After writing about multiple #marketing articles, I still find new and interesting topics every day. There are so many things in the #marketing world to learn about! In this article, I will explore how a marketer could assist his/her company’s sales team through marketing automation. Imagine you own a business and have worked hard to develop a robust digital marketing strategy. Part of the strategy includes lead generation via email marketing campaigns. You’ve purchased a sizable email list and have started sending out email blasts to your entire database based on your established content strategy. However, you do not see satisfactory results. Your sales team is overworked and you find them chasing a lot of unqualified leads. They seem to be losing some crucial leads to your competitors. Marketing automation could be your answer.
What is marketing automation? Here’s the definition according to Hubspot:
- Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.
Marketing automation does not mean that the marketer of the organization is out of a job. In fact, the role of the in-house marketer is even more crucial. The goal of marketing automation is to provide a combination of software automation and strategy that the marketer will use to help the company nurture its leads. This can be achieved by providing the leads with personalized and relevant content that would eventually convert the leads into customers and eventually satisfied customers (Hubspot.com). Let’s take a quick peek at the diagram below that shows a target customer’s journey from a stranger to a promoter. The process begins with attraction through methods like a blog and eventually ends at delight which can be measured through tools like surveys.
Now, before we dig deeper into the world of marketing automation, let’s look at a few definitions with the help of Hubspot.com:
- Lead: A lead is a person who has shown some level of interest in your company's product or service. In other words, your sales team will contact individuals who have already initiated communication with your company.
- Lead Generation: Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting prospects into customers and eventually satisfied customers. It’s a way of placing potential customers on the path to becoming a delighted customer as indicated in the diagram above.
- Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing is a method of attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant to them. With inbound marketing, potential customers may find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media. This method attracts qualified leads and also helps build credibility for your business.
From a business perspective, nurturing leads and engaging in inbound marketing is an efficient sales strategy that streamlines the sales process and also saves valuable time of your company’s sales staff. Once you map out your target customer’s journey, duration of your sales process; number of products you are selling; ROI of each product etc. you can start considering some marketing automation tools. Some commonly known marketing automation tools are Hubspot (https://www.hubspot.com/), Pardot (http://www.pardot.com/), Eloqua (https://www.oracle.com/marketingcloud/products/marketing-automation/index.html) and Marketo (https://www.marketo.com/). There are plenty more marketing automation products in the market. An organization’s size would be a big factor in determining which product is appropriate. Marketing automation industry is shifting into the enterprise level landscape. For instance, Pardot is a Salesforce product and Eloqua is an Oracle product.
Steps to choosing the right marketing tool warrants a separate article. Stay tuned to find out which marketing automation software is right for your company.
I am a marketing professional with more than 10 years’ experience. I currently work as a Design QC Specialist contractor with Chevron Creative Studio. I have worked in industries such as non-profit, healthcare, oil and gas, real estate, technology, education and consumer goods.
I recently earned my MBA from the University of Houston, BAUER School of Business with a focus in Marketing Analysis. Prior to that, I earned an Associates in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Houston and Masters in English Literature from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India.
I was born and raised in India but now consider Houston my home. I am Membership Officer with Prospanica-Houston chapter and Director of Special Events-Marketing with American Marketing Association-Houston chapter.
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