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Marketing Automation can be defined as streamlining, automating, and measuring marketing tasks and workflows, to increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster. All organizations have the same desire, higher revenue and faster growth – at a lower cost. Many companies struggle to align their people, processes, and technology to achieve these goals, however. Marketing automation solves this problem. It’s designed to allow organizations to market on multiple channels more effectively and automate repetitive tasks.
It enables many modern marketing practices, including
- Lead generation
- Relationship marketing
- Cross-sell and up-sell
- Lead nurturing and scoring
- Return on investment (ROI) measurement
- Account-based marketing
How Marketing Automation Works
Marketing automation uses software to automate monotonous marketing work. Marketing departments can automate repetitive tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, and even ad campaigns – not just for the sake of efficiency, but also to provide a more personalized experience for their customers. The technology behind marketing automation makes these tasks faster and easier to do.
Components Of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation has many useful features and capabilities that allow marketers to deliver results that prove ROI, including:
- Central marketing database: A place for all your marketing data, such as detailed prospect and customer interactions and behaviours. You can segment and target the right message to each customer. Think of this as a system of record for all your marketing information.
- Engagement marketing engine: An environment for the creation, management, and automation of engagement marketing processes and conversations across online and offline channels. Consider this as the “orchestra conductor” for your customer interactions.
- Analytics: A way to test, measure, and optimize marketing ROI and impact on revenue. This is where you go to get clear analytics on what worked, what didn’t and where you can improve.
- MarTech: A collection of all of the effective, collaborative, and scalable marketing applications that you need to help you achieve your goals. It’s the main place where you can use tech to stay connected to your buyers and deliver marketing-sales alignment.
Is Marketing Automation Valuable?
Lead generation is an extremely important step in any business’s growth. By automating many steps in the process from marketing to sales, your team has more time to focus on overall strategy and nurturing the leads that show real promise. That means more prospects and more customers. Marketing automation is also able to give you a richer, more detailed picture of the behaviour of potential customers. Using behavioural tracking methods such as following a user’s path through your website, marketing automation software can help your marketing team to understand a prospect’s interests and where they are in the purchasing lifecycle. They can then customise any follow-up based on those action points.
For instance, let’s say a particular customer is reading about a broad category of products. This might indicate that they are at the beginning of the purchasing process, researching and comparing while preparing a shortlist. If they later download white papers on a specific product, that could indicate a narrower focus and a readiness to be contacted by a salesperson.
Bringing together information from touchpoints including website visits and downloads, social media activity and direct marketing enables automatic scoring, qualifying and prioritising of leads. This in turn can then drive wider marketing campaigns, including:
- trigger-based marketing messages
- infrequent “drip-feed” emails to maintain interest
- personalised emails
- Facebook or Twitter messages
Marketing automation is not a nice-to-have strategy you can ignore — it’s the new standard. If you want to compete, you need to be using marketing automation. Marketing automation is there to manage and scale marketing activities across channels, without the need for additional resources. It frees up staff for other tasks and reduces human errors that might occur when handling large amounts of consumer data.
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