As time goes on, Marketing Automation platforms will continue to evolve, with more features, capabilities, and integrations. But the process of deciding if Marketing Automation is right for your business and selecting the right solution will remain the same.
To really understand the benefits and purpose of Marketing Automation technology, you first should have an appreciation for Inbound Marketing. Thus, you need to make strategic decisions about which features the best fit with your Inbound Strategy, support your processes and capabilities, and most importantly deliver brilliant experiences for your customers.
Marketing Automation improves communication, allowing you to attract and convert better quality leads, leading to more interested, engaged, and loyal customers. And what’s even better, Marketing Automation is making life easier and more successful for Marketers who are still trying to find their gym bag.
This guide will help you navigate this journey of increasing leads through inbound marketing and converting them into profit for the exponential growth of your business.
We’ve all had that experience where we’ve been sold a solution that’s not quite what it was made out to be (or do). Armed with your Inbound Strategy to increase leads and conversion to grow your business exponentially, a solid content marketing plan, and input from your Sales team, you should be able to sit down and make a checklist of the features on what you need.
Marketing Automation Strategy and Inbound Marketing Strategy go together like a racing car and its driver. You can’t win the race without both the driver and car working in perfect harmony.
And it’s often said that creating an Inbound Marketing approach is both an art and a science. The art is in developing a robust and workable strategy, and the science is knowing how to use technology to enable your strategy.
Starting with a robust Inbound Marketing strategy, you determine exactly who your target personas are, where they’re hanging out, what their problems are, and the journey they take towards purchase. This then pinpoints the content needed to solve their problems.
So what does this mean for you? The big outcome of Marketing Automation paired with the right strategy, is that you and your colleagues can stop wasting time with tire-kickers. You can shift your focus to prospects that have the best likelihood of being converted rather than wasting time on prospects that could come to nothing.
We have covered the fact that Marketing Automation is best used in support of an Inbound Strategy to increase leads and conversion. So what exactly are the types of tasks that can be automated along the way? Here are the top 6 marketing tasks to automate:
This is a big one. Without Marketing Automation the process of setting up, timing, and executing a series of emails to nurture leads from prospect to customer is nigh-on impossible. With Marketing Automation code being capable of tracking how leads interact with content, highly sophisticated nurture programs can be created – regardless of the digital channels used.
Most Marketing Automation agencies use platforms for workflows (or lead flows) in setting the rules for the nature and timing of follow-up offer communications, based on that behaviour. And with the right strategy in place, you can also use automation to ‘progressively profile’ leads as they engage with content over time, so you can put your time into nurturing only the most valuable leads.
Blogging and vlogging are still the number one ways your inbound content will be discovered through organic search. By writing and publishing multiple blogs with supporting videos, you will grow the organic reach of your content.
Not all Marketing Automation platforms include blogging functionality or native video. If you can automate your blog + video publishing, you can efficiently produce, schedule, and report on the effectiveness of your blogging/vlogging program.
Bonus tip: Consider automating your blog subscription process. By allowing people to select how frequently they want to receive blog updates from you, and setting blog notifications as automated email alerts, you can eliminate the dreaded monthly newsletter.
With so many social media channels available to marketers to connect with their target audiences, it’s becoming a nightmare to manage and monitor what’s going on at any one time – and what’s actually working. With the right Marketing Automation platform with the help of the right agency, you can solve both those problems.
All your publishing for all social media channels can occur in one place – and you can see at a glance the program of activity across all your channels. A bonus is that you can also write, approve and produce posts in bulk and in advance, then use scheduling tools to publish your posts when you want them to appear.
This is considered a “dark art”. Well, the good news is that with the right Marketing Automation platform, the SEO of your Inbound Content should be well and truly catered for out of the box.
And if you’ve adopted Inbound Marketing as the way forward, the mere fact that you’re doing Inbound is an SEO strategy in itself. If you’re producing great, helpful content that people are searching for, then you will be blessed in the eyes of Google.
There are some instances where a technical or more comprehensive SEO audit and strategy is important. It is true if you’re dealing with a legacy website that has had many reincarnations. But on the whole, if you’re doing Inbound using a reputable platform, your basic SEO should be used.
Here’s where your sales team gets really excited. Most Marketing Automation platforms extend through the prospect-to-customer lifecycle and allow your Sales team to automate standard communications to help nurture customers through the onboarding process and beyond.
No more rogue emails from ‘that’ sales rep who insists on doing it his/her own way. No more forgotten emails that leave your precious customer who you’ve been spending months nurturing hanging.
With Marketing Automation, everything we’ve talked about above can be measured and tracked to the nth degree. As most of your marketing activity is being driven out of one platform, all the data is RIGHT THERE, real-time, all the time – so you can see what’s happening.
The beauty of this is that not only can you report on the ROI of each channel. However, you can also watch, learn and tweak as you go to optimize your Inbound Marketing efforts.
