Redundancy. It’s the bane of every marketer’s existence. Though the average full-timer works around 8.5 hours daily, those hours can’t afford to be wasted. Marketing teams need to have time to analyze the 30,000-foot view rather than constantly get tangled in the weeds. Unfortunately, many employees must eschew creative brainstorming in lieu of finishing repetitive tasks.
The Answer to the Full-Time Team Members Marketing Dilemma Isn’t Original or Shocking.
Actually, this answer has been used for centuries: automation. Not convinced? Consider the printing press. In short order, it revolutionized the ability to mass-produce text, changing the way people could interact with information. And the printing press did its job — thanks to automation.
True, most modern tech-driven automation tools aren’t going to upend the world as the original printing machine did.
Nonetheless, the right automation can improve the productivity, speed, and profitability of any marketing department. And your goal as a leader is to figure out which innovations belong in your stack. If you don’t know which ones are the best — ask your team to bring you some suggestions.
To get started, consider the following marketing automation tool categories. Each of these miracle-of-automation helps listed below can help you get the upper hand in the competitive business environment of today.
Most marketers spend a lot of time reviewing, sending, and receiving a variety of documents, from proposals to contracts. That’s normal, but it can be frustrating, too. Creating all those items from scratch takes time and effort, even with copy and paste keyboard functions. Plus, turning the documents into legally binding commitments may be difficult, especially when everyone is working remotely.
Products like PandaDoc, which is an all-in-one document automation tool, help streamline contracts, agreements, and proposals. Automating these types of functions isn’t limited to allowing you merely to sidestep the need for wet signatures on agreements. Pandadoc also promotes real-time editing by both parties and enables you to gather useful analytics. If you already rely on other programs, make sure any automated documentation platform you consider integrates seamlessly.
Sophisticated and targeted marketing campaigns are the lifeblood of any marketing team. Yet launching new ones can involve countless hours of re-programming and optimization. The faster you can bring up a tried and true campaign, make changes on the fly, and hit “initiate,” the better. That’s where a marketing campaign automation platform such as Ontraport reduces your redundancies.
The key is for you to be able to simplify your efforts. You want to be allowed to gather critical data as leads move through your customer lifecycle journey. Automated campaign tools will help you see what’s happening clearly at every stage. Otherwise, you can’t decide what to replicate and what to redo. Be sure that you’re not forced by software to hand-fiddle with too many other tools and integrations. The less you have to babysit a newly launched campaign, the better.
3. Sprout Social
Even with a robust content calendar and posting assignments, you’re bound to find it tough to post consistently. Uploading everything and remembering to hit “publish” at exactly the right moment can be arduous. Handling everything by hand also opens the door for too many instances of human error and missteps. And social listening? That’s even harder and requires tons of capacity your team probably can’t give.
So how do you stay ahead of the game and promote your brand online without stressing out your coworkers? Try a “set it and forget it” platform like the one offered by social media management standout Sprout Social. The company’s been around long enough to have a stable, reliable interface. Plus, you can control and evaluate social media ad campaigns from its highly intuitive dashboard. The only downside? If you’re trying to own a piece of TikTok, you may need to find a different partner. To date, Sprout Social doesn’t integrate with TikTok.
All marketers use a variety of communications channels to connect with fans. Emails. Texts. Push notifications. Even DMs. If you’re still deploying emails on a case-by-case basis (even if “cases” are consumer buckets), you’re eating up valuable time. What you need instead is to construct customer communication that’s triggered automatically. That way, as customers take the next steps, they’ll be greeted by timely, personalized, relevant messaging.
Which customer communications automation tool makes sense? A highly respected contender is data-driven SaaS Consumer.io. The mature platform’s in-the-moment feedback ensures you’re not lagging behind when it comes to keeping up with outgoing content. Remember: Real-time pivoting and responsive messaging proved essential to keeping customers at the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. Now, those same customers expect you to communicate swiftly 24/7, which can only be done with automation.
Feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of adding another technology to your team’s playbook? No worries — this is the stuff business is made up of and always requires using the brain cells and making decisions.
Spend the next couple of weeks jotting down everything you repeatedly do. Then, use your findings to figure out which type of automated marketing tool makes sense and could benefit you most.
Investigate a few different “helps” and check out free trials. There are many good choices out there — make your choice. Improving your team’s efficiency will afford you serious paybacks, including the ability to focus on your company’s higher-level goals.
Image Credit: SevenStorm; pexels