Unless you have some fantastic luck, you could say the beginning of every good sale starts with good marketing. Zoho Corporation, what with their regular schedule of updates, is well aware of this fact. In fact, they have been putting together a very exciting new platform – Zoho Marketing Automation. It hat aims to capitalize on this notion and give users more marketing power and control – and in that way increase sales and put more money back in their customers’ pockets.
This addition to the Zoho marketing stack is designed to encompass every marketing tool they’ve built. They’ve combined those tools with elements of Zoho Analytics, added a very attractive, and updated UI smacked onto it… The tool’s name: Zoho Marketing Automation.
Obviously, the implications of Zoho releasing such a tool in the context of its present suite of apps are far-reaching.
In today’s post, we’ll go through the new features Zoho Marketing Automation brings to the table, how the app can affect (and improve) use of Zoho CRM, and what the app’s existence means for other related Zoho apps.
Solving a common problem: Lack of a Marketing Hub
Many of our customers already come to us looking for help connecting the various software components of their business. The marketing “stack,” or suite of individual apps, is an important part of this. Though with the sheer number of tools available to help, each with somewhat overlapping functionalities, your confusion over where to start and which ones to use would be forgiven.
And, Zoho has a reason for presenting all the tools to you in this way. As businesses and commerce itself both trend toward being more digitized, it becomes more and more important to have all the digital tools necessary to market effectively to potential and current customers. Previously, Zoho offered different apps to fulfill different marketing duties. This includes Zoho Campaigns for email marketing, and Zoho Social for social media posts and monitoring. However, even with integration between these apps, it isn’t the same as having everything controlled by a single app. Zoho putting all these different tools together under one umbrella is their ultimate answer to the question, “how do I manage the entire marketing funnel effectively, from A to Z and beyond?”
What does Zoho Marketing Automation bring to the table, then?
Marketing Automation covers all of a customer’s journey, not just some of it.
And, there are a lot of features to note here, so strap yourself in…
As with both Zoho CRM and Zoho Campaigns, Zoho Marketing Automation provides webforms with which to funnel your prospects, leads, and contacts into different marketing “buckets,” each bucket with its own objective and type of content. These webforms can be placed on your website, but they can also be integrated directly with services like GoToWebinar and EventBrite for a more unified experience. As far as features go, this is par for the course from Zoho, but this next one is downright exciting…
Web behavior tracking.
Once you’ve obtained a lead’s information via a webform, you can use Marketing Automation’s Web Assistant feature to tell you exactly where that person went on your website, how long they were there, and where else on your website they clicked. This borrows a bit from services like Google Analytics. But, combined with information your lead already submitted, it allows you to identify their path to becoming a customer. And, for everyone who didn’t submit information to you, Zoho Marketing Automation still gives an aggregate page popularity map, page click-through likelihood tracker, and many other useful reports.
Custom email campaigns based on interest.
You can use behavioral data gathered by Marketing Automation to send very targeted email campaigns based on the products or services your leads are most interested in. Once they receive this info, you can give them lead scores based on how they interact with your content: did they skim or really read it? Did they click a link and stay on the page for long? You can then choose to send leads who score the highest to your sales team automatically. This will ensure the team doesn’t waste time reaching out to anyone unqualified.
Tailor the customer journey by persona.
You can also use Zoho Marketing Automation’s data to modify your website itself so leads convert more quickly and easily in general. Modify your customer journeys not only by product or service interest, but by their very persona. This is one of those things that will make your potential (or current) customers more satisfied with your content and your company on the whole, though they may not know exactly why. One of the few instances where mind games are okay to play!
Continue engaging your customers long after they’ve bought from you.
When you look at a list of customers, you’re really looking at a list of people who already trust you. If you have services or products that pair well with those that your customers have already consumed from you, you can use Zoho Marketing Automation’s data to make decisions about sending more email campaigns, custom surveys, and other promotions to help you sell more and sell easily.
Plan future campaigns based on your exact ROI.
Arguably the most important stat to a marketer is Zoho Marketing Automation’s Marketing Planner. It calculates the ROI of individual marketing channels, and the respective campaigns within each channel. This enables you to focus more of your effort on campaigns that deliver and kill off the ones that don’t produce.
