Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.
Businesses and their marketing departments benefit by specifying criteria and outcomes for tasks and processes which are then interpreted, stored and executed by software, which increases efficiency and reduces human error. Originally focused on email marketing automation, marketing automation refers to a broad range of automation and analytic tools for marketing especially inbound marketing. Marketing Automation platforms are used as a hosted or web-based solution, and no software installation is required by a customer.
The use of a marketing automation platform is to streamline sales and marketing organizations by replacing high-touch, repetitive manual processes with automated solutions.
Marketing automation is a platform that marketers use to plan, coordinate, manage and measure all of their marketing campaigns, both online and offline.
Marketing Automation is a subset of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) that focuses on the definition, segmentation, scheduling and tracking of marketing campaigns. The use of marketing automation makes processes that would otherwise have been performed manually much more efficient and makes new processes possible. 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.
Marketing Automation platforms allow marketers to automate and simplify client communication by managing complex omni-channel marketing strategies from a single tool. Marketing Automation assist greatly in areas like Lead Generation, Segmentation, Lead nurturing and lead scoring, Relationship marketing, Cross-sell and upsell, Retention, Marketing ROI measurement.
There are 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, Marketing Automation involves multiple areas of marketing and is really the marriage of email marketing technology coupled with a structured sales process.
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 organization and their level of commitment to the tasks as they are assigned.
Automation activities and functionality
In order to effectively aid marketers in fully understanding customers and subsequently developing a strategic marketing plan, marketing automation tools (MAT) are designed to perform four key tasks:
Each of the specialists listed promote a high degree of competency in marketing automation and can be contacted for preliminary discussions directly through utilising the contact details provided on their profile template.If you require additional assistance with your selection or a more in depth search then please complete and send on your brief as per our home page and we will get back to your shortly.
At Marketing Search we recommend you always take the time to think critically about what you plan to do up-front and be very clear about your goals and outcomes before approaching any provider.
By doing this you will avoid many of those unexpected and un-welcomed bumps and obstacles that arise down the track which inevitably cause cost blow outs and time delays in bringing your project to market.
That said please take a moment to firstly reflect on our Checklist No 1 : Search & Selection of Marketing Service Providers.
In addition you can also check out the valued information we have listed in our Better Practice Blog section to further support your next outsourced project.
Having done some basic research you should now be well positioned to start your search for that ideal partner with and have a better sense of the competencies and attributes required to meet your brief.
We recommend a short listing up to 3 providers be undertaken in your initial search with the aim to further qualify them down to 2. Ask those 2 to then to submit their pitch and proposal in person for your final decision on selection.