What is marketing automation? According to Pardot (a marketing automation platform or MAP), marketing automation is a software platform that helps you to automate your marketing and sales engagement to generate more leads, close more deals and better measure marketing success. According to HubSpot, (another MAP), it is a software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions such as email, social media and other repetitive website actions.
While both are good definitions, the one that resonates with us the most is the Pardot definition of marketing automation. This is because it speaks about how the software can help you better measure marketing success and automating marketing and sales engagement. As you know, the CRM system or salesforce automation tool such as Salesforce.com is the primary tool of the sales team and pipeline measurement.Similarly, the marketing automation platform is generally the go to or primary tool for the modern marketing team for marketing measurement. When connected to a CRM or sales force automation tool, it is easier to measure return on marketing investment ROMI using a methodology called closed loop reporting.
Getting to closed loop reporting is easier said than done. It requires people, process and technology to be in alignment. Once the technical implementation is complete and the tools are connected, the people involved in the process often must change their behavior. This includes training sales teams to convert leads into opportunities inside the sales force automation tool, as well as updating the status of leads so that marketers can see the impact of their efforts on sales. To be completely effective, sales teams must get in the habit of associating a primary contact with each opportunity since marketing automation platforms are based on email addresses that are associated with people.
Here are some other benefits:
- Act as central marketing database for the company
- Enable sales teams with data on known and unknown visitors from search engine optimization ,content marketing efforts and other digital tactics
- Engage customers and prospects using nurture campaigns
- Measure the impact of marketing campaigns using lead scoring and closed loop reporting