Once so costly that only large corporations could leverage the sophisticated technology, marketing automation platforms have come a long way. Without compromising functionality, several competitors have entered the game and consequently price points have come down, making this a tool for businesses of every size. But, what is marketing automation and why should you consider it for your own business?
Marketing automation refers to software platforms that help businesses automate their marketing and sales engagement processes to generate more leads, convert more leads to sales, and optimize ROI. This technology allows businesses to automate repetitive marketing tasks such as sending emails, maintaining social media, tracking website interactions, and managing various other tasks.
Businesses that don’t have much experience with marketing automation often think it’s only a tool for automating repetitive marketing tasks. These companies only see the value of marketing automation as a time or cost saving solution.
While marketing automation does save time and money, the real value of marketing automation, in the broadest sense, is that the software allows businesses to:
- Identify more qualified leads
- Increase the conversion of those leads
- Increase the resulting revenues
A comprehensive marketing automation service uses a multitude of features to complete those three objectives.
Anonymous web visitor identification, end-to-end analytics (not Google Analytics), dynamic lists, lead scoring, behavior tracking, email automation and dynamic forms are just some of the features that help businesses reach those objectives.
Bonus: Most marketing automation tools integrate with other sales & marketing tools (CMS, CRM, social media, meeting software, etc.) to provide a centralized platform for data management and analysis.
What Marketing Automation is Not
Spam. Marketing automation is not meant to be used as a tool to spam your contacts. Not only is spamming a poor sending practice, it also acts as a detriment to your marketing efforts in general. Marketing automation is most successful when you use it to send personalized, relevant content to your contacts, not disruptive, spam emails.
A tool with a single function. Marketing automation isn’t just a fancy word for email marketing. It encompasses a suite of tools to help you drive more leads, convert leads to sales and optimize your marketing dollars. This includes features like landing page builder, built-in CRM, reporting capabilities, social media management and more.
“Set it and forget it” solution. Marketing automation is a remarkable tool that can help you achieve results. But those results don’t happen without the right processes, strategy and effort set in place. Marketing automation is meant to enhance and support marketing and sales, NOT become a one-size-fits-all substitute.