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Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation 101

Marketing Automation is the name given to software platforms that seek to simplify and automate repetitive tasks within Marketing departments. Software vendors typically provide these platforms as a hosted or web-based solution, and so there is little-to-no software to install.

These services are ideal for any company wishing to retain visitors and customers, improve conversions, reduce marketing costs, and streamline sales operations, and are often the mainstay of any B2B and B2C business that is on the web.

Product Features

Since the concept of Marketing Automation is relatively new, vendors will offer a varying choice of product features. It is then a wise choice to evaluate each vendor carefully and choose the one that best solves your immediate and long-term marketing and sales problems.

Marketing Automation diagram

Overall, the most common feature one may find when evaluating vendors are listed here:

  • CRM Integration: Ideally suited to align Marketing and Sales – bi-directional CRM integration allows for CRM data to be easily manipulated from within the Marketing Automation platform.
  • Web Analytics: Incorporation of web analytics data, allows you to segment, score, and qualify prospects based on their website-viewing habits.
  • Lead Nurturing: Automates the process of qualifying Leads and increases upsell-rate by keeping current customers engaged.
  • Lead Scoring: Quality metrics applied to each Lead and Prospect, relative to that of others in your database.
  • Email Marketing: Email Marketing platform designed to launch email campaigns to targeted prospect groups.
  • List Management: Ability to segment your database of leads and target them with focused campaigns and programs.
  • Reporting: An obvious feature for any product, as you can’t tune your marketing initiatives if you can’t measure the response-rates.

The above list is a broad overview of the necessary pieces to achieve a successful Closed-Loop marketing process. As noted above, every vendor in the marketing automation space will have his own twist to these individual pieces, so choose the one that’s right for you.

How Does Marketing Automation Work? »