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Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation

Digital Marketing Efficiency

Time

While the target market resource article (available http://www.biz4afrika.com/resources/article/target) focused on establishing a tightly defined set of customers, this article now looks at how you as an entrepreneur should make more efficient use of your most precious resource, time.

Fortunately, the human race is living in an unprecedented time of innovation on the technology front. This tidal wave of new applications, created using simple zeroes and ones, has also had a massively positive impact on the marketing function. The use of technology to automate time-consuming marketing tasks simply makes for good business practice.

Money

Large, established companies can afford to appoint a dedicated marketing department, but for most businesses starting out, that marketing department invariably means you, the entrepreneur. Who also happens to be head of product development, HR, finance and the coffee machine.

Of course, we should never underestimate the importance of marketing to any business, small or large, new or established. Without the new business pipeline, no business will able to survive for long.

You could outsource your marketing to a digital marketing agency but that would require another precious resource, namely cash. If your business can afford to outsource, this is also good business practice as that allows you more time to focus on your core business, whatever that may be.

However, most start-up businesses sorely lack those two most precious resources, cash and time. The solution is to therefore use the vast array of technologies available to the small business owner to automate most of the repetitive digital marketing tasks. There are better ways to spend your evenings or weekends.

Beware the risks!

Savvy social media users will quickly pick up if your every marketing message has been delivered by “The Matrix” so you need to regularly lend a human hand so that brand does not become that reviled “bot”. The result should be a blend of automation to lighten the load and some human interaction, at least once daily to check in on the mood. Set and forget sounds like a neat strategy but it does come with a caveat. Of course, if your business is in a PR crisis of sorts, you will need all hands-on deck to quench the fires!

Use the tools

Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed to market across multiple online channels a lot more effectively than, say, using a spreadsheet. These autopilot platforms are available to collate and manage channels such as email, social media and websites. Automation software and applications are readily available and many have freemium models that makes them very cost effective to test before committing. Tools include Hootsuite, Buffer, HubSpot, sprout social, Social Flow, and Social Oomph.

These all have their own inherent features but will allow you to schedule social media posts and to monitor your brand mentions. Try them all to see what works the best for your circumstances and resources.

Most importantly, measure, measure, measure.

Track your results and adjust the strategy to maximise your efforts.

 

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