www.loopfuse.com What is Marketing Automation? Marketing Automation is the name given to software platforms that seek to simplify and automate repetitive tasks within Marketing departments. Software vendors typically provide these platforms as a hosted solution, and so there is little-to-no software to install. These services are ideal for any company wishing to retain visitors and customers, improve conversions, reduce marketing costs, and streamline sales operations, and are often the mainstay of any B2B and B2C business that is on the web. Since the concept of Marketing Automation is relatively new, vendors will offer a varying choice of product features. It is then a wise choice to evaluate each vendor carefully and choose the one that best solves your immediate and long-term marketing and sales problems.
www.loopfuse.com CRM Integration: Ideally suited to align Marketing and Sales - bi-directional CRM integration allows for CRM data to be easily manipulated from within the Marketing Automation platform. Web Analytics: Incorporation of web analytics data, allows you to segment, score, and qualify prospects based on their website-viewing habits. Lead Nurturing: Automates the process of qualifying Leads and increases upsell-rate by keeping current customers engaged. Lead Scoring: Quality metrics applied to each Lead and Prospect, relative to that of others in your database. Email Marketing: Email Marketing platform designed to launch email campaigns to targeted prospect groups. List Management: Ability to segment your database of leads and target them with focused campaigns and programs. Reporting: An obvious feature for any product, as you can't tune your marketing initiatives if you can't measure the response-rates.
is the key-word in Marketing Automation . That is, common labor-intensive tasks are fully automated, thereby minimizing the cost of labor and increasing efficiency:
Identifying Quality Leads
Nurturing low-quality Leads (or current customers)
Routing Leads and informing Sales of their quality
Measuring the effectiveness of the entire Closed-Loop Marketing process
By automating the above tasks, marketers are able to focus on measuring response and conversion rates, and "tweaking" the automation platform for optimium effectiveness.
The diagram above, depicts a common Closed-Loop Marketing cycle, powered by automation. Many of you reading this, probably wonder why we started the Marketing Automation discussion by listing the features on the first page. The fact is that the diagram above would not be possible without many (if not all) of the features listed on the previous page. In fact, they are essential to having an efficient fully automated closed-loop marketing process.
www.loopfuse.com Data Aggregation An seldom talked-about topic in the automation world (and what we believe to be a key benefit) is the consolidation of data across disparate data-sources. That is, the data you once had to pull from your Analytics package, your CRM, your Lead Capture database, and your Email Marketing solution are now consolidated under one roof. As stated, this is key to the process, as you are now able to leverage all of these pieces-and-parts in one fluid process, and more importantly, able to measure the success or failure of any one component along the chain.
www.loopfuse.com The Benefits of Marketing Automation Now that we've covered the common features found in Marketing Automation systems and how they impact the Marketing and Sales Cycle, let's look a little at what benefits you can enjoy from implementing these automated processes.
Reduce Operating Costs
This is of course what draws marketers in to implementing a Marketing Automation platform in the first place, because we are all trying to answer the question, "How do I decrease costs and increase efficiency?"
The reduction of labor costs is a byproduct of any automated system. The reduction of costs is brought on primarily by two broad concepts:
Decreased labor cost , by automating the process of qualifying/routing leads and measuring the effectiveness of campaigns and programs.
Increased Efficiency , By automating tasks and focusing Sales on quality Leads, thereby eliminating waste (lost time/resources) within the system.
www.loopfuse.com The Benefits of Marketing Automation Now that we've covered the common features found in Marketing Automation systems and how they impact the Marketing and Sales Cycle, let's look a little at what benefits you can enjoy from implementing these automated processes. Better Insight in to What Works (and what doesn't) By virtue of the consolidation of the Lead-to-Sales funnel under one roof, Marketers benefit from having clear insight in to what part of the chain is working and what isn't. And as with any assembly-line-like process, a simple tuning at any step in the line will have an impact at later stages. When your marketing process are automated, the tasks of "tweaking the system" becomes much easier and much easier to measure. A measurable process enables Marketers to no longer be viewed as a cost-center. Marketing accountability is now transparent, because every step of the Sales cycle is now easily viewable and measurable.
www.loopfuse.com Marketing and Sales Alignment Succesful implementation of a Marketing Automation solution helps align Marketing and Sales department by increasing communication and transparency between departments. The inherent nature of a consolidate platform, tightly integrated with your CRM, provides measurable indicators on the quality and quantity of Leads being funneled to your Sales reps. In essence, you're creating an automatic feedback-loop. Since the entire process is fully automated, the quality and quantity of Leads being funneled can be adjusted by Marketing at any time, as per the Sales organization's needs. The days of throwing Leads over a wall and letting Sales fend for themselves are essentially over, once you've implemented such a program. The Benefits of Marketing Automation Now that we've covered the common features found in Marketing Automation systems and how they impact the Marketing and Sales Cycle, let's look a little at what benefits you can enjoy from implementing these automated processes.
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