So, you've heard all the talk about the power of marketing automation. But what does that really mean and how can you decide if it's right for your business?
Should you invest in software or an agency that provides this service?
First, you might need to have a better understanding of what marketing automation actually is and familiarize yourself with terms that might be unfamiliar or alien to you, as you've