Posted by Emily Sorenson on Dec. 20, 2016
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is software designed to automate marketing action and interaction – including emails, phone calls, and social media – with current clients and prospects based on client behavior and information gathered through your website or inbound marketing efforts.
You might already utilizing an ESP (Email Service Provider like MailChimp or Constant Contact), likely a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager), website analytics, call tracking, advertising online through social media or Google ads, and internal sales tracking. The trouble is, you use all these systems, but they seldom work together to track customer journeys and assist the sales team to turn prospects into customers.
Marketing automation brings all these tools into one dashboard, allowing you to see the whole sales lifecycle in one snapshot. But it doesn’t stop there. Automation also allows your sales team to send messages that speak directly to customers and leads at their individual stage in the buying cycle.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
1. Marketing automation tracks visitors to your website so you know what products and services interest them.
2. Knowing what they are already interested in allows you to send out dynamic content, which speaks directly to their needs.
3. Through lead scoring, your sales team is able to see which website visitors are likely to buy, allowing them to focus attention on hot leads.
4. With an integrated sales funnel, you as the business owner can see where leads are coming from (direct search, Google ads, social media campaigns) and which are generating sales to help you measure end-to-end ROI.
5. A linked CRM allows your team to stay connected, set reminders and tasks for each of your customers throughout their entire relationship with your business – before, during and after they have left the sales funnel.
To be successful you must be thoughtful about scheduled content and stay on top of interactions. Like every component of your marketing and sales strategy, your automated content should be personal, responsive, relevant and timely – just like the people on your sales team.
Marketing automation gives companies an edge in the marketplace by informing their communication and marketing efforts with good data. It’s cost-effective, timesaving and one of the most powerful tools available in technology today. Perhaps most importantly, marketing automation is fully customizable to your business. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but there is a one-tool-can-do-it-all solution. As you plan your 2017 marketing goals, consider a more sophisticated tool that will help you pinpoint the right customers, deliver the right message at the right time, and measure data to help determine your ROI. It really can be that simple!
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