Automated marketing platforms have exploded in popularity over the past decade, thanks to the legions of consumers arriving on the internet, and the availability of software and hardware solutions that can handle the many tasks involved in running marketing campaigns. Let’s take a quick look at marketing automation and how employing an automated solution can lead to incredible sales growth.

What is Marketing Automation?

marketing automationThe term “marketing automation” is one that has quickly risen to the forefront of marketing that involves the internet, email or mobile messaging. Marketing automation platforms are software-based solutions that can be programmed with campaigns to suit any marketing purpose. Emails can be made to auto-respond or be dripped out at regular intervals, pop-up boxes on a website can encourage customer interaction and be patched directly to a sales associate and more. Whenever a piece of marketing is handled by computers and software – from a single touch point to a full campaign – it is referred to as marketing automation.

Automating the Process of Interacting with Prospects and Leads

The main benefit provided by using an automation platform is that most of the touch points and re-engagement of prospects and past customers is handled entirely by software. By removing the need to manually email or call prospects – who might be six months away from making a purchase – the sales team is freed up to focus on building relationships with warm leads and current clients.

With the internet more than two decades old, it is no longer sufficient for a company to put up a small website and then consider their internet marketing complete. Marketing automation software can step in where many businesses would have previously left off and take email and other marketing efforts to the next level.

Checking In With the Competition

One easy trick to see what others in the same industry are up to is to go through their entire sales process as a customer would. Sign up for any email lists, add items to a cart and make some small purchases on your chief competitors’ websites; this will allow your marketing team to stay on top of any trends that you might have missed and will ensure that your team is staying on top of the game.

Like any tool, marketing automation software must be used correctly to be effective at generating sales growth. There are few tools on the market as effective at managing the process of converting a cold prospect to a new customer as well as marketing automation can, so if you have yet to take advantage of a system like this, now’s the time!

 

John is a small business owner, and contributing writer for Aprimo marketing automation.