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Streamlining Your Marketing Processes: Marketing Automation Explained

14 Apr

Large organizations selling a product or service, especially expensive ones, have long sales pipelines full of leads. When inbound marketing produces substantial leads, day in and day out, management of those leads becomes difficult. Marketing automation tools and software allow hands off management of these leads. Once a lead enters the pipeline, the automation software pushes them through each stage of your marketing plan, whether it be automated emails, or simple lead scoring and nurturing.

 

 

Three Types of Software

Marketing Intelligence- This type of marketing automation software uses tracking codes and custom analytics to track social media, user behavior on-site, and conversions.  Every one of the user’s actions can be tracked, from which social media page they followed, to which product page they viewed. This allows for a targeted response specifically catered to that lead’s needs and interests.

Marketing Automation- Marketing automation is focused on moving leads up or out. The goal is to move them from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel where they are ready to buy. Typically, leads are scored and then placed in a lengthy email and social media marketing campaign. Most often, these techniques are used for B2B sales, but are also commonly used in B2C sales as well.

Workflow Automation- This kind of automation involves streamlining internal company marketing processes. It can include anything from budgeting, to event planning, to internal collaborations. Any internal processes are handled and organized by workflow automation, helping companies stay organized and efficient.

The only downside to this kind of automation is that they must be customized for every company. Thus, often a COM administrator must be used to setup a company’s individual marketing funnel and workflow system.

Cost- Marketing automation software can be very costly. Depending on the size of your organization and your needs, quality marketing automation software can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars a month, to many thousands of dollars a month.  Larger organizations are often paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for a comprehensive marketing automation solution.  COM administrators are provided for these clients with year-round support for troubleshooting and/or further customization and streamlining.

Whether expensive marketing automation software truly makes departments more efficient and closes more leads into buying customers is yet to be seen. One thing is for sure-many companies have yet to realize a return on their investment in their marketing automation software.  Despite this, more and more companies are investing in these solutions every day.

Ryan loves to write about marketing automation and all things related to marketing.

 

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2 responses to “Streamlining Your Marketing Processes: Marketing Automation Explained

  1. zhafi

    June 13, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

     
  2. zhafi

    June 13, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

     

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