What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation, sometimes called e-commerce marketing automation, refers to technology systems and software programs designed specifically for marketing organizations and departments to efficiently market over multiple channels online and off. Such channels could be websites, apps, email, and social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Marketing automation systems may not be provided by the company that hosts the channel. Alternatively, it may be developed internally by a third party company. The term is often used to refer to any of these three approaches. It is intended to offer insight into the rapidly evolving field of internet marketing in order to help businesses enhance their online presence and, in turn, increase their profitability.
Efficiently executed, marketing automation platforms can provide a business with many advantages. Apart from providing businesses with an increased level of flexibility, automation platforms lower costs, increase efficiency and boost productivity. Many marketing automation platforms are capable of integrating all aspects of the business including call center, customer support, and lead nurturing. This enables companies to create higher-quality sales leads, which in turn leads to higher revenues.
The ability to generate quality leads is crucial to companies looking to optimize their profit margins. Automation platforms allow businesses to generate targeted leads through customized channels. Businesses that choose to implement marketing automation platforms are able to generate leads through the right channels at the right time, as and when needed. A lead nurturing application provides the company with the capability of creating customized lead nurturing campaigns through the integration of lead capture pages, content, and automated email campaigns.
Sales leads are generated by automated email campaigns, which are routed to the right contact, as and when necessary. The right contacts are pre-qualified through email campaigns and further interaction is then triggered through corresponding phone calls. The ability to create and monitor sales leads eliminates the need for human interaction, thus increasing productivity and profitability. Sales leads are also generated at a faster and higher rate than traditional methods of generating these leads, due to the increased use of marketing automation workflows.
One of the most critical benefits of marketing automation allows for the creation of “scores” or customer profiles. These scores are used to determine whether or not the prospect is viable for a business based upon factors such as geographic location, industry, spending patterns, age and other similar criteria. The creation of a “screen” of potential customers enables companies to easily identify who is most likely to purchase a product or service, and through the use of other factors such as budget, preferences, and other purchasing criteria, companies are able to better cater to the individual needs of each customer. The ability to analyze and target the appropriate customer profile enables companies to save both money and valuable time in conducting business.
Marketing automation helps businesses reduce their overall operational costs, and this can be particularly beneficial for new businesses that lack the funding, manpower, or other resources to conduct traditional lead generation efforts. Traditional lead generation strategies have always relied on manual effort, which often times results in a higher level of customer churning. Further, many marketers and sales teams often struggle to consistently generate leads from these sources, and as a result, a large portion of the profits obtained from business transactions is lost to these factors. By leveraging automation, marketers are able to eliminate time-consuming lead generation processes, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. With so much profit lost in the traditional marketing process, the implementation of marketing automation allows marketers to focus on the tasks that bring in the leads, leaving the more challenging processes to those that do not utilize automation.