The Rise Of The Robots: Marketing Process Automation
Point of View
March 16, 2022

The Rise Of The Robots: Marketing Process Automation

How to leverage automation tools within Marketing Cloud to free your team to do their most creative work.

Why Next Gen Marketers Use RPA & Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Automation is simply fascinating. Robots have been pervasive in public consciousness since Orson Welles’ “The War of the Worlds” radio broadcast in 1938 all the way to modern features like “Ex Machina” and the HBO show “Westworld.”

Sadly, these automatons tend to be sinister and have a propensity to eradicate mankind. It doesn’t always have to be this way. Today we’ll be talking about a far friendlier kind of automation called RPA. In the business world and specifically for marketers, this tool is undeniably helpful – more akin to the endearing robot hero Wall-E.

Robotic process automation frees up human capital so professionals can do their most creative work. Here are some business values of this technology:

  • Reduced employee disengagement — drab tasks are minimized if not eliminated
  • Frees up employee time — professionals can do more research and creative projects  
  • Teams become nimble — talent can be reallocated where it will have the greatest impact

When it comes to marketing, process automation can be applied at every stage of the value chain. Thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence, teams can automate some of the day-to-day marketing tasks, even routine creative. The ROI on such an automation initiative can be significant. According to McKinsey, the first year return on investment varies between 30% and as much as 200%.

If you’re a Salesforce user, you’ll be glad to hear that Marketing Cloud contains a dedicated automation tool aptly named Automation Studio. To illustrate the uses of this tool, consider the case of an online retailer. This business can implement a solution allowing their content team to maximize creativity. Instead of going into the email client daily to write new content and manually schedule and select the audience, the automated process is hassle-free.

Thanks to automations within Marketing Cloud, this content team merely changes settings for subject lines and product SKUs, then decides when to start campaigns. The system picks different paragraphs dynamically to personalize emails. Not only does the team save time, but the resulting messages are more effective.

Let’s review the impact of process automation on the different stages of marketing:

Booting Up: Strategy & Planning

Ideally, the marketing process begins with thoughtful planning. While the lifelike creations of WestWorld decisively planned how to resist their human masters, marketers can run into trouble devising a clear strategy. Different team members may propose diverging hypotheses based on their experiences interacting with customers and studying the market. Randomly testing these hunches is mere guesswork.

Savvy teams use advanced tools like Einstein Analytics. Dashboards that automatically refresh to provide information in real-time pave the way for a data-informed strategy. Going beyond mere reports, artificial intelligence adds data on relevant environmental factors and gives marketers the ability to make predictions with sophisticated algorithms. Combining automation with AI makes strategy and planning much easier.  
Remember that strategic planning doesn’t just happen at the outset of a fiscal year or campaign. The best marketers constantly make adjustments to optimize funnel conversion. For example, Einstein Analytics can alert a marketing professional that visitors drop off on a certain landing page. In this case, the marketer could use Interaction Studio (currently known as MC Personalization) to adjust the landing page banner. Salesforce’s Interaction Studio automatically tracks user cookies. The banner in question can then be adapted based on which pages each particular visitor has browsed before. Such personalizations help reduce time to action. As you can see, Interaction Studio goes beyond numbers and reporting – it allows marketers to take quick action.

“Robotic process automation frees up human capital so professionals can do their most creative work.” @Accelerize360

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Snazzy Robot Powers: Lead Nurture & Qualification

Sales teams prioritize leads based on various factors (potential deal size, timing, etc). A hot lead acquired yesterday is far more valuable than one that hasn’t responded in weeks. The many possible criteria for prioritization are also ever changing.

Marketing Cloud helps simplify this process. This tool evaluates and prioritizes leads dynamically, without the need for manual effort. Note that for leads to be accurately prioritized, they must also be qualified. Automation and AI bring a welcome contribution to this effort. For example, a business might use a chatbot that pops up whenever visitors scroll halfway through the site homepage. This bot asks prospects a series of questions, gathering data to help qualify leads. This type of dynamic experience is more user-friendly for customers, too.

Next, qualified leads can be sent down different marketing journeys to be nurtured. A team might have a separate “Convert” path for hot leads versus a “Nurture” path for older leads that aren’t 100% qualified (both possible courtesy of Journey Builder). Salesforce automatically enrolls new leads into the appropriate marketing journeys. Due to this automation component, the pressure to convert leads no longer rests solely with salespeople.

These automated tools are a sidekick and support for sales teams, like Rosey the Robot was to all the characters in “The Jetsons.”

Ultimate Energy Source: Customer Acquisitions

In “The Matrix,” evil robots use mankind in lieu of batteries. Marketers have a far less ominous energy source: customer acquisitions. Savvy marketers aim to scale branded, highly-personalized experiences that convince leads to buy. Once a customer is acquired, the work can begin to maximize that person’s CLV, or customer lifetime value.

The more a customer comes back to patron the same brand, the higher the CLV. Automated tools for sending notifications and special offers can be a huge help as marketers work to increase customer lifetime value.

CLV can also be improved by decreasing the customer acquisition costs. Datorama (currently known as MC Intelligence) aids marketers by automatically calculating all ad spends. Costs can be dramatically reduced by injecting automation into the ad-to-purchase journey with Ad Studio (currently known as MC Advertising). Then, marketers can tweak algorithms and experiment with Einstein Analytics recipes to achieve optimal results.

Within Marketing Cloud, Interaction Studio offers a convenient way to automate customer journeys, both for acquiring new customers and securing repeat business. Marketers can decide to show ads or send messages to leads that take specific actions. For instance, Interaction Studio tracks every customer move on an athletic gear site. One day, a customer abandons their cart. Thanks to Interaction Studio, which correlates data from browsing sessions as well as purchases, it’s easy to notice this particular customer has recently perused running-related gear. The abandoned cart can be used as an automatic trigger to send this customer an email with a personalized discount on running products.

Needless to say, it’s far less stressful to approach customer acquisition with this type of tool at your fingertips.

Multi-Purpose Automation: Retention, Upselling & Cross-Selling

As previously mentioned, customer retention makes a big impact on a business’ bottom line. In fact, it can cost five times more to attract a new customer than retain an existing one.

Upselling and cross-selling are great ways to retain customers, plus maximize CLV. Automation comes in handy for both these functions, since an existing database of customer information makes it possible to personalize outreach at scale.

Consider refinancing as an example. Marketers in a lending company can set up an automation whereby an email is sent as soon as interest rates drop below what a particular customer was previously paying. This message will be tailored directly to the recipient, increasing the likelihood of a response.

Less “Terminator,” More “WALL-E”

This is not a story of frightening robots that destroy mankind – or take away marketing jobs, whichever comes first – but rather of a friendly and helpful sidekick. Automation tools can nurture leads as successfully as WALL-E tended to a little plant through all his adventures. Marketers taking advantage of automation are freed to focus on creative projects and new ways to delight customers.

Automation can add value to all marketing activities, from lead prioritization and qualification to customer acquisition and retention. At each of these stages, customer communication can be personalized at scale. Salesforce users have an advantage since Marketing Cloud comes with many built-in avenues for automation. Contact us today to learn more about what’s possible in Marketing Cloud.

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