Marketing Automation 2

Your Guide to Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation Software is designed to enable marketing departments and organizations more effectively market to customers via multiple channels, such as email, social media, and websites. The software automates cumbersome repetitive tasks, minimizing the effort required to publish marketing campaigns. Most major marketing software is available as either a hosted or Software-as-a-Service model, which reduces IT needs and simplifies system management.

Major Features

Marketing automation platforms provide a variety of features to facilitate digital marketing. Some of the more prominent tools include:

  • Campaign Development – Creation of campaigns, asset management, and other tasks involved in setting up future campaigns.
  • Social Marketing – Publishing and managing social media campaigns to various platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Email Marketing – “Traditional” email pushing to lists of customers, albeit with automated management and data collection
  • Campaign Management – Management of an entire marketing campaign, regardless of content or desired channels. Campaign Management includes scheduling and publishing of campaigns.
  • Marketing Analytics – Analyzing the success of marketing campaigns, buyer habits, market trends, and other data points which impact marketing efforts
  • Transitioning Contacts into Leads – Aiding in converting marketing-identified prospects into sales leads.
  • CRM Integration – Some marketing automation systems can integrate with Customer Relationship Management platforms to enhance campaign efficacy.
  • Customer Data Management – Logging of customer information (if not relying upon a CRM) and tracking the customers’ interaction with campaigns.

Functional Areas

On a high level, marketing software features fall into one of the three below categories. Not all systems provide extensive support for each category.

Marketing Intelligence

Marketing Intelligence tracks online interaction with marketing campaigns. Tracker codes are built into emails, social media posts, and webpages. The codes are in turn recorded by the marketing software, which can analyze and report on buyer behavior. Marketing professionals can then tailor campaigns to be more successful based upon the analyzed customer behavior.

Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation tools help speed the process of converting potential leads into actual customers. Potentials are automatically scored based upon various criteria, and then are prioritized for handling based upon the score. At this point, the prospects can either be fed marketing campaigns geared towards the profile of the customer, or passed on to direct sales personnel for nurturing.

Workflow Automation

Advanced Workflow Automation capabilities help automate overall marketing processes in an organization. Calendar synchronization, scheduled publishing, digital asset management, and business processes all fall under the umbrella of Workflow Automation. Essentially, any marketing-centered process which is not encompassed by Marketing Intelligence or Marketing Automation can be handled by Workflow Automation.

One of the most powerful tools in an inbound marketer’s toolbelt is email marketing. Creating fun, informative and engaging email campaigns is one of today’s most effective methods of gathering leads and retaining customers. As such, a dynamic email service provider is key to the success of your email marketing — and it’s even more important when you’re an enterprise.

According to a recent report from Research and Markets, the global marketing automation industry is set to grow by a sizable 9% over the next five years. This is no small leap, and it’s expected to take the market to a value of $6.929 million. The expansion is being driven, at least in part, by an increasing demand for automated customer retention processes.

Ask any marketer what their best friend is, and they’ll give you one of two answers: their favorite person, or their marketing automation software. Although we could certainly go into detail on the merits of friendship, this is a software blog. And today, we’re continuing our series of software comparisons with three of our most highly rated marketing automation platforms.

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Stelios ChristozofMarketing Automation 2