Marketing Automation, as the name suggests, is the process of automating the repetitive tasks involved in the marketing division of any organization. Several Automation software platforms are now available in the market today that simplify and automate most of the repetitive marketing tasks. These solutions are often available as hosted or web-based solution, involving minimal software installation.
Well-designed Marketing Automation solution can serve as the true asset of any organization. A good Automation solution helps in retaining visitors and clients, improving conversions, minimizing marketing costs, as well as streamlining sales operations. These software platforms are often the mainstay of most of the B2B and B2C business over the Internet.
A good Marketing Automation software generally offers the following features.
1. Email Marketing: A module that launches and manages email campaigns to targeted prospect groups.
2. CRM Integration: This is required for keeping Marketing and Sales well aligned. With CRM integration the CRM data can easily be manipulated from within the Marketing Automation module.
3. Web Analytics: The incorporation of web analytics data helps to segregate, rate, and qualify prospects, depending on their website-browsing behavior.
4. Lead Management: Automates the process of qualifying Leads and increases upsell-rate by keeping current customers engaged.
5. Campaigns Management: A module that provides Campaign planning, execution and management capabilities, along with the facilities for Campaign measurement and analysis.
6. Social Marketing: A module that provides mass, segmented and personalized messaging on various social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, along with the features of customer data gathering, measurement of ROI of each action on social media in terms of audience, reactivity, lead conversion and sales etc.
7. Reporting: This is an obvious feature for any such product. Organizations will not be able to tune their marketing initiatives if they cannot measure the response-rates.
Who Needs It?
Almost anyone and everyone in business! In these days, where Small and Mid-Sized Businesses (SMBs) form the largest growing segment in the market, thousands of SMBs use marketing automation as a de-facto. Not just B2B industries, but even B2C industries like healthcare, financial services, media & entertainment, and retail – are rapidly adopting the software, owing to its real-time, relationship-oriented approach for maintaining and expanding customer relationships.
Cost and ROI
The cost or investment in this software varies based on the size of database comprising leads and contacts, as well as based on the features one chooses in the software. Definitely the investment offers better ROI, as the implementation of this product ensures core benefits like better pipeline, better resource utilization and higher revenue.