Posted by Murray Sye
on Wed, Apr 8, 2015 @ 11:08 AM
Everyone's talking about marketing automation. But is it just a fleeting flash in the pan?
Marketing automation is poised to be a $1.9 billion industry by 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan, a global growth and consulting firm – and for good reason.
Check out some of these impressive stats:
- Nucleus Research found that marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity.
- According to Aberdeen Group, 87% of top-performing firms use automation.
- The Annuitas Group found that businesses that use marketing automation to mature prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.
So, you may be wondering if marketing automation is right for you. It certainly has the potential to enhance a company's bottom line, but it's not a one-size fits all proposition.
What Exactly is Marketing Automation?
In simple terms, marketing automation is a software platform that helps reduce repetitive tasks, by automating the often tedious tasks marketers must deal with. It essentially puts everything under one roof which leads to increased efficiency.
There are many different marketing automation platforms out there, but most include:
- Email marketing
- CRM and website integration
- Landing page creation
- Lead generation
- Lead segmentation
- Lead nurturing and scoring
- Measuring ROI
- Cross-channel marketing campaigns
- Progressive profiling
- Reporting and analytics
Marketing automation makes it possible for you to personalize messages and campaigns for each individual contact, which previously have taken forever to do manually.
Another big benefit of marketing automation is it makes lead nurturing easier by collecting and analyzing large amounts of data.
This is huge, because companies that shine at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost, according to Forrester Research.
By targeting useful relevant content to the right people you'll be able to convert prospects to customers and keep your established customers happy.
What It's Not
Even an all-in-one marketing automation strategy can't replace your hard-working marketing team. Rather, it can make your teams' jobs a whole lot easier.
Even with automation, there's no getting around the need to produce valuable inbound marketing content. Without useful content your efforts will fall flat.
Marketing automation won't magically give you a list of valuable emails. You'll still need to work on growing that organically. You'll want to be careful not to automate spam by sending out a bunch of unsolicited emails. That'll only annoy people and won't generate the relevant engagement you want.
Some Options for Marketing Automation Software
There are many all-in-one marketing automation solutions out there today. Fortunately, many of them offer free trials, so you can shop around to find the right fit. Before committing to a long-term contract you can test out the ease of use and compatibility with your company.
Here's a selection of companies offering all-in-one marketing automation tools at all different price points:
- HubSpot ($200–$2400/month) HubSpot is an all-in-one inbound marketing company. Their software offers a variety of integrated tools to help manage blogging, social media, websites, landing pages, email marketing and a whole lot more. They also have comprehensive analytics reporting features and a cool mobile app that makes your data easily accessible.
- Marketo ($895-$3195/month for set packages, or, if you're looking for more, you can have a custom package tailored for your specific needs.) Marketo is perhaps the most well-know of the marketing automation platforms. Its software will help you launch highly targeted campaigns across all of your marketing channels with ease.
- ThriveHive ($29-$699/month) ThriveHive helps you manage your website, social profiles, email campaigns and other marketing tasks from one place. The larger packages include marketing coaching and at the top-tier, they'll manage your paid advertising campaigns.
- InTouch ($15-$47 per user per month and they offer a pared down free version.) InTouch is one of the more affordable options and caters to small and medium sized businesses.
While automated marketing won't replace your marketing team, it can enhance the marketing strategy you have in place and help you effectively nurture valuable leads. It can reduce many of your tiresome repetitive tasks and streamline you marketing efforts – freeing up precious time so you can concentrate on other business.
Written by Murray SyeMurray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.