Marketing Automation Software: The Basics
Marketing success depends upon many factors, but no matter how appealing a campaign may be conceptually, it must be efficient or be at risk of failure. Marketing automation can allow you to automatically manage marketing processes across multiple channels. Marketing automation software can increase your marketing strategy’s efficiency significantly, and make it more cost effective in the process.
While many marketing experts understand this, there seems to be some hesitation when the idea of automating a company’s marketing strategy. This is mostly due to business owners’ unfamiliarity with products and the benefits and advantages they offer.
Understanding what automated marketing software can do can help you streamline a very integral part of your business and allow you to focus on other aspects of your business. Doesn’t that sound like the answer to all your problems?
That’s good news for organizations that are looking for new ways to gain a competitive edge over their rivals. With so few companies opting for marketing automation software just yet, being an early adopter provides your business with some serious leverage.
In order to make the most of your marketing software experience, however, it’s important to take your time to research what you need, and to use your chosen tools to their full potential.
What Can Automated Marketing Software Do?
Each automated marketing software solution is unique, and each will offer different advantages. Which one you choose will depend largely upon your preferred platforms for online marketing.
Some of the more basic features you can expect to come across include:
- email marketing tools
- lead capture tools
- lead nurturing tools
- marketing and central contact databases
- CRM integration
Data analytics are becoming increasingly popular as part of an automated marketing software tool kit as well, and these are often bundled with quality reporting tools that can be crucial for effective campaign management.
But these are only some of the basics. Your automated marketing software solution can often be tailored to include exactly what your business needs.
Multi channel campaigns, mobile device optimization, and dynamic content generation are some of the more advanced features you might find that set one solution apart from the others.
What Marketing Automation Tools Does Your Organization Need?
A key component in determining which marketing automation software solution is right for your company is simply knowing from the get-go what your company actually needs from its marketing software.
1. Analyze Current Marketing Procedures
Take a close look at your current marketing policies and procedures, whether or not they include automated marketing. List which aspects of this system are working well for your company, which are not, and what seems to be missing.
Consider the ways in which your organization typically markets. If marketing is largely social media based, you’ll obviously need a solution that acknowledges and enhances that.
2. Consider the Needs of Other Departments
Don’t stop with your current marketing system when addressing these questions, either. Automated marketing software can also augment your operations, for example. You could procure a solution that provides your workers in the field with real-time data on customers, or it could provide sales data to your development teams.
3. Understand Third Party Integrations
Also, take into consideration the other hardware and software tools and solutions your business relies upon. Third party integration and cross platform compatibility have improved enormously, and are being continually improved.
Is your company a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment? If so, you’ll probably require both Android and iOS compatibility to provide everyone with a seamless experience, if your solution needs to be deployed on mobile devices.
4. Research Deployment and Implementation
And finally, research what deployment and implementation will require. If your organization has a fully functional internal IT team, this may not be much of an issue—but you ’ll still want to know how much downtime you can expect. If your organization tends to outsource its IT needs, you’ll want to determine what sort of support the vendor offers.
Researching and Choosing Your Marketing Automation Solution
There are many methods for researching and choosing the right marketing automated software solution for your business. You can contact representatives from the vendor and request demonstrations of their software, and ask them detailed questions. You can contact colleagues that use similar systems to ask for their input.
Another great method is to seek out comparisons by third party consultancies and advisory services. We provide an excellent buyer's guide to the top Marketing Automation software solutions, providing you with a quick and convenient way to narrow down your choices.