Regardless of the industry you work in, the likelihood that you’ve heard of ‘Marketing Automation’ is pretty high. However, the vast number of times the phrase is used can often cause its definition to become confused. To make things simple, here’s our basic explanation of what it truly means.
Marketing Automation is the definition, scheduling, segmentation and tracking of marketing campaigns, commonly supported by some level of automated workflow.
A Marketing Automation solution will typically provide the following functionality:
- Email marketing: The process of sending a sales or marketing email to a list of individuals at the same time, tracking how recipients interact with the email and measuring the results.
- Lead scoring: Ranking leads based on how interested they are in a company’s product or service, and how soon or if they’ll become a customer.
- Web intelligence: Inserting a tracking code into web pages to provide insight into how that website is being used and recording data about the traffic that visits it.
- Landing pages and forms: Landing pages are web pages separate from a company’s main website and are designed to accomplish a single objective. Forms are often a part of landing pages in order to capture lead data.
- Social posting: Scheduling content to share on your company’s social media pages to raise brand awareness and connect with your online community.
- In-built process/workflow automation: Sending targeted emails to nurture prospects by generating interest in your product or building trust in your brand.
Whilst you can get this kind of functionality with individual email platforms, social media platforms and Google Analytics, Marketing Automation software puts them all at your fingertips in one place. A significant bonus of having a centralised marketing platform is it only requires a single integration to your source data. Obviously in most cases this is a CRM system, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 (ok we’re biased, other CRM systems are available!).
Although at face value the tools seem to be designed with marketers in mind, Marketing Automation is really about putting your sales and marketing staff on the same page. It allows you to track the origin of leads, but also their progress as they move through the sales cycle by engaging with your content.
With a better understanding of your customer journey, the marketing department can create content with the appropriate messaging to nurture leads until they are sales ready. For example, imagine you could see the web pages your prospect Rachel, a B2B Marketing Director, touched and how long she stayed there for. Imagine you could drop her into an email campaign that sent her more information based on her interests. Imagine you could score her behaviour until she reached a point where your sales team could make some real headway and provide her with further information on your products.
This is all possible with a Marketing Automation platform, which paired with a system like Dynamics 365, can transform the way you acquire new customers, retain existing ones and communicate with them both.
If you’d like some further information about Marketing Automation, click below for access to the recording of a 30-minute webinar we ran on this topic!