Marketing Automation - Its Importance & Advantages
MARKETING AUTOMATION –IMPORTANCE & ADVANTAGES
About Marketing AutomationMarketing automation has found its way into the average marketer’s life.Whether it is in the form of sales platforms or e -mail marketing tools,marketing automation has become an integral part of the business. A study byAberdeen Gro up revealed that 88% o f companies that performed better thanothers in the research were the ones that employed closed loo p marketing.While automation can exist separately for each functio n of the business suchas sales, marketing and customer service, research found that a unification ofall the three works best. This article elaborates on the importance ofmarketing automation, and the advantages of adopting a holistic view towardsmarketing automation.Marketing Automation—Its ImportanceMarketing automation has assumed increased importance in recent times.Some of the reasons for this are: Growing businesses : Today, a business is not limited to its physical area of existence. Markets extend beyond borders and bo undaries . With the growth of technolo gy , a whole new marketplace has developed on the worldwide web. With the collapse of geographic limitatio ns, there is a need for a tool that can bring uniformity to businesses operations across the globe. Better-informed consumers: Consumers are more informed than a decade ago. Previously, the customer’s interaction with a business would start from the moment the business approached the consumer or the consumer got in touch with the vendor lo oking for a solution. Thanks to the internet, often the customer doesn’t interact with the business until the last few stages of the buying cycle. For businesses to be able to know who is checking them out and why, marketing automation tools are a necessity. Competition: The market is filled with competitors. The customer has no dearth of choice s. In these conditions , businesses need to be able to track their customers’ moves and make the right offerings so that they are able to close deals. Businesses have to know their
target audience and present the most appropriate product/solutio n. This isn’t possible without leveraging technology and autom ation. Diversification: With businesses diversifying to various spheres to bring more than one product/solution to the customer, there’s a need to know the customer preferences. Identifying customer preferences enables a business to cross -sell and up-sell its products/solutions. Marketing automation can track customer behavior and help the business understand the pattern of custo mer purchases and market their products accordingly.Advantages of Deploying a Marketing Automation SoftwareSuccessful implementation of marketing automation solutions helps a businessearn better returns on its marketing inv estments. A n effective marketingautomation software program offers the followi ng benefits Customer analytics : Marketing automation solutions have the ability to capture consumer preferences. This data can then be parsed to devise the most appropriate marketing and sales strategies. Proactive approach: Marketing automation solutions help business become more proactive. Marketing automation enables a business to track consumer behavior and calculate the customer’s next move. As a result the business can adopt a proactive approach towards its customers, anticipating their requ irements and providing solution s even before they ask for it. Better customer r elations Personalization of communication: Marketing automatio n systems enable the business to personalize its communication with its prospects. Personalization of solution/p roduct offering: Marketing automation systems provide the company with
detailed customer/prospect informatio n about the customer, thus allowing the business to personalize its offering as much as possible. Marketing collateral creation: For businesses with salespersons spread over the country, o r even the world, maintaining consistency across all marketing collateral can be a challenge. Marketing automation tools enable easy creation of perso nalized and consistent marketing collateral , ensuring that branding is never compromised. Empowers sales: Marketing and Sales have never been best friends. While sales blames marketing for providing poor leads, marketing accuses sales of not trying hard enough. Marketing automation solutions , when implemented holistically, can put an end to this incessant bickering. When marketing automation is integrated with sales and CRM platforms, the sales persons gain access to critical data about their prospects/clients. This puts the salespersons in a better position as they are aware of the customer’s requirements and place in the buying cycle.A Holistic Approach to Marketing Automation SystemsA business can employ automation in 3 key areas Marketing: Marketing automation software programs are available to handle e -mail blasts, demand generation, lead nurturing , and marketing collateral creation. Sales: Sales a utomation software programs include platforms that enable lead tracking and lead status. CRM: Automation programs at the customer level include customer relationship management software programs. These programs are basically involved in tracking and collecting customer data.A business can choose automation for any of all of these area s. However,results are best when a unified automatio n tool is used across all three areas.Marketing is a key function that acts as the bridge between the customers and
