Marketing Automation defined
In a nutshell, marketing automation is a super powerful type of software that enables marketers to manage modern marketing tasks and activities and engage with prospects and customers in a personalised way.
Marketing automation enables marketers to manage and automate marketing activities and processes – lead generation, segmentation, nurturing, qualification, scoring, and sales-hand-off – and personalise communications from the very first contact with a prospect through the entire customer journey.
How does Marketing Automation work?
Marketing automation helps every step of the way in the marketing and sales process:
- Track all touch points with a prospect on different channels – website page views, form submissions, emails, SMS, social and more
- Collect data and build a detailed profile of prospects and customers using landing pages, forms and progressive profiling
- Generate, segment and qualify leads
- Score prospects based on behavioural and demographic parameters to identify the ‘best’ leads and prioritise sales team’s time
- Send automated, personalised lead nurturing emails to prospects based on pre-defined rules about who a person is, how they interact with your business, and what their needs are
- Analyse and report on your marketing efforts and return on investment (ROI)
Marketing Automation features
Marketing automation platforms provide broad marketing capabilities, including website tracking, email marketing, lead nurturing, landing pages and forms, lead segmentation, lead scoring, campaign management, social marketing capabilities, and marketing analytics. Each platform has different features, strengths and weaknesses. Here are some commons features of marketing automation:
Visitor and activity tracking
Anonymous and known visitor activity tracking is one of the most powerful capabilities of marketing automation, providing valuable data on who’s s visiting your site, for how long, what pages and content visitors are engaging with.
Hosted and tracked Resources
With marketing automation, you can host your files and track files downloaded to understand how your marketing collateral is performing.
Send real-time alerts based on set parameters to let your sales team know exactly when to follow up. For example, when a qualified lead revisits your website.
Using demographic and behavioural lead scoring, you can track a prospect’s activity levels and see how good of a fit they are for your product or service.
Marketing Automation allows to send personalised content to your prospects over time, to stay top of mind throughout the length of the sales cycle. Lead nurturing isn’t only used to nurture leads that aren’t ready to buy, it can be used for client retention, or with your own teams. Check out these 15 examples of lead nurturing.
Lead Management and segmentation
With marketing automation, you can divide people into different groups (lists) based on demographic and behavioural data, such as their product interest, location, content downloads, and more.
Automated sales hand-off / Lead assignment
Automatically assign your leads to the relevant sales team person based on a minimum score threshold, or pre-determined criteria that you set.
Forms and landing pages
Landing pages and forms are an important part of lead generation. With marketing automation, you can build landing pages and forms to capture leads.
The longer the form, the less likely a person is to fill it in. Using progressive profiling, you can keep your forms short, and gradually capture new information, as your prospects comes back to your website and fill in additional forms, allowing you to build up a detailed prospect profile over time.
Dynamic content gives you the ability to deliver a personalised digital experience and tailor your messaging by displaying content dynamically based on who is viewing your site.
With an automation platform, you can personalise your emails, A/B test your email content, and do advanced email reporting.
Marketing automation tools provide comprehensive marketing reporting and analytics to calculate marketing ROI.
Sync lead and opportunity data sync between your CRM and marketing automation tool.
Marketing Automation Benefits
By automating the various tasks involved in lead generation, lead management, and sales and marketing alignment, marketing automation helps to:
- Engage prospects in highly relevant and personalised interactions based on their behaviours and interests
- Save time and resources by automating marketing programs effectively and efficiently
- Increase efficiency by automating most marketing processes
- Generate sales-ready leads and shorten sales cycles
- Drive revenue through more qualified leads
- Demonstrate the impact of marketing on the total revenue generated
- Align the efforts of marketing and sales teams