What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is, according to industry statistics, a $32 billion business. That number is certainly only going to increase as the way in which it is utilized and the tool itself become more sophisticated.
Companies use marketing automation to identify leads, convert them into sales, grow revenue, increase operational efficiency, and prove ROI. According to a study done by the Aberdeen Group, companies that implement a marketing automation system as part of their marketing and lead gen efforts see:
- 107% better lead conversion rate
- 40% greater average deal size
- 20% higher team attainment of quota
- 17% better forecast accuracy
To truly integrate a marketing automation platform into a marketing strategy, it has to be used to do more than simply blast out emails to huge lists of potential clients or customers. The goal of marketing automation should be to start a conversation…and those conversations should lead to conversions.
SharpSpring is one of the country’s leading marketing automation providers and I was honored to have Andrew Dodd, the company’s CMO, on the Integrate & Ignite podcast not long ago. One of the topics of our conversation that resonated with me was the importance he put on “after-the-click” tracking in order to truly personalize the messaging.
For Andrew, it’s about “getting into the brains of the customers.” And, you can only do that by effectively mapping the customer journey and engaging in conversations with your customers on the basis of the way they want to learn.
By sending every lead the right information at critical points in their unique buying process…and by ensuring that your sales team is fully integrated into that process…is what will move the conversion needle.
But, it’s more than analytics. Thinking of potential customers as brand partners and not as “transactions” is what will also guide and inform your marketing automation strategy. This mindset is what will make a MA campaign more targeted, more successful, and your conversion rates higher. In the perfect scenario of marketing automation, the buyer gets a simpler, more consultative sales process, and the seller gets a more efficient (cheaper, quicker) sales process that results in better customers.
At Avocet, we use marketing automation to help our clients define their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), predict and score potential leads, and to create experiences for prospects and customers that move them from “maybe…” to “Aha! Yes!”
If you’d like to hear more of my conversation with Andrew, learn more about his approach to effectively optimizing marketing automation campaigns over time, and about what he calls, “mapping out the storytelling continuum,” TUNE IN HERE.