the sales functio n of the business. Hence it is essential that marketingautomation adopts a holistic view of the business and its various c omponents.A narrower tool using only lead generation and nurturing is inherently limited .A well -integrated marketing automation software program can help unify thecore functions of sales, marketing and customer service.Getting the Sales team on your s ideAs discussed above, marketing automatio n is not exclusively related to themarketing team. Success of a marketing automationsoftware implementation rests heavily on cooperationreceived from Sales. But, oftentimes, it’s noticed thesalespersons don’t think too highly of marketingautomation. The reasons for this are vast and rangefrom the salespersons believing that marketing teamdoesn’t know their problems, to thinking that a newsystem will make the sales process more complicatedand time-co nsumi ng. If you want the sales team to joinyou in champio ning the implementation of marketingautomation software program, then these are the saleschallenges your new marketing automation softwareshould solve: Increased efficiency : Everyone in your company is looking to improve their efficiency and your sales team is not different. So, if your new marketing automation software does that, then it’s sure to win o ver the sales team. So , when you are signing up a new marketing automation software vendor, be sure to look for areas in which they can boost the efficiency of your sales team. It could be in areas of sales materials creation, sales follow up or sales prospecting. Time spent: No salesperson would like to spend their time putting data into new software programs or trying to get it to work, when they’d rather be selling. So, if you want your sales guys to actually approve of your choice of marketing automation software, make sure it is easy -to- learn and apply. Drag -and-dro p technology, user -friendly sales interface — are all areas to consider when you are looking for a good marketing automation software. Increase revenue: The main area of focus for sales is revenue and deal closures. How does your new marketing automation software help the sales team in this area? Does it make the salesperson’s job truly easy? Does it make closing deals a faster affair? Anything that makes a salesperson’s job easier will be truly appreci ated by your friends in the sales team. Lead follow-up: Another core challenge faced by salespersons is following up on leads. Does you marketing automation software make
lead-follow up as sim ple as clicking a butto n? Then you can be sure that your sales team is going to give you kudos for picking the new marketing automation tool. Personal touch: Sales people thrive on personal interactions with their prospects. But, this personal interaction comes at a cost —time. Can your new marketing automation software change that? What if it could allow your sales people to stay co nnected with their prospects —at a personal level? Well, then it wo uld just be perfect for your sales team. Sales prospecting and lead quality : As a marketing person, you would have often heard your sales counterparts complaining about the quality of leads you send . What if your new m arketing automation software could end it? Look for a marketing automation solution that has smart sales prospecting tools —which allow your salesperso ns to see where the prospects are in different stages of the sales cycle and connect to them; tools that h elp your salesperso ns determine which lead is actually ready to make a purchase and which ones need to be groomed a little further. In short, give them some power in deciding the lead type and taking appropriate action.Picking a Truly Next-Generation Marketing AutomationSoftwareHere are a few critical areas you should consider before investing into aMarketing Automation Software - Ease-of-use: Most Marketing Automation System vendors will talk of their system’s “ ease-of-use.” Take the time to use and evaluate the system to judge if that is true. D on’t rely solely on their claims. Sales integration: Find out the extent to which your new Marketing Automation Software can integrate with your sales processes. How m uch a utonomy does it provide to your sales team? A truly next -generation Marketing Automatio n Software should integrate seamlessly with your sales processes , making them more efficient. Next-generation marketing avenues: New marketing and sales channels are evolving rapidly. First it was Blogs, now its Facebook and Twitter. Find out if y our new Marketing Automation Software caters to
the next-generation marketing channels, and whether your MarketingAutomation Software provider keeps track of new trends andtechnologies in marketing and offers upgrades.Search engine optimization: More than 90% of people research onlinebefore making a purchase. So, it is important to ensure that all relevantmarketing and sales materials are search engine optimized. But, youcant expect your marketing/sales people to spend precious time puttingin the right HTML codes. A truly Next -Generation Marketing Auto mationSoftware should automatically search engine optimize its sales andmarketing outputs.Lead tracking & marke ting analytics across multiple platforms:Your new Marketing Automation Software should be able to provideupdates to identify which campaigns are yielding results and which onesare eliciting lukewarm response, which leads are ready to buy , andwhich ones need to be nurtured. More im portantly, it should be able toretrieve this data fro m every type of marketing media or lead so urce.Advanced lead nurturing - Does the Marketing Automatio n So ftwarethat you are considering have advanced lead nurturing capabilities? The
buyer today has too many distractions and too many choices. A Next - Generation Marketing Automation Software is dynamic, understands buyer behavio r and responds appropriately . Accessibility - How accessible is your new Marketing Auto mation Software Platform? When considering a new platform, you need to remember that it will be also used by a sales staff that m ay be constantly on the move. How doe s the new platform cater to their needs? Does it have a mobile application? Or perhaps a notification system that would alert your salespersons when they have to respond to leads?To put it simply, a truly Next -Generation Marketing Automation program is onethat increases the efficiency and effectiv eness of the sales and marketingprocesses and brings about total integratio n of the two key functions --acrossmultiple channels, giving the business a holistic view of its prospects,customers and sales an d marketing efforts.
For the past 14 years, MindMatrix, Inc. has focused on alignmentof sales and marketing functions for over 34,000 sales andmarketing professionals worldwide. Unique to the industry,MindMatrix offers Next-Generation Marketing Automation softwareon a single unified platform for Sales and Marketing. Our solutionsbring about a seamless integration of the two key functions helpingour clients derive the maximum benefit from their investment insales and marketing.Our product offerings for sales include on-demand sales materialscreation, lead prospecting, and smart lead management. On themarketing front, our solutions cover demand generation , brandmanagement, quality lead generation , lead nurturing, social mediaautomation, lead scoring, and marketing ma terials creation acrossprint and digital media.