It’s no secret in our social and digital world that marketers are trying to get people’s attention. Your prospects and customers expect marketers to participate, and, in turn, they also expect marketers to know something about them and to respect their preferences and interests. It’s no longer surprising to receive a message or invitation at the exact moment we need it. In fact, it’s a deal-killer if we don’t see that right message at the right time. People have lost the need to go searching – they will use what is at hand.
This is how marketing automation has become the most important tool in the marketing portfolio. In fact, in 2012, Gartner reported that marketing automation would continue to be the highest growth segment of customer relationship management (CRM), and that it would continue with a 10.7 percent annual growth rate right through 2016.
If you are not investigating and investing now, you may soon wake up behind your competition.
First, a quick definition. Simply, we use marketing automation tools to streamline and automate marketing and workflow tasks. Most marketing automation tools focus on lead management, lead nurturing, lead scoring, social marketing, integration with CRM systems, campaign management, landing pages, messaging (email, SMS, social), multi-channel marketing, resource management, and marketing analytics. The key benefit of automation tools is to enhance communications between people and brands to be responsive to need and life stage and available in preferred channels. Automation tools use marketing scores to identify and target content to people when they need it most. That value translates to engagement and empowerment – and ultimately response and sales. Automation can be used effectively for both B2B and B2C marketers.