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As the standard marketing tools and platforms change and evolve, so too does the role of the marketer in the sales process. These days there is constantly increasing pressure on marketers, particularly B2B marketers, to not only find prospects but also to establish and build a relationship with that prospect before passing the lead off to sales.
This is where marketing automation comes into play. Marketing automation is the amalgamation of web content management, marketing resource management, digital asset management, data management, lead management, predictive modeling and analytics. Now that’s an awful lot of big, complex-sounding words, but don’t let it turn you off. If anything, marketing automation is actually designed to make the marketers job easier.
Marketing has grown increasingly more complex as the Internet and the tools available to marketers also grow more complex. Marketing automation sits at the center of these tools and attempts to give marketers a one-stop platform to oversee management of an array of marketing communications. Marketing no longer stops at establishing contact, these days leads must be nurtured and cultivated through platforms such as email and social media. Marketing automation seeks to streamline not only the lead gathering process, but also the lead nurturing process in a way that benefits both marketers and customers.
So what are the benefits of marketing automation?
To begin with, marketing automation makes the job of the marketer easier. It allows marketers to accomplish more than they could have by manually attending to every task necessary to find and nurture leads. In summary, it makes you a more effective marketer.
Marketing automation also helps to oversee the increasingly complex campaigns that seem to be the norm these days. Email campaigns, workflows, lead nurturing – all of these things demand time and attention individually. However, by aggregating them under the marketing automation umbrella it is easier to control and envision how they all work together.
This also allows for a more personalized campaign for your customers. You can utilize marketing automation to focus on specific list segments, customer demographics or even custom-tailored targets. It will also assist in creating more impactful email content, landing pages and calls to action based on customer’s prior behavior and past communications.
Marketing automation may sound scary, what with all the big words bandied about in most “introductions” to the topic. But the simple fact is that it exist to make marketing simpler, for everyone from the largest Fortune 500 company down to the smallest mom and pop shop. Marketing automation is a crucial tool to ensure continued engagement that leads to a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship for both the customer and the marketer.