Marketing automation is the process of using software to complete repetitive marketing tasks designed to nurture sales leads, personalize marketing messages and content and in the process, save marketers’ time and effort. By automating many of these tasks, users can more effectively send the right message, to the right user at the right time, according to Chris Davis, director of education at ActiveCampaign, which provides marketing automation software. “Marketing automation is all about understanding your audience so you can adapt the way you communicate to them based on their unique buying journey,” said Karra Hendrix, product marketing manager at Act-On, a provider of marketing automation software.
Marketers can scale their processes and campaigns so they can reach more people, with less effort, Hendrix said, “Because it allows you to track every interaction and score engagement, you can be more personalized and targeted with your messaging, while still maintaining efficiencies.”
Marketers deploy strategies through their marketing automation systems in a number of ways many of which are outlined below.
Marketers who use a marketing automation system specify criteria and outcomes for tasks and processes. That criteria gets interpreted, stored and executed by the marketing automation software while scoring the quality of leads and ultimately delivering data to sales teams often through customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Marketers who use marketing automation also leverage cookies installed in a website visitor’s web browser. Marketers can track their visitors through the website pages, build scores for the prospect and trigger more profile data based on web actions.
For marketers, the name of the game in marketing automation is building qualified leads for sales teams based on lead nurturing and lead scoring (more on that later). “Marketing automation is an easy way to help you qualify leads,” Davis said.
Marketers use forms to collect contact information that allows them to qualify leads. Based on the information submitted, you can have automation set up to place leads in respective buckets depending on the initial data collected, Davis added. At that point, you are put in a position to identify your “best” leads and determine the best means of communicating with your new lead to ensure a higher closing rate.