Marketing automation is not the solution, but it is the seed that needs to be watered, fertilized, and nursed in order to become the solution
Part I – What is Marketing Automation
Most marketers understand that a single interaction with a prospect does not create a sale or even a good sales lead. When you send a promotional email a few might open it, some might click on your call-to-action button, and some of those might end up on your landing page or completing their contact details.
You can already see how a simple marketing tactic like a promotional email creates a relatively large tree of possible outcomes representing people who opened or not, clicked or not, registered or not etc. Good marketers know that they need to treat each one of those groups differently, for instance some need nurturing, others need a sales call, etc. Additionally, people who do not fully engage may need to be taken into an entirely different journey as they seem uninterested in the offering being promoted. In many cases many of those actions ought to be initiated manually and on a pre-defined schedule but tend to fall by the wayside because the marketing organization is now engaged in something else, an exciting new campaign, an upcoming major launch, or a simply new quarter — leaving so much unrealized value on the table.
A good marketing automation solution can solve this problem by setting up all those follow up actions upfront. For example, someone arrived at the landing pad but did not register gets an automated email reminder after 3 days while someone who opened the email but did not click may get a different email a week later and leads that were rejected by sales will automatically go into nurturing mode.
Why You Need Marketing Automation
It is often argued that marketing people aren’t naturally the most disciplined type, and the nature of marketing work induce team members to race to join the work on the next exciting campaign, major launch or the company’s annual conference which often leaves follow up actions on previous campaigns unattended. Marketing automation when properly implemented and utilized can easily fill many of the gaps created by the ever-changing focus of marketers.
Types of Marketing Automation Solutions
Naturally some marketing automation solutions are more suited to B2C, others to B2B. Some excel in eCommerce and others in driving prospects through the longer and more elaborate sales cycles often associated with major purchases that ultimately involve human interaction and negotiations, some come with their own CRM others can integrate with your CRM of choice. A carefully crafted selection process is always required to ensure the right fit with your business and your preexisting marketing technologies. The purpose here is to select a solution that best fits your business model and works with your existing applications while meeting your budget constraints.