You have probably come across a discussion about a new, must-have marketing solution known as marketing automation. What is it? And why is it important to your business?
Marketing is transforming right before very rapidly. Sales-ready leads, data management, lead scoring and nurturing, tracking, and measurement at the contact level are just a few of the focus areas for modern marketers. Studies report that marketers are going to spend more on IT staff in the coming years than their IT counterparts.
This demonstrates the importance of more effective marketing methodologies driven by new technology solutions. This fundamental transformation is creating unprecedented opportunities which require a new kind of technology solution—one that helps marketers create relationships— building dialogs across fragmented channels, one that helps them address the marketing ecosystem in a more effective manner, and one that is powered by deep insight and analytics.
That leads us to the power of marketing automation
Marketing automation essentially enables marketers to do more in less time and allows the marketer to focus on high gain activities, while the technology delivers the marketing program methodologies. Most of the marketing automation solutions today are cloud-based applications that enable marketing professionals to seamlessly integrate off and online media, such as direct mail, email, web, SMS (text messaging), social media and mobile to create a highly personalized and unified experience across multiple channels.
Since the No. 1 goal of most marketers today is to deliver sales-ready leads to their sales teams, a new and important marketing application within the marketing automation solution now takes on new significance for all marketers: the ability to create rule based, multi-touch, drip marketing campaigns to generate, nurture and score leads cost effectively.
What this does for the marketer is enable them to deliver sales-ready leads to sales for immediate follow-up, while the remaining prospects are nurtured until they move into the sales-ready category.
This important development means that the old school cross-media approach of one and done marketing campaigns is now replaced with an ongoing lead nurturing program that scores each prospect and delivers the appropriate prospect information and content until they move into the sales-ready category.
The marketer makes an investment in the ongoing lead nurturing and data collection, insight, and behaviors necessary to cultivate each prospect to sales-ready status.
For companies of all sizes, success often comes down to dollars and cents: Sales drives revenue and profit, and marketing can reach an audience that can ideally be converted into those sales. While major enterprise corporations have the luxury of spending millions, even billions of dollars on marketing and advertising annually to build sales and grow profits, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often resource-strapped in three key areas: budget, time and expertise.
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