Marketing automation refers to setting up systems within your marketing and sales funnels in order to scale up your marketing efforts efficiently and effectively. The advantage behind marketing automation is that the system gives you leverage and allows you to focus on refining and actually delivering your product or service.
For example, you may have a system that deploys a landing page, with a form to capture user details. When a user fills out the form, it will log it in your analytics software and send the user a series of automated email follow ups. If a user replies, it may send that to a ticket system. If they purchase, it will send them another sequence, and notify you. Rather than needing to email users, the system allows the communication to take place automated in a proven framework.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
It helps increase productivity. Marketing Automation helps streamline the processes and eliminates the need to manually perform repetitive tasks freeing up more time to perform important operational tasks.
It helps you nurture your leads and retain customers. Marketing Automation helps you get a firm grasp of what your market needs and what factors determine their buying decisions enabling you to create targeted content based on those insights.
It allows workflow automation. Marketing Automation eliminates the need to manually do time-consuming, repetitive, and routine tasks by organising the processes thereby eliminating any window for errors.
It allows you to track and monitor your marketing campaigns. As with all other marketing tools, Marketing Automation enables you to track and monitor your campaigns as well as your expenditures.
It helps you align your sales and marketing. By using the data from tracking and monitoring your campaigns, you’ll be able to identify which leads aren’t ready to be converted. By doing so, sales will save more time by connecting to leads with more potential for conversion. Marketing campaigns which prove to produce the most sales can then be used as a standard for future campaigns.
What’s the best marketing automation software to use?
There are marketing automation tools for the Enterprise and the SME. Examples of marketing automation tools that can be used for content marketing are:
When choosing a marketing automation system, you need to select one based on characteristics such as:
- How much support you will need
- How much access to a web developer you have in your team/outsourced firm to integrate the system
- If you’ll be requiring customisation
- How many of the actual modules of the software you will actually use
- Any integration with any existing systems/processes that will need to take place
For this reason, there is no real “one size fits all answer” to this question. The systems we have been using recently are InfusionSoft and Marketo. If you search for marketing automation, you will see many other options.