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Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Automation

Beginner's Guide to Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation 101

Anyone that spends time online has been exposed to marketing automation. So let’s take a minute to look behind the curtain to understand what it is, what it does, and whether it’s something you should implement for your organization.

Marketing Automation Definition

Marketing Automation software is used by Marketing (and sometimes Sales and Customer Service) to automate tasks and provide business intelligence. In its most basic form, it involves creating rules to automate communications (generally email) and handle online form submissions.

User Experience

As an example, let’s say you did a web search for “Marketing Automation Tips” and you found the following ad:

Digital Advertising

You click the link and reach a page that succinctly describes the key benefits of the ebook. To download it, you’re presented with a simple form. Upon completing and submitting, you immediately receive an email with your ebook – you may also be redirected to a new page, providing you with a suggestion for what you may want to do next.

The embedded form and subsequent delivery of content was managed through a Marketing Automation platform. A few of most popular platforms include HubSpot, Pardot, Eloqua and Marketo. Over time you’re likely to receive a series of emails from 360 Reputation, asking if you enjoyed the ebook you downloaded and offering you an opportunity to speak further about the topic and how it applies to your business.

Marketing Automation – Background Activity

Concurrent with the delivery of your requested ebook, an automation platform is preforming a variety of operations in the background. For example:

  • Checking to see if you exist in 360 Reputation’s CRM yet and if not adding you as a new lead.
  • Checking online to see if it can verify your email address against any Social Media profiles (and adding those if it can).
  • Checking your IP to determine your location (Country, City, State).
  • Assigning a lead score in the CRM system, indicating the likelihood of you making a purchase.

As you revisit the 360 Reputation or click on follow-up emails, your CRM profile is updated and over time, 360 Reputation gets a better picture about what interests you and which offering may be best suited for you. If you take certain actions such as visiting the pricing page, the Marketing Automation platform might signal the sales team that you are in “buying mode” and alert them to contact you.

Creepy? Or Cool!

All these marketing and sales actions are “Marketing Automation.” Whether you find this to be creepy or cool, this is occurring on almost every business-oriented website you visit. Which begs the question, should your company invest in Marketing Automation?

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