What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organisations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automates repetitive tasks. Marketing Automation is a subset of customer relationship management (CRM) that focuses on the definition, segmentation, scheduling, and tracking of marketing campaigns. Marketing Automation involves multiple areas of marketing and is really the marriage of email marketing technology coupled with a structured sales process. Marketing Automation can be defined as a process where technology is used to automate several repetitive tasks that are undertaken on a regular basis in a marketing campaign. A tool that allows an individual to design, execute and automate a time-bound marketing workflow can be called a Marketing Automation platform.
Some popular marketing automation platforms are
- HubSpot Marketing Automation
Three categories of marketing automation software:
Uses tracking codes in social media email and webpages to track the behaviour of anyone interested in a product or service to gain a measure of intent. It can record which social media group or thread they followed, which link was clicked on in an email or which search term was used to access a website. Multiple link analysis can then track buyer behaviour - following links and multiple threads related to product A but not B will show an interest only in A. This allows more accurately targeted response and the development of a nurturing program specifically targeted towards their interest and vertical market. Due to its interactive nature, this has been described as Marketing Automation 2.0.
Has a focus on moving leads from the top of the marketing funnel through to becoming sales-ready leads at the bottom of the funnel. Prospects are scored, based on their activities, and receive targeted content and messaging, thus nurturing them from first interest through to sale. Commonly used in business-to-business (B2B), business-to-government (B2G), or longer sales cycle business-to-consumer (B2C) sales cycles.
Advanced workflow automation
Encompasses automation of internal marketing processes. These include budgeting and planning, workflow and approvals, the marketing calendar, internal collaboration, digital asset creation, and management and essentially everything that supports the operational efficiency of the internal marketing function. Typically these systems require a CRM or COM administrator to set up a complex series of rules to trigger action items for internal sales and marketing professionals to manually process (designing files, sending letters, sending email campaigns). This type of system increases marketer's ability to deliver relevant content to relevant individuals at relevant times. Limitations may apply, based on the human resource capacity of an organisation and their level of commitment to the tasks as they are assigned.
Improving customer experience a key benefit of marketing automation is that it helps you offer customers a better experience. Marketing automation technology allows you to send behaviourally triggered emails. These highly tailored campaigns get sent to customers automatically when they do certain things.
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