What is Marketing Automation?
With the migration of so much of the marketing effort to digital channels, a whole new technology has arisen, known as Marketing Automation. This is not necessarily an automated replacement for existing marketing efforts or headcounts, but rather a method by which the execution of a marketing activity can be triggered or executed based upon the actual activity of a prospect. This varies from the “old” process of selecting a target list or “segment” and replaces it with a pre-defined series of potential outcomes, or chain of additional promotional efforts when a prospect carries out a particular activity. These activities could be clicking on links within an email, or visiting a page on a website, or if a lead nurturing process is in place, when a specified lead “score” has been achieved.
How can it help us?
This can enable a marketing team to set up a whole chain of promotional activity in advance and have it executed based upon outcomes, rather than a pre-defined time frame or manual execution. Highly complex logic rules can be applied and very targetted outcomes can be achieved. This makes the experiences different for different prospects, and better results can ensue. Integration with other systems can further refine the processes and basis on which tasks are executed and to whom, which makes the outcomes even more targetted.
The end game is more personalised marketing, both in terms of content and timing and higher conversions.
Which and how?
There are a variety of systems in the marketplace and the appropriate one to choose is going to be dependent upon your budget (of course…), the skill set of your marketing team, desired outcomes and other IT systems already in place.
Getting the right system, implementing it the right way and making the most of it, once it is in place, is best achieved in combination with your broader marketing/sales aims and assisted by someone that has executed these solutions in a variety of industries and sizes of companies.