What Is Marketing Automation?

Defining Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation refers to the technology and the process of automating manual sales and marketing efforts. Marketing Automation is a platform and strategy that helps companies streamline their internal and external processes, such as lead nurturing. Marketing automation allows businesses to target, engage, and measure their marketing efforts, resulting in an increase of overall operational efficiency. Marketing Automation includes tools such as lead scoring, lead nurturing, workflows, customer journeys, segmentation and more.

How Marketing Automation Works

Marketing automation acts as a central marketing hub, but encompasses much more than simply email marketing or a platform made exclusively for the marketing department. It affects all aspects of a business from lead generation to conversion and beyond. Marketing automation is functional at every phase of your funnel. It plays a cross-functional role in all of your intersecting teams including sales, customer service, and operations.

Marketing Automation often includes the following features: email marketing, landing pages, signup forms, campaign management and tracking, predictive analytics, lead scoring, lead management, social media, analytics and most importantly, integration with CRM.

Marketing automation streamlines aspects of your business that would otherwise be manual processes. For example, marketers use marketing automation to send timely and relevant content to leads, while automatically triggering sales follow ups based on engagement. When integrated with CRM, marketers can hyper-personalize their messages, resulting in increased engagement and conversions throughout the entire customer lifecycle. Leads and customers can experience different customer journeys based on specific triggers such as clicks, campaigns, and demographic data.

Integration with CRM is of utmost importance, since marketing automation spans multiple departments and phases of your funnel. This is where the idea of Complete CRM comes into play. Complete CRM is a fully integrated and functional platform which enables all pieces of each process to work as one.

How Marketing Automation Impacts your Business

No matter the size of your business, marketing automation is an integral piece of your marketing stack. As your marketing channels and responsibilities grow, a marketing automation platform can effectively support and scale with your business.Marketing automation helps you see an increase in ROI and customer retention. Properly implemented marketing automation strategies help businesses see multiple benefits such as an increase of leads in the sales funnel, more effective sales and marketing processes, higher conversion rates and increased revenue.

While increasing operational efficiency, this technology significantly influences the overall customer experience. Marketing automation offers consistency, accurate segmentation (if your data is clean and up to date), and better sales and marketing performance. Automation can also help your customer service team by automating follow-up responses to incoming inquiries.

There are plenty of ways that marketing automation can be used to benefit your business, but the greatest benefit is the overall value that it brings to your team, and ultimately, your leads and customers.

How to Get Started with Marketing Automation

If you are ready to make the transition to marketing automation, there are a few things to establish prior to getting started.

  1. Develop your process and strategy. What are your goals for your new marketing automation platform? What tasks and efforts are you going to automate?
  2. Get your entire team onboard and start to break down your departmental silos. Because marketing automation and CRM span across all departments, it’s important for your team to understand how they all work together. Where do the transitions happen from sales to marketing?
  3. Increase collaboration between your sales and marketing teams. Marketing plays a very large part in the sales process. What types of content does sales need to help push their leads down the pipeline? What kinds of content generates the most qualified leads? The only way to do this is by opening up the conversations between those two teams.
  4. Select the appropriate software for your organization and make sure that CRM is natively integrated, as this will lower your total cost of ownership in the long run. Investing in what we like to call a Complete CRM, provides businesses with all the tools that they need to manage and grow a business. This eliminates the need to invest in multiple third-party platforms.
  5. Never skimp out on the onboarding process. Make sure that every team member is properly trained and has the necessary data access to help make their jobs easier. You want people to use the platform. Poor utilization often results in failed implementations.

When you implement marketing automation accordingly, and not as a “set-it-and-forget-it” strategy, this can take any business to the next level.

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