If knowledge is power, then knowledge of who your customers are, what they want, where to reach them, and what to say when you’ve got their attention is serious business power.
And although it may seem like a lot, getting and using that information is easier than you think.
By using marketing automation to plan, execute, and track marketing efforts across all channels including emails, social posts, or online ad campaigns, you can engage with customers and prospects through target messages. And, by integrating your marketing automation with your CRM solution, you can reach existing customers with more personalized and relevant messages.
Check out this this quick clip from my colleague Alex Sessoms’ conversation with Patric Timmermans of the Dynamics CRM team to get a better idea of why marketing automation is so important, then keep reading for a few best practices:

Find qualified prospects

It’s a whole lot easier to sell your solutions to someone if you know who they are and what they want.
Marketing automation software, offered in solutions like Dynamics Marketing and ClickDimensions, provides a lot of different functions, including tracking the behavior of visitors to your website so you get an idea who they are and what they’re looking for. You’ll find out which pages customers spend time on, how much time they spend where, and what links they are using to dive deeper into your website. Plus, these platforms capture contact data from registration pages so you can follow up with an email or phone call.
Understanding these metrics will allow you to make changes that will increase your effectiveness—and bottom line.

Let’s face it: not everyone who visits your website is a genuine lead. Because automation gives you more information about prospects’ behavior, you can identify real, qualified leads by understanding their level of engagement—someone who spent only 30 seconds or a minute on your homepage might not be worth following up. Someone who read three blog posts, watched a video, and subscribed to your newsletter is clearly a higher priority.

Personalize your marketing

By connecting your automated marketing solution with your CRM, you can use your existing data to determine how you market to customers. Target different messages to different customers based on their role, how big their company is, what technology solutions they already have, and what solutions they asked about the last time they talked with one of your salespeople.
A good marketing automation program, coupled with your CRM data, can help you by streamlining marketing tasks like:
  • Segmenting your email list
  • Integrating customer data
  • Creating, personalizing, scheduling, sending and tracking emails
  • Creating custom landing pages
  • Getting insight into metrics
And remember, “automated” doesn’t have to mean “spammy.” With marketing automation tools, you can target just the customers who will find your message relevant to their needs. Plus, you can address communications to them personally, at the time they are most likely to read it. Use marketing automation to set up deployments in advance, then track metrics to find out if you need to adjust your messaging to get the results you want.
We know that it can be tough to develop relationships with prospects when they do most of their pre-purchase research without you. And we also know that maintaining relationships with existing customers can be challenging when you have an abundance of them. Start developing those relationships now by crafting, delivering, and tracking personal messaging with marketing automation—that’s real marketing power.