Marketing + Robots = <3
Are robots in marketing still the future, or are they actually already the present? What kind of automation can you start using in your daily work, right now?
Recently, there has been a great meme circling the Internet. It presents a scene from a cartoon made 20 years ago that seemed to be science fiction, but now it reflects our everyday reality.
Other areas of our life, including marketing, had also become part of this modern reality, when they were known in the past only from the sci-fi sphere. The usage of robots, automation, and in-depth user tracking provides marketers with various opportunities.
However, do we make the most of this opportunity every day? Stil,l only 51% of companies claim to use automation (1).
That’s why today I will:
- Debunk the most popular myths about robotic automation.
- Provide a checklist of basic tasks that you can automate as a marketer.
- Give you a list of helpful tools to use.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Myths about robots in marketing
MYTH 1: DIFFICULT INTEGRATION
Multiple bodies of research (you can check out an example below) show that one of the biggest hurdles for marketers when it comes to implementing automation is the necessity to integrate data from various sources and systems.
Source: Communigator and SmartInsights, “Managing B2B Marketing Automation” (2019)
Some modern robots often don’t require time-consuming implementations or API integration. Often, just basic access to an application is enough.
For the most typical integrations, e.g. Mailchimp -> Sales CRM, we can use tools like Zapier (https://zapier.com/). In the case of more complicated or complex integrations, we can use the G1ANT robot (https://www.g1ant.com/), which performs automation based on a video or screencast of human activities performed on a computer, easily connecting data from various systems.
MYTH 2: LACK OF PEOPLE
Paradoxically, a lack of people is one of the biggest blockers for implementing automation, which is introduced to actually reduce the amount of work people do.
Sounds like a chicken-and-egg situation?
Source: Liana Technologies, “The Benefits and Challenges of Marketing Automation” (2017)
Even a few years ago, investment in automation was both finance- and time-related. The implementation of automation might have taken weeks, or even months, of work. Today, simple automation processes can be completed in just a few hours. This is perfectly shown by the automation list displayed on the website of the “Business and marketing on Autopilot” program, led by Adam Gospodarczyk and Grzegorz Róg, where separate automation processes take from as little as a few minutes to a few hours.
MYTH 3: STRATEGY, STUPID!
One of the three most commonly mentioned obstacles for implementing automation is the lack of a strategy for the automation process as a whole.
As a strategist, I esteem this need, and I think that it makes a crucial point. Not only if it is related to a high cost of software, but also if it interferes with the key processes of the organization.
As a person strongly associated with the Lean method, I believe that before we start creating a strategy, we should test out a variety of automation tools and tactics to understand the exact capabilities of robots better – especially since there are currently free or low-cost solutions using robotics that support some, or all, of the marketing processes.
An example of a free or low-cost solution that can be used as part of the process is email marketing automation, e.g. in Mailchimp (https://mailchimp.com/). An alternative example of a program that automates the entire lead generation process is RobotIn (https://robotin.io/).
MYTH 4: ROBOTS ARE EXPENSIVE!
Another factor that stops marketers from using robots in their activities are high costs.
The increasing popularity of automation with robots has been making access to robots cheaper. Obviously, there are and will still be some enterprise solutions available on the market, such as UI Path, that are relatively costly. However, market development has forced the price differentiation to increase, and the entry threshold into robotization has therefore significantly lowered.
There are various automation solutions available:
- free (e.g. in Mailchimp)
- for more than a few dozen of dollars (e.g. Zapier)
- in the Pay what you Robot model, where you only pay for the time that a robot works (e.g. https://G1ANT.com)
- for a one-time fee of a several thousand dollars, or in a subscription model (e.g. https://robotin.io/ or SalesRobots)
- an educational model – courses, training, tutorials, or ready-made processes (e.g. zautomatyzowani.pl)
What to automate?
Ok, we have already busted the most popular automation myths. So what exactly can be automated? Below, you will find a checklist breaking automation down into three groups: simple automation, slightly more complicated automation, and really broad automation of processes.
- mails sent after subscribing to a newsletter, such as:
- welcoming a subscriber
- a starting pack for the subscriber (e.g. an e-book or access to materials)
- a sequence of content and sales mails to the subscriber
- feedback surveys and satisfaction surveys sent to newsletter subscribers
- feedback surveys and satisfaction surveys sent to clients
- target group research (e.g. surveys to get to know the target group better)
- cross-selling and up-selling mailing campaigns
- graphic designing, e.g. in Figma, such as:
- text changes in various graphics formats,
- photo replacement in various graphical formats
- data scraping, such as:
- scraping leads from LinkedIn and then uploading them to sales CRM
- scraping competition pricings for competitive analysis
- scraping data of people following our profiles on Social Media and then uploading the data to sales CRM or touchpoint maps
MORE COMPLICATED AUTOMATION
- content marketing, such as:
- planning content publication on social media
- content repurposing on social media (both on one and many channels)
- mass content updates
- sales, such as:
- transferring leads from tools such as Albacross or Leadfeeder to sales CRM
- cold calling / cold mailing communication based on sales CRM
- arranging sales meetings
- follow-up communication with customers
- aggregating statistical customer data
- researching deal loss reasons
- automation of reporting from various data sources (e.g. from sales CRM, touchpoint databases or mailing tools, just to name a few)
- customer onboarding (especially for B2B services), such as:
- tool set-up
- start-up mail
- arranging meetings according to the project schedule
- lead generation
- up-selling and cross-selling
- website optimization
- offering process
- customer support
- target group research and client profiling processes
So, are you fully ready to start your automation adventure? You already have a list of tools and a checklist of things to automate by robots to get started. Now, just take the first step, and you will quickly experience the benefits of automation for your business: increased sales, better financial results, and savings in terms of the necessary resources, among many others.
Just press “start” 🙂
(1) Emailmonday, “The Ultimate Marketing Automation stats” (2019
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