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By: Ashley Perron on March 2nd, 2017

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Understanding the Mystery Behind Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation

What comes to mind when you think of marketing automation? Is it robots, complex software, or inboxes filled with spammy, impersonal emails? Whatever images may flood your mind, “marketing automation” continues to be a frequently searched term among business and marketing professionals.

With nearly 70% of businesses using or currently implementing a marketing automation platform, and 64% of marketers saying they saw the benefits of using marketing automation within the first six months of its implementation, it’s an effort worth investigating.

So what really is marketing automation? Here we’ll take a dive into what it is and what it means for you as a marketer.

What is Marketing Automation?

According to HubSpot, “Marketing automation is software and tactics that allow companies to buy and sell like Amazon – that is, to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers.”

Marketo says, “Marketing automation is a category of technology that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.”

So, to sum it up, market automation is comprised of the the software and tasks used to automate and perform marketing actions – actions that nurture relationships and guide the modern-day buyer through the buyer’s journey.

Marketing Automation Nurtures Relationships

According to former HubSpot CMO, Mike Vlope, “the connection between a buyer and a brand is not a single transaction, it’s a long-term relationship.”

Marketing automation helps to nurture that long-term connection through a series of relationship-building actions based on the specific activities a visitor has performed on your website.

Through marketing automation, one quick download from your website could trigger an email providing the visitor with additional value-packed resources, helping to usher them forward in the buying process in a way that seems natural and helpful. Then, through tracking these actions, marketers can better qualify leads and streamline the sales process in a way that drives results.

Automation Doesn’t Mean Robotic

Marketing automation has gotten a bad rap in the past for being impersonal, spammy, or even lazy, but it all comes down to execution. When performed correctly, with a strategic end-goal and the buyer in mind, it’s an effective way to free up your time while also reaching buyers in a way that’s personalized, relevant, and helpful.

What’s more, marketers using automation software generate 2X the number of leads than those using blast email software and are perceived by their peers to be 2X as effective at communicating.

From attracting visitors to your website via automated social publishing; to converting visitors into leads using forms, landing pages, and calls-to-action; to then nurturing leads with targeted email campaigns, marketing automation can assist marketers in both lead generating and lead nurturing activities, all while aligning with the best practices of the inbound methodology.

The term “automation” can be misleading, because, in actuality, these automatic actions can be a great way to target buyers with specific, relevant, and personalized messaging – as long as you are keeping your end goals in mind.

In essence, marketing automation can help marketers be more agile by reaching customers in the right place at the right time with the right content.

Over the past several years, marketing automation has risen as a top priority for companies using inbound marketing strategies and tactics. Check out the latest stats on marketing automation and other inbound practices in this extensive report.

The State of Inbound 2016