Marketing Automation: What’s All The Fuss About?

Perhaps you’ve seen the phrase “marketing automation” floating around on the marketing blogs you read. You’ve almost certainly heard about it at B2B marketing conferences you’ve attended. Maybe it’s even popped up while you’re hanging out by the office watercooler, or come up in a casual conversation with a friend who just implemented automation at his new company (hey, it could happen!). After hearing it over and over again, you may be left wondering what all the fuss is about. What is it about marketing automation that has captured the attention of today’s marketing professionals?

Let’s start from the beginning. Marketing automation platforms are designed to increase sales and maximize efficiency for companies with complex sales cycles, allowing marketing and sales departments to manage their prospect interactions and online marketing campaigns in one central platform.

A marketing automation system typically offers:

• Micro-level analytics that track all touch points with a prospect — including forms, pageviews, content downloads, emails, social interactions, and more

• Lead scoring and grading to help qualify and prioritize your leads

• Automated lead nurturing to send emails to prospects based on predefined rules or time

intervals

• Customizable real-time notifications that let your reps know when a prospect is active and

showing buying signals

• Closed-loop reporting for easy calculation of marketing ROI

• Wizards and tools that allow non-technical users to easily create dynamic, branded, personalized online marketing campaigns and emails

When marketing automation is integrated with a CRM like Salesforce, a new level of functionality is unlocked that allows marketers to track and analyze all touchpoints with prospects from the moment of lead generation to the close of a sale (more on this in the next two chapters!).

Starting to envision how a tool like this could transform the way you do your job as a marketer?

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B2B marketers who implement marketing automation increase their sales-pipeline contribution by 10%. -Forrester Research