Marketing automation has been a huge buzzword in the marketing and CRM spaces for the last few years. In the 1990s and early 2000s, companies started trying to segment their marketing opportunities in their databases and offer more personalized marketing messages to prospects.
So, what is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a set of technology and techniques that is used to make marketing departments and organizations operate more efficiently. As companies grow, it becomes impossible to have staff monitoring the 1:1 customer journey for every prospect. As you can imagine, software fills in this void. Common marketing automation platforms are also very good at automating repetitive tasks and offering personalized messaging to prospects.
Most platforms automate personal marketing activities by asking for a series of rules to segment the list and then sending email messages, text messages or etc. If your company is using or going to use leads and opportunities it makes sense to do a lot of the list segmenting on industries, and Stages.
Another very common feature is tracking the prospects across multiple channels whether this be your website, social media, and how they found your company.
And finally, marketing automation platforms need to provide reporting on all of the marketing activities so that management can understand the value they are getting from their investments.
How to Pick a Marketing Platform
Picking a marketing automation platform is difficult because there’s so many different companies providing different variations.
- Make sure you have an idea of what features you actually need. For example, if your organization wants to be able to do personalized emails, and email blasts, that would probably eliminate a whole bunch of companies. Make sure the tool you selected links to your crm platform.
- Try and find a tool that might work for multiple departments. For example, Pardot has a feature that allows custom emails to be sent by the Sales Department because Salesforce doesn’t really have very good tracking of whether emails were opened or not, and whether prospects have unsubscribed from emails.
- Read reviews from other companies. Don’t be scared to take an hour or two and see what others think, it may save your company thousands of dollars.
Why Marketing Automation Matters to Your Company
Marketing automation is a big investment and will most like integrate directly with Salesforce and any other systems you are using. For example, you will probably need to submit forms to it and need to make sure that it’s possible from wherever your website is hosted. You also need to make sure it isn’t using too many API requests or your other integrations may break.
Author: Brian Cline