What is marketing automation?
Not (exacty) what HubSpot is saying
If you ask HubSpot "What is Marketing Automation", they'll feed you info that is beneficial to their services. Of course they have all the answers, because they're selling all the solutions.
I'm claiming that marketing automation starts at the core level of your daily tasks. If you know the task at hand requires certain sub-tasks that are necessary but distracting from your real/actual job, then it's time to automate that part of the grind away with a digital co-worker, such as those provided by SmartStaff.
What is SmartStaff?
Unlike any "automation" platform out there, SmartStaff aims to make automation technology as accessible as possible for anyone out there working through repetitive tasks. Using a RPA as a Service (RPAaaS) model, SmartStaff delivers on this promise with ease.
SmartStaff are positioning themselves like some sort of "digital hiring agency". Not for real people but for robots. So, they're describing their robots as being real people. This means that every departement can use a digital co-worker. Accounting, I.T., Customer Service, ... even Marketing can benefit, as you'll learn in this blog.
I like this "human" positioning, btw. Because unlike other companies out there that try to confuse you with terms like "RPA" and "Intelligent Automation", I'm more interested in what it can do for me, pure usability wise. Even more importantly then what it does; what will it cost?
The cost-benefit calculation is not only interesting to me, but also to my employer who just wants the short but ToThePoint info on what the cost-benefit rate of it all will be.
We all have these tasks: necessary but distracting from your actual job. Take me for example, after I've written a few blogs, I need to schedule these posts through multiple social media channels.
This is where the "boring" part starts.
With SmartStaff my blog-publication-workflow has improved in efficiency by 300%, as you'll see.
When I want my post to go live, I need to follow all these steps correctly. Take note: only 1/8 steps require human creativity, the rest is just boringly monotonous.
1. Publish the post on the website.
2. Open up Buffer from which I can schedule these posts to go live on a certain date.
3. Write up a short but actionable sentence to entice people to visit the blog post.
4. Add this publication date to a Google Calendar so all parts of the company can be notified when something goes live & on which channel.
5. Take a screenshot and paste this in the Trello card.
6. Mark the Trello card as completed.
7. Follow up after a week to see what the current interaction rate is with those social media posts.
8. Check completed goals in Google Analytics and incorporate those in my monthly marketing report.
With the digital co-worker from SmartStaff, all that is left for me to do after I've published my blog, is come up with the content for step 3 and let my digital co-worker do the rest. Great!
For every blog I need to schedule through this method, I lose ~1hr of creative time. Imagine you having to publish 2 blogs a week. You've just "lost" 2 hours each week. Meaning you lost 1 full work day last month. Which boils down to 12 days a year of meaningless robotic tasks.
The digital co-worker provided by SmartStaff has thus made my job way easier, and fun, because I can now focus on the creative part of my job.
My employer likes the digital co-worker just as well, since I now have more opportunities to say "YES!" whenever he asks me to do something.
It just works, and it's cheap.
There's not much to say about SmartStaff apart from: it just works. Plus, it's cheap. They provide their services through managed services, with a "pay as you go" program that helps calculating and reaching your desired Return on Investment mightily quick.
I now know why they're marketing their digital co-workers as if they're a recruiting company. Working with the digital co-worker is just like hiring a part-time colleague to do the boring stuff. You teach it what to do, you pay it a fixed hourly rate and you judge its performance based on what it delivered.
They boast themselves with the saying: "show us a process and we WILL automate it." I'd say that sounds like something everyone can benefit from?