What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation is perhaps one of the most misinterpreted technology in marketing. Almost every digital marketer uses marketing automation in one form or the other. Of course, many marketers are fully aware of what it is and how marketing automation can be integrated in their strategy and growth plans. Today we are going to change the general perception about marketing automation and lay down the foundation of a better understanding of this wonderful technology.
Marketing is an integral part of any company, heavily infused by sales, and probably not the other way round. For any nascent company, Sales is their life-force and at that point of time marketing is just a random 1-2 member team to support Sales. But after a while, when a company starts to prosper, marketing of a product and their services goes way beyond the norm; you cannot grab hold of every customer and preach them about your product. You have to take a plunge and have to concentrate on a customer-centric mass appeal method of marketing your brand and this is where marketing automation comes in.
What is Marketing Automation?
Isn’t this the central question, the reason why you are here? So, let’s get on with it. Marketo defines Marketing Automation is marketing technology that allows marketers to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster. It increases an organization’s efficiency by monitoring regular marketing tasks round the clock. With the help of advanced marketing automation tools marketers are able to automate marketing processes like campaign management, customer data segregation & integration, which results in improved lead quality and higher sales.
According to Marketing Automation vendor, Hubspot, “At its best, marketing automation is software and tactics that allow companies to buy and sell like Amazon – that is, to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers. This type of marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for companies, and provides an excellent return on the investment required.”
What are the Features and Benefits of Marketing Automation?
According to Capterra, there are approximately 215 Marketing Automation companies that cater to various marketing requirements, so needless to say whatever technology marketers require, it is out there in the market. There are some basic features that most Marketing Automation tools provide:
1. Email Marketing: One of the most important aspects of marketing automation is email marketing, also one of the oldest forms of digital marketing. Around 73% of marketers believe that emails are the core of their businesses(Source: Pardot). With marketing automation, regular tasks like sending drip mailers, bulk mailers and newsletters have become easier and more customizable.
2. Landing Pages: Marketing automation tools help marketers create robust landing pages, CTAs, forms easily without the help of IT. Moreover, visitor behavior on landing pages can be monitored which helps in customer segmentation and determining the lead quality. Based on the interaction, leads can be segmented into multiple lists for various lead nurturing workflows.
3. Social Media Management: Marketing Automation tools and suites allow marketers to seamlessly integrate all social media accounts of the company. The tool takes care of scheduling the posts, monitoring mentions, auto replies and serve personalized content, based on users’ demographics and behavior. It also helps marketers to target and engage with their audience round the clock.
4. Lead Generation: Marketing automation allows marketers to go beyond email blasts, majority of which ends up in spam list anyways. Creating customer oriented dynamic content by monitoring user behavior helps marketers generate positive leads for their business. Marketing Automation helps marketers generate leads in all marketing channels like content, SEO, email, social etc.
5. CRM Integration: Marketing automation helps Marketing pass leads to the CRM with the marketing intelligence which helps Sales close deals faster. When completely integrated with all lead generation channels, all leads are seamlessly passed to the CRM without any loss of data.
60% of companies turning over at least $500m, 10% of companies turning over $20-$500m, 5% of companies turning over $5-$20m and 3% of companies turning over less than $5m have adopted marketing automation. (Raab Associates, 2014)
If you also want to maximize your marketing returns, turn anonymous visitors to leads and delight existing customers, then marketing automation is what you need for your company to reach the pinnacle.