No longer do you have to wait till the end of a campaign for your agency to send you results. With Marketing Automation the power is in your hands to see exactly what’s going on and adjust your content campaigns while they’re in the market to get immediate improvements.
There are a wide variety of Marketing Automation software platforms available that offer a blend of features suitable for large and small organizations. Some have originated from traditional Sales SAAS companies while some have been purpose-built for Marketers and many have emerged from website CMS providers or email marketing platforms.
In this section, we’re not going to provide a comparison between the different software providers. Instead, we will explain the steps you should take in order to understand your requirements, so you can match the right solution to increase leads and conversion for your business.
When considering a Marketing Automation provider, it’s important to choose the software and company that best suits your business and your unique goals. Don’t focus on the individual features – focus on the business results you want to achieve and the long-term partnership you want with your software provider.
As mentioned throughout this guide, the best way to understand your Marketing Automation needs is to start with the development of a thorough Inbound Marketing strategy. An Inbound Strategy will help you understand your buyer personas and their journey from prospect to customer, so you know what content and processes need to be set up to generate, nurture and convert leads from strangers, into loyal customers and raving fans!
Do not invest in Marketing Automation without a plan that is fully in line with your marketing and business goals. Otherwise, you will not realize the full benefits of the investment and may as well be doing it the old way.
Marketing Automation platforms worth their pound-of-flesh in today’s market are all cloud-based and are usually products of large offshore companies. If you are evaluating local providers, be sure to interrogate the history of the platform, the investment going into the platform, and the development path for future features.
Most local software companies simply can’t compete with the global Marketing Automation power-houses when it comes to the investment and sophistication of their solutions. The selection of a Marketing Automation platform should not be a ‘solo’ decision. Armed with a solid strategy, Marketing, Sales and IT should all be involved in the decision.
The shift to an Inbound Marketing Strategy and Marketing Automation is a significant change for most businesses. And it takes a change in mindset, and resources to make it work.
Many Marketing and Sales employees have limited knowledge of how to use Marketing Automation platforms. Luckily, this is where the best strategy in the world will come unstuck.
There are a variety of skill sets required to implement an inbound program from strategy to content creation, to design and production through analytics. Marketing automation provides a host of ways to streamline your marketing efforts, ultimately making your job less tedious and enabling your team to focus on what really matters.
Critically, both the Marketing and Sales teams should be invested in your Marketing Automation program to work together on delivering shared goals. We see time and time again the Marketing team delivering hard-earned, high-quality leads, only to see them disappear into the void of the Sales department if the Sales team aren’t equal stakeholders in the program.
Marketing Automation is increasingly becoming central to the customer experience, extending beyond the marketing function alone. In fact, leading companies are already using Marketing Automation in new ways, including driving internal communications, customer satisfaction initiatives, and channel optimization.
The most successful companies have navigated the responsibility of automation between Sales and Marketing functions with CRM integration. Thus, it’s vital to do your homework with the Sales team to ensure they too see a future with the chosen platform.
Customers today are micro-influencers. Their loyalty to brands will promote purchases among their own networks. It’s already started, but we can see Marketing Automation platforms shifting focus to retention and delivering customer loyalty functionality.
Marketing Automation agencies are starting to step up the personalization game when it comes to loyalty campaigns. And the multi-channel capabilities of these platforms are the perfect fit for your customers’ multi-channel experiences whether they be B2B or B2C.
What does this mean for you? Wherever your customer interacts with your brand, you can be sure they will be treated like royalty. To implement an agile, efficient Inbound Marketing program, you do not want to be reliant on developers to set up and edit basic pages such as landing pages or forms, or to perform simple data queries for you.
Make sure you ask around and are clear about the functions you and your team can and can’t do yourself on the platform. At Bubblegum Marketing, we have a team of marketing professionals who can serve the needs of business communities.
While we handle the automation of your business process, you will maintain and run your own company as you always have just a lot more support when you need it. With the rapid growth and success in the business industry, we know we can bring you to the heights of your business goals. Partner with us today and win more together.
CEO & Founder at BubbleGum Marketing
As CEO & Founder of BubbleGum Marketing, Cam leads a world-class Marketing team, that serves businesses all over the world to achieve their marketing objectives. In his spare time, you'll find him chilling with his family, paddling his SUP, riding his mountain bike, or walking his golden retriever dog, "Summer"
Complete your details below to make an no-obligation enquiry.
Australia NSW: Suite 1D, Level 23 – Governor Phillip Tower 1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000 AUSTRALIA
Australia QLD: Sunshine Coast Office and meetings held within Buderim, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore QLD 4556 AUSTRALIA
P.O. Box 232 Buderim QLD 4456
Search engine optimization is undoubtedly the best way to gain
Your target prospects may know your brand, but awareness alone
The lead generation sales funnel on Facebook has proven its
Consider this reality scenario: You are developing a financial company,