Marketing automation is basically a category of technology that allows companies, big and small, to automate, measure, and streamline marketing tasks. This also allows for streamlining workflow so that revenue can grow faster through increased operational efficiency. This is a growing area in the technological world. Therefore it should be an aspect of online businesses or those that have an online presence.
What does Marketing Automation Do?
Marketing automation helps marketers streamline their process for lead generation, lead nurturing, segmentation, lead scoring, and even customer lifecycle marketing. Furthermore, marketing automation helps with customer retention, cross and up-selling, and ROI measurements.
While some of these practices are possible without software, this is only possible at small volumes. With any larger scale, technology becomes essential, as there is an increasing number of channels marketers are required to manage.
These processes require certain things, like a central marketing database, an engagement marketing engine, and an analytics engine. These along with what marketing automation is not, will be explained below.
- Central Marketing Database – This is a place for all your marketing data. It also includes a detailed prospect and customer interactions, as well as customer behaviors. This is like a system of record for all your marketing information.
- Engagement Marketing Engine – This is an environment for the creation, automation, and management of marketing conversations and processes across all channels, online and offline.
- Analytics Engine – This is to test, optimize, and measure marketing ROI and impact your revenue. This is what you use to understand what has worked and what has not, as well as where you can improve.
What it is Not
Marketing automation is often confused with other similar tools, but knowing what it is not can also be helpful to know how to use it to the benefit of your business. The first thing is that it is not a creative name for email marketing. While it does encompass marketing campaigns across all channels, this is not the primary purpose. It does, however, combine insight focused capabilities from your CRM, web analytics platform, lead management system, and other systems to create cohesion. Along these same lines, it is not a way to send spam. Yes, it can be used for spam distribution, but can also connect with your customers based on their preferences. Automation is also not just a solution that benefits marketing. Instead, it requires a comprehensive strategy that integrates the right processes, content, data, and people to truly deliver.
Who Uses It?
Though large businesses have long found value in marketing automation, small and midsized businesses can also find benefit in its use. Finding the form of automation that best fits your needs is as simple as doing a bit of research. Find what will benefit you the most and start using that format to grow your business. Look for features that include things you use like email marketing, landing pages, campaign management, CRM integration, prediction, scoring, social marketing, and marketing analytics to get the most for yourself and your business.