Marketing automation does important things for companies. It helps to increase the efficiency of marketing, and makes things flow more smoothly. It eliminates redundancy in repetitive marketing tasks. These types of software solutions promote better big-picture campaigns, and more agile management of elements like lead generation, digital outreach and multichannel advertising.
Marketo and Pardot are two of the very popular tools companies choose for pursuing marketing automation strategies. Here are some of these ways that companies use these platforms to innovate in terms of managing the complex task of reaching customers and building brand visibility.
The Marketo platform offers five top-level resources for lead automation — lead management, e-mail marketing, consumer marketing and customer-based marketing, as well as mobile marketing assistance.
The e-mail marketing component uses tools like ‘Smart List’ and ‘Schedule’ to build more personalized and effective conversations with customers online. Drag-and-drop functionality helps marketers to get core information into individual personalized e-mails, and to build targeted messages that can be send out in an efficient way.
In terms of lead management, Marketo shows things like locations and revenue as graphs, and uses data visualization to present actionable analysis to company leadership. These types of tools help companies to manage non-converting leads, and to have better business intelligence on the kinds of deals that take longer to close.
The consumer marketing and customer-based marketing tools are slightly differently aligned. One aims to bring customers into the fold and add their lifetime value to a brand’s customer community. The other seeks to communicate with existing customers to upsell or enhance a business relationship. Both operate on a similar principle of automating some of the conceptual work around conversations, and by tracking customer or prospective customer activity to predict results.
As for the mobile marketing components, Marketo’s mobile tools take place within a proprietary mobile app. For example, companies can build in messages to individual users based on their application activity. Having a mobile component delivered through an app is a response to the prominence and central importance of the mobile channel, in a time when more purchasing and other consumer activity takes place on mobile devices.
Some of the things customers like best about Marketo include the ability to track marketing touch points such as e-mails, along with tools for data integrity and an interface that’s reasonably easy to operate.
The Pardot platform made for marketing automation offers tools in various segments — e-mail marketing, streamlined lead management, smart lead generation, sales alignment and return on investment reporting.
With e-mail marketing, Pardot offers an ‘Intuitive E-mail Builder’ platform to help craft the personalized messages that a company wants to send. There’s also a resource for timed delivery, to send e-mails at the right time. Another important part of this tool is A/B testing functionality — marketers can actually craft two different e-mails and get them in front of different sets of customers, to measure which one is more effective. A/B testing takes a lot of the guesswork out of marketing, and it’s a hot new way to bring a scientific approach to what used to be seen as a creative job.
In lead generation and lead management, Pardot offers things like a landing page builder, smart forms, and tools for assisting with organic and paid search, to help open those beginning files on individual customers and get them to start engaging in online marketing activities. Later, Pardot offers lead nurturing, lead quality, and different types of task automation, in order to help shepherd leads toward eventual conversion.
In terms of sales alignment, real-time alerts and activity tracking tools help to keep salespeople in the driver’s seat.
Pardot also offers return on investment reporting for various channels, including e-mail and other types of marketing campaigns. By allowing companies to focus in on the campaigns as they are operated, Pardot’s system allows for agile management and change, in order to stem the flow of capital into unsustainable marketing programs.
Both of these tools offer many of the same top-level services and solutions — they’re built to enable more sophisticated outreach techniques; for example, including the creation of targeted e-mails. One of the primary ideas of both of these platforms is that instead of doing e-mail by hand, companies can automate a lot of the work that goes into understanding and analyzing e-mail. One example would be understanding when e-mail is able to be sent, and when it is effective, for which both of these platforms have oriented solutions. This type of observation can eliminate hours and hours of ineffective and unproductive work, as well as a lot of abstract decision making based on not having the right data in place up front.
There is also the concept of getting leads into a digital pipeline, and managing them all of the way through the deal process.
Either of these tools can be a great way for business to automate a sales process and bring its enterprise architecture into the 21st century, with marketing automation platforms that help marketers to get more done and drive better decision-making in terms of marketing choices. With the right implementation, training and support, these solutions can make a business much more capable when it comes to driving future digital campaigns.
To learn more about these marketing automation solutions and how they compare in the Top 10, get our free marketing automation leaderboard report.