Marketing Automation has been around for a while. Uptake in the U.S. is faster than Europe so unsurprisingly, not everybody is fully up to speed on how it can benefit businesses and compliment Inbound Marketing programs. With marketing automation's annual growth expected to increase by 10.7% through 2016*, we've created a concise summary to get you in the know, enabling your business to maximise the potential of this terrific software.
In the past, outbound marketing, particularly email blasting, was indiscriminate, often assuming that potential customers were in a vacuum and only receptive to buy buy buy messaging. However, with Inbound marketing becoming the methodology of choice, where tailored dialogues engage prospects in a more helpful buying process, investing in marketing automation is just one of the ways inbound is overtaking outbound.
So how does Marketing Automation aid Inbound Marketing?
Fundamentally, without marketing automation it becomes increasingly difficult to turn inbound efforts into actual revenue. Consistent tracking and reading of the often complex path customers take towards a purchase is essential to meeting their needs. Therefore, current inbound marketing automation platforms, such as Hubspot, harness and map the whole journey a customer takes to engage them with your business. Automation helps to ensure these conversations and channels are fully tailored and optimised in order to pull leads through to the sales funnel.
What about social media, organic search and mobile?
Forgetting about these platforms when performing Inbound Marketing activities would be a fundamental error in attracting new leads to your website. It's therefore no surprise that these channels form essential parts of an effective inbound process. The more advanced marketing automation platforms have integrated managment channels in the system.
The key benefits of Marketing Automation include:
Improved lead management, through tailored email nurturing combined with tracking and scoring that will help to streamline the sales and marketing process. But don't take our word for it, make sure you're clued up on Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation to make the most of these benefits.
The Inbound marketing 'way' is essentially all about building trust and relationships with your potential customers, not merely treating them as a number amongst thousands. Hubspot helps you build personas around your leads, allowing you to target them in the most meaningful and effective manner (not guessing what their next interaction with your website might be). This persona based approach allows you to create rich profiles about contacts and provides you with a healthy database in which to focus your marketing efforts.
But what is the difference between Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation?
The two terms are often used in the same breath, they are intertwined, but they are not one and the same thing. In a nutshell, inbound marketing is about attracting visitors to your web presence, converting those visitors into leads, nurturing them until ready to buy and then supplying the sales funnel with highly qualified leads who are ready to buy. On the other hand, marketing automation is the software platform and process that enables this to be done in an efficient and cost effective way.
Businesses should have strategies in place for both Marketing Automation and Inbound Marketing, helping leads move through to the sales funnel and creating mutually beneficial relationships.
In Europe both Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation will become increasingly important in the next few years, so getting ahead of the game now will pay off. We at woO believe that a growing shift in Marketing and Sales alignment, harnessing automation, brings great opportunities to improve revenue and profitability.
Source: *Roundup of CRM Forecasts and Market Estimates (Forbes.com)