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What is Marketing Automation?

At its most basic, marketing automation is software that self-operates your marketing activities for you. When used correctly, these tools perform tasks in an effective and holistic way that helps convert strangers into customers, improve your bottom line and increase your operation’s efficiency based on their interactions with you online (mostly).

Types of Automation

Some people have a very narrow view of what constitutes marketing automation while others have a the more the merrier point of view.

I like to keep it simple with a list of 5 to be honest most of these have some crossover but they also can stand on their own two feet and perform automated tasks:

 

Email Marketing

Example: User action initiated email or series of emails to educate and nurture your potential customer.

 

Site Automation

Example: Live chat prequalifying/chatbots can save time and harvest data for you.

 

Social Automation

Example: Posts curators/sharers or chatbots not only can it save time it can give an answer and provide a nice user experience when your team are away from the desk.

 

CRM Software

Example: Master storer of all lead information that leads to personalisation for each customer interaction.

 

Programmatic Advertising

Example: Automatically display your ads based on data.

Some of the players

As I said above these can be quite intertwined for example your email marketing software being your CRM. There is a plethora of different tools out there to facilitate the various tasks, some of the most popular tools are:

Mailchimp: “Consider us your personal think tank.”

No longer just the worlds biggest email marketing platform they continually add features and they have a forever free plan for the smaller business.

Hubspot: “There’s a better way to grow.”

With a free CRM out of the box Hubspot goes from strength to strength with their inbound marketing and automation software and amazing training.

Marketo: “One Platform, Every Engagement, Any Channel”

Marketo can be expensive and is a true enterprise solution with all the bells and whistles.

Drip: “See your customers in full color.”

A user friendly tool that is a great entry into the automation sphere.

IFTTT: “A world that works for you”

This is for everyone not just marketers a simple computing concept is at the heart of this automation If This, Then That.

Salesforce: “Help your business grow with the world’s #1 CRM.”

Another incredibly powerful enterprise CRM with the mostest. It can build a complete customer journey for you and more.

Is marketing automation the death of the marketer?

You might be thinking with all this set and forget business that people will be losing their jobs to technology. And marketing is no different. These tools can very well take many of the labourious tasks that, as a marketer, can eat up a lot of your time.

This doesn’t mean you will be out of a job however, in fact in many ways this sort of technology can bring great advertising outcomes to ANYONE perhaps the greater the challenge for marketers is to apply their skills and push even harder for the attention of consumers and inspiring action.

But it also means that as a base line, your marketing can be “produced” more effectively and your time will be used by doing what you do best – that’s thinking of new ways to showcase the great work your company does.

The average automation flow still falls down in other areas like the ability to have a meaningful conversation with another human or keeping content fresh although AI is getting crazy good. CHECK THIS OUT

images credit unsplash 1 , 2, 3.

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Written By: Rob