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Marketing Automation - Finding the Right Software for You

iStock_000007517489XLarge.jpgMarketing automation has been around for a while, but we have found many companies still do not understand what it is, why they need it, and which software is best for them. The first step is to understand what marketing automation is and where it started.

What is Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation software streamlines, automates, and measures marketing tasks and workflows so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster. It consists of a single database that houses and manages email marketing, landing pages, campaign management, lead management, social marketing, web analytics, and integrates into a CRM to provide a complete view of a customer’s lifecycle.

How did Marketing Automation Start?

Marketing automation is a subset of customer relationship management (CMR), which started in 1992 as a way to better manage sales pipelines by digitizing and integrating processes. This allowed sales teams to organize and keep track of their contacts, interaction history, and agreements on something other than a notepad.

Over the next few years, developers realized the value of automating digital processes that otherwise had been performed manually. They created software that coupled the sales pipeline with lead generation and allowed companies to track customers. Businesses were now able to score prospects based on their activities, send them targeted content and emails, and nurture them to another sale.

The next stage in marketing automation was the integration of marketing budgets, calendars, content management, workflows and approvals, and essentially everything needed to run a successful marketing campaign from start to sale.

Why You Need Marketing Automation

What does marketing automation mean for your company? It means that your sales people will be more productive, marketing campaigns will be more successful, and ROI will be higher. Automation increases the efficiency of marketing and sales processes across the board, which in turn, increases revenue. Email marketing campaigns can be finely targeted, tracked, and analyzed to make informed decisions for the next campaign. Landing pages can be created and optimized quickly. Leads can be categorized by their level of engagement with the brand and communicated to with that in mind. The benefits to marketing automation are countless. Businesses who do not implement some sort of marketing automation software are missing out on a huge revenue growing opportunity.

Which Marketing Automation Software is Right for Me?

Since the concept of marketing automation has taken over, there are countless applications out there that claim to be the best. Choosing the right one for your company can be overwhelming.

When comparing automation software, it’s important to weight them against your current marketing activities and the people who will be managing them. Do the workflows make sense with your day-to-day? Is it user friendly? What types of analytics are available? How extreme is the migration process and will your data be secure? What kind of support is provided? Does this system fit with the rest of the software we use across the organization? These questions and more are crucial when considering implementing an automation software.

The question is not if you should implement a marketing automation software, but which one. Marketing automation increases your team’s productivity and your company’s revenue. It’s essential for companies looking to increase productivity and drive new buissiness. Just make sure you do your research and choose the best software for your company’s specific needs to ensure the best results.

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