Modern customers are digital-savvy, mobile-loving, socially connected people. But, it also means that marketing has become increasingly fragmented across multiple channels. If you want to reach today’s consumers, you must meet them where they like to play: internet, mobile devices or social networking sites. At the same time, you need to find ways to personalise messages that build trust and drive loyalty. This requires sophisticated marketing automation technologies that leverage intelligence and respond to changes in customer behaviour.
Marketing Automation is a confusing term. It doesn’t really mean anything and a lot of the Marketing Automation vendors are trying to carve out new positioning with terms such as ‘multi-channel marketing’, ‘behavioural based marketing’ or ‘all in one marketing’ and the lines are becoming increasingly blurred as solutions are enhanced.
Marketing automation is a digital strategy to help you generate leads, increase sales, and prove marketing return on investment. It has the ability to track an individual’s behaviour over time and record the engagement and then automate the subsequent next action. Marketing automation also allows you to know your site’s traffic by name, convert them to leads, and qualify them for your sales team – presenting one central, single view of your customers. It can remember campaigns, assets, workflow, opt-outs, unsubscribes and preferences.
The technology is fast changing too and can incorporate both inbound web traffic, social media and outbound email intelligence as well as incorporate manual data from tradition channels i.e. event attendees. Primarily, marketing automation works on the basis of lead scoring, which means that a value is assigned (weighted) to every interaction. However, the main benefits are.
Ability to scale – running multiple campaigns at the same time
Gain a single view of the customer, relationships and behaviour
Measure campaign ROI and forecast potential revenues
The differences between Email and Marketing Automation are:
Store customer and prospect records
Automate a multi-touch marketing campaign
Score customers and prospects based on their engagement
Talk to other platforms e.g. API integration
Automate tasks and set-up workflow processes
Organisations that invest in Marketing Automation (executed properly) are at a major advantage to those organisations that don’t.
Collect vital contact and company information
Understand the intent and interests of a lead
Nurture leads through consistent communication
Compile a complete history of a leads interactions
Know when your leads are ready to buy
Implement real-time campaigns across channels and devices
Increasingly, social media is becoming a more important feature, and the pace of development is rapid.
Social listening e.g. listening for conversations on Twitter
Share to social e.g. adding the ‘likes’ and ‘forward to a friend’ functionality
Social sign-on e.g. the ability to market content on platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter
Most market leading Marketing Automation platforms can integrate seemlessy with Microsoft Dynamics 365 or NAV, through their API functionality.
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