providing an impersonal experience by treating all of your contacts as if they want the same thing at the same time. Marketing automation, when used correctly, is actually more personable because messages are only sent to people that the message is relevant to.”

6. Maximize the use of push technology

So you’ve applied the above steps and have successfully gained a steady stream of fresh leads. Great! You've talked about many of the most crucial marketing automation growth hacks. Not quite.

Take it a step further and leverage the potential of push notifications! Consumers care more and more about how fast a service is and how relevant the content is. Why wouldn't they, when they can easily find other ways to get what they need on the web? A tool with a hybrid human + automation composition like Wrk helps you reach this goal. Push notification technology allows marketers to send notifications to their subscribers in real-time. Without having them actively browse your website or mobile app. All you have to do is customize the message you want to send. Tailored notifications are alerts or triggers that let users know when they get new messages, like emails. 

"Contrary to the common misconception, marketing automation isn’t built to replace an existing workforce but rather, to free up their time and allow them to devote it towards more meaningful, complex work."

Once your customers have subscribed to receive notifications, it’s time to let your marketing automation software do the work. It will then inform your followers of the latest content release, offers, and reminders. Push notifications encourage instant engagement from interested subscribers who appreciate highly personalized updates.

Marketing Automation is a Win-Win for Your Business

The power and benefits of marketing automation technology can be game-changing for start-ups and SMEs. Think of ways to help your business grow and how the right automation platform could help your team. Get more out of their hard work through lead scoring or better reach.

Check out our Marketing Hub to learn more, today!