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.