By: Taran Nandha
Forrester predicts that more than 40% of enterprises will create state-of-the-art digital workers by combining AI with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The RPA market will reach $1.7 billion in 2019 and $2.9 billion in 2021. By definition Robotic process automation (or RPA) is an emerging technology for business process automation based on the notion of using software based robots powered by artificial intelligence (AI). RPA systems perform repetitive tasks typically done by humans using an application’s graphical user interface (GUI).
Though one may think that RPA is not meant for marketing automation because marketing operations department typically does not have large teams that are performing repetitive manual tasks but there is a strong case for use of RPA in certain aspects of marketing automation because of the productivity and agility it brings into the fold. Here are my top 5 picks for processes that marketers can automate and enjoy their drink while the bots do the work!
1 Monitor Competitor Pricing
Competitor pricing is a driver to so many decisions in marketing that having a handle on it can be crucial for your business. With dynamic pricing changes, especially in e-commerce businesses, continuous price shopping is imperative to maintain your competitive edge. You can do it all without taking valuable time out of your day, by letting a bot do it for you and deliver it to you in the format and cadence you want.
2 Data Management & Aggregation
With RPA, you can deploy robots to collect and aggregate contacts from any kind of websites so that your teams don’t have to spend time searching for companies, names, phone numbers, and other critical information. Not just that the bots can even update your CRM and you marketing automation system with new data. Another example of bringing agility into your marketing to sales hand off you can have bots scrape scanned soft copy documents like an attendee list from a trade show and automate the process of uploading the contacts into your marketing automation system. This can reduce the time it takes for uploading these soft copy lists from days to minutes.
3 Crawl for New RFPs and Opportunities
If your business bids on RFPs, your sales and marketing teams have to continuously look for opportunities and a lot of manual effort is required in terms of finding and downloading the available RFPS. RPA powered bots can crawl the usual websites you seek business from and automatically download new available RFP files and deliver directly to your sales and marketing team to take action upon.
4 Automated Marketing Reports
With increasing complexity of channels in marketing and ever increasing pressure of making sure marketing budget decisions are made based on results a significant amount of time is spent collecting, aggregating, assembling and visualizing marketing reports. With RPA in the mix the entire process can be automated and reports from various channels can be prepared and delivered directly to your inbox or mobile device without any human effort. You can easily free the resources working on manually assembling the data and preparing reports to do more productive marketing tasks.
5 RPA Powered Chatbots
Conversational marketing is becoming an essential in both B2B and B2C marketing funnel. Artificial intelligence driven chatbots powered by RPA can be an extremely powerful combination for converting website visitors. For example a website visitor may be looking for specific information to make a decision. The website chatbots can trigger the RPA bot to retrieve the required information and since the RPA Bot is already integrated with various back-end applications and databases, it can quickly (within milliseconds) retrieve the information requested and make it available to the visitor.
Deploying RPA bots can certainly give you more time to spend on building your pipeline and engaging with your customers. You will be able to focus on nurturing your leads as you automate repetitive processes. RPA bots will help you seize your sales opportunities by bringing you closer to your customers. It can also be an key element of your smarketing strategy. Give RPA a spin and see if it is for you.
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