We live in an age of globalization and automation – where we attempt to produce as much as possible and get it out to as many people as possible. This applies to inbound marketing practices, which is why there are such a huge number of marketing automations now available in the industry. Like any industry, though, it’s not always a numbers game, and bigger doesn’t always mean better. Marketing automation is all about a decrease in the tasks you don’t need to be doing, an increase in efficiency, and more targeted, boosted productivity for your B2B marketing and sales.
So, what exactly is it?
In its purest form, marketing automation is a piece of software that enables B2B buying and selling by distributing content and nurturing qualified leads. The end goal, of course, is to produce revenue and one of the reasons that marketing automation software is so popular, is because it is an excellent way to align marketing and sales. In fact, in one study of B2B marketers, 91% agreed that marketing automation was very important to the overall success of their marketing across channels.
Reach the market
Marketing automation is best used with a multi-channel approach. The beauty of the software is that it juggles many tasks with ease, and therefore you can spend your time distributing far and wide with ease. It may seem simple, but many people forget that the very purpose of inbound marketing practices, is to compel people to head to your website. Many marketers get caught up in pushing existing leads through the buyer’s journey, and don’t have time to focus on the majority of the market that is still out there. That’s where marketing automation software can help.
Go with the flow
The metrics and analytics that are used as part of marketing automation make it easier than ever to understand your buyer and how they move through the sales funnel. This knowledge is power – once you get the hang of reading your analytics, you can rework content, test different styles, and innovate to move with your customers. An eMarketer study shows that inbound marketers using marketing automation can achieve conversion rates of up to 50% - definitely a metric worth striving for.
Recognize and respect its limitations
Marketing automation is not a silver bullet to magically achieve revenue, or rid you of all manual tasks. In fact, the key to good marketing automation, is to approach it like it’s a tactic, or a part of your overall strategy. You should constantly be using the time marketing automation saves to assess and monitor content, rework it, and ensure that your marketing aligns with your sales at all times. Marketing automation does not free up your time, it allows you to put your effort into more valuable tasks.
Automation, when used effectively, allows inbound marketers to boost their productivity and use their resource more wisely. Marketing automation can provide a one-stop shop where information about buyers is readily available, allowing marketers to easily qualify and nurture leads. The targeting capabilities, big data analysis, and sales capabilities are vastly increased with the use of this powerful software. It’s easy to see why B2B marketers who implement marketing automation software increase their sales pipeline contribution by an average of 10%.