It’s safe to assume that if you’re a marketer, you’ve heard of marketing automation. This useful business tool has many facets, and determining whether it is suited for your company takes a deeper understanding. Hearing about it isn’t enough.

Don’t worry, it’s not your fault—there’s a lot of literature online about “marketing automation,” much of which is dominated by software businesses selling the technology, making the logic appear skewed.

Let’s make sure we’re talking about the same thing when I say marketing automation before we go any further.

Marketing automation is at the heart of a digital, system-oriented, and results-oriented marketing department, allowing a company to speed up campaigns, reach more prospects, produce more qualified leads, and show a return on marketing and sales investment.

Marketers and marketing teams use marketing automation to manage digital channels and automate and plan repetitive processes using software platforms and technologies.

Email marketing and an ever-expanding technology suite that supports integrated marketing execution, data gathering, contact management, campaign development, return on investment, and reporting is at the heart of marketing automation platforms. The overarching goal is to enable marketers to convert leads into sales.

Marketing automation technologies now on the market provide three key functions: email marketing, visitor tracking, and marketing contact databases.

Beyond these essential features, the providers set themselves apart by providing extra tools with a pricing structure that scales based on capability and database size.

The term “marketing automation” has been around for over a decade, and the industry has tripled in size in the last three years alone, as shown in the Google Trends figure (above).

Despite this rise, marketing automation, like other advanced strategies, methods, and technologies, is still a relatively new technology for practically all businesses.

The following technologies are included in marketing automation:

  • Websites, content management systems, and e-commerce platforms are all examples of platforms. (WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, and other platforms)
  • Software for email marketing
  • Builder of landing pages and forms
  • Tool for publishing on social media
  • Administration of client relationships (Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, On Demand, ZoHo, etc.)
  • Tool for campaign management (Pardot, Autopilot, HubSpot, Adobe Campaign)
  • A tool for analysis

Is Marketing Automation Something You Require?

It’s quite simple to figure out whether or not you should use marketing automation. Marketing automation may make sense for your company if you need to boost lead generation, nurturing, and overall inbound marketing and sales performance while saving time.

When… you’ll know you need automated marketing.

  • You devote more time to developing and revising standard operating procedures for various tools than you do to using the tools themselves.
  • You don’t cultivate leads.
  • You can’t link your activities to trackable data because you send each email campaign, response, and blog post manually.
  • Your website isn’t producing enough leads or sales.
  • You want to improve your online sales but your website isn’t nurturing visitors.
  • You want to end outbound sales, and you want to stop rejections from cold calls.
  • More qualified leads are needed by your sales staff.
  • Your sales staff would like to learn more about their customers.
  • Your business would benefit from monthly leads that are predictable.
  • You want to grow your email subscriber base.
  • You believe that social media can benefit your business.
  • You’re not sure if your content marketing strategy is effective.

What’s the first thing you should do?

Begin by writing down your technical and marketing needs, including what you want the tool to perform and what data you want it to track and manage. If you don’t, you’ll either overpay for a solution with unneeded features or, even worse, waste time and money on a marketing automation platform that can’t serve a critical aspect of your organization.

Take into account the software that is currently in use. Is it possible to combine functionality and tools so that you can follow the results of your planned time and expenses in a closed-loop reporting system? 

Or does your business require its own specialist software packages in order to have a bigger impact?

What should I think about in terms of technology?

Simply looking at the market share of marketing automation in the United States (source) reveals that there are numerous possibilities.

Look for tools that have APIs. How simple is it to create a customized interface that works in tandem with your CRM data? You could also look for apps that work with Google and Microsoft. Make sure your marketing tools have native mobile apps for both Android and iPhones if your staff are mobile and rely on their cellphones. If your employees spend a lot of time on email, look for companies who can link email inboxes with your marketing tool and CRM so that they can view everything they need on one screen.

Then there’s the issue of safety. Personal and confidential information can be found in marketing and sales data. You’re looking for a tool that can handle role-based authorizations.

Should I consider an all-in-one or specialized solution?

The amount of technology you choose is determined by your requirements, budget, time, and resources. For a growing staff, all-in-one platforms like HubSpot allow you more flexibility and the power of a scalable and consistent SOP. However, to maintain the marketing software to its full capacity, marketers will need Swiss army knives. This infrastructure requires initial time and financial investment.

To keep up with quickly changing solutions, your team will need to understand different technological platforms and maintain discipline in training. Specialized solutions, such as infusionsoft, necessitate the use of specialists to get the most out of the technology. And therein lays the stumbling block. This is a viable option if you have a small team of professionals. However, if you anticipate quick expansion and cross-functional teams capable of filling several positions, consider reducing the amount of software they must master.

Conclusion:

The answer is determined by your business model, needs, and the people on your team. Marketing automation is at the heart of a digital, system-oriented, and results-oriented marketing department, allowing a company to speed up campaigns, reach more prospects, produce more qualified leads, and show a return on marketing and sales investment. All of these are beneficial consequences that can help you grow and prosper. 

Do you need assistance setting-up or upgrading your marketing automation? 

Talk to us, Aiozium, about this advanced technology. We’ll know the correct questions to ask so you can figure out if marketing automation is ideal for you.