Marketing automation is a set of tools that makes it possible to identify visitors to your website and engage them in a more relevant, personal and customized way than is possible with manual tools. These platforms typically support visitor identification, lead scoring, email automation based on visitor preferences and CRM tools to alert sales consultants to their best and mostly timely prospects.
Any conversation about marketing automation should begin with a quick understanding of the difference between strategy and tactics.
Strategy is the creative framework that reflects marketing’s alignment to your business goals and unique market position. Strategy is, by definition, anything but automated.
Tactics are the specific marketing actions you undertake to implement your strategy.
It may seem obvious, but marketing automation can only be effective if it’s implemented in service of a well-defined marketing strategy. Otherwise, it’s easy to be busy, but not drive results. As the eminent business author and consultant Peter Drucker wrote, “Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.”
Marketing automation tools replace manual and repetitive marketing techniques with software applications. Often confused with systems that handle single marketing tactics such as email marketing and blogging, a well-implemented marketing automation platform’s most powerful benefit is how it allows you to create, manage, automate and track many marketing tactics in a single location. The ability to see the combined effects of these tactics in a unified view will allow you to more quickly and accurately adjust them to improve performance towards your strategic goals.
A QUICK OVERVIEW OF TYPICAL MARKETING AUTOMATION COMPONENTS
A typical market automation platform presents a global dashboard of campaign activity and performance analytics providing the ability to drill down to granular information on individual leads.
Each marketing automation platform provides an integrated system for building website forms, email templates and messages to integrate outbound marketing and nurturing website interactivity.
By developing a strategy of logic-based triggers and workflows, you can automate the process of delivering your message to potential clients in a way that will optimize delivery of the right message at the right time. Another benefit of this automation is the real-time business intelligence you gain by automatically segmenting leads and tracking recipient behavior.
Data tools make it possible to analyze lead origination and website interactivity at a global and individual lead level. This allows you to review and refine marketing tactics. Both inbound and outbound lead generation reporting is tied into a unified system so you can review all marketing efforts together and make informed comparisons.
CLIENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGER (CRM)
CRM tools allow your sales staff to leverage real-time marketing data to increase their effectiveness in addressing customer needs. Your ability to track leads from generation to close and even through your onboarding process will support your efforts to determine those marketing channels and strategies that are most productive.