These features of Zoho Marketing Automation are sure to improve the lives of the marketers who plug it into their campaigns. And, this is not just by informing them of what’s working and what isn’t, but by telling them exactly how profitable they are to the company. From then onward, it’s incumbent upon the sales department to take all this great information from Marketing Automation, and run with it.
So, how does that look, exactly?
Zoho Marketing Automation feeds Zoho CRM. Then, the CRM beefs up your sales potential
If utilized correctly, introducing Marketing Automation to your suite of apps has the power to turn a fledgling sales department into a breakout team. For an already powerful team, it could make you into a group of downright all-stars. And, while it’s true that Marketing Automation integrates with CRM. It can sync a good deal of information directly into the hands of your sales team; it’s not the raw data that concerns them most.
Of course, there’s value in knowing things like:
- The amount of time a lead has spent on your website
- The number of pages they looked at, and their exact click path
- Which email campaigns they acted upon and which ones they ignored
But, it’s even better to combine this data with the power of Zoho CRM – and some workflow automation programming – to inform your sales team:
- Exactly how to open the lead based on how long they spent on your website
- Just what products or services to pitch based on the exact combination of pages viewed
- How likely that person is to become a customer based on their email campaign interaction. And, when they might say yes based on behavior of others in that persona category
- Which warm leads to go after, and exactly when to go after them
Of course, a well-seasoned salesperson can glean a lot of this information by looking at the raw data from Marketing Automation. But, any salesperson worth their salt knows time is money. So, why spend time figuring out yourself what Zoho CRM’s calculations and workflow rules can figure out for you in a snap? You could even integrate blueprint into the mix and place hotter prospects into different stages in the Leads or Deals module, and save even more time. The sky’s the limit when it comes to translating the data from Zoho Marketing Automation into actionable CRM data for your team. (And, if you’re confused about what exactly to do, our team of Zoho consultants can help you with that and anything else.)
So, does this mean I can throw away Zoho Campaigns and Zoho Social?
It’s not a bad question. Earlier, we mentioned Zoho Marketing Automation combines many aspects of Zoho Campaigns with Zoho Social. And, essentially, it adds a lot of intelligence to those apps. But, does that mean you should just stop using Zoho Campaigns or Social?
My answer: If you’re afraid Zoho is just going to turn off your apps or delete your old campaigns, I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Zoho’s usual MO when it comes to building apps that improve upon existing ones is to either allow users the option to use either app (or both apps) in question. (A good example of this situation is in Zoho Books vs Zoho Invoice.) Or, they may even choose to merge Zoho Campaigns, Zoho Social, and Zoho Marketing Automation formally into one app.
But, I would guess the latter move would be very complicated and labor-intensive. Not to mention, having only Marketing Automation as an option might even be overkill for some companies. We wouldn’t want Zoho to turn into Salesforce…obviously!
Another value add: look for Marketing Automation in Zoho One
Zoho Corporation has added Marketing Automation to the Zoho One platform. This just further cements Zoho as one of the best values out there, in my humble (and admittedly biased) opinion. Leveraging the power of Marketing Automation and CRM, you have the opportunity to feed data already coming from your website through both apps and present your sales team with new action items. Nothing could be better for a sales department.
In 2020, getting through 1000+ words might be a little too much to handle. So, I’m happy to provide a short synopsis of this article.
Marketing Automation is Zoho’s answer to the big marketing automation competitors like HubSpot, et al. And it packs the features to go along with its name. Apart from tracking click paths and seeing how to best convert web traffic, you can also send email campaigns and launch social posts right from the app. This means you could theoretically replace Zoho Campaigns and Social with Marketing Automation. With Zoho Marketing Automation, you’ll get just what you put into it. So, as long as you connect it to your website and allow the relevant data to flow in, the resulting reports should be pretty easy to understand. And, if they aren’t, you can always contact us and we’ll sit down and help you.
As always, we’ll keep you informed of any Marketing Automation, CRM, or other developments in Zoho. If you have any questions about anything here, we’d love to hear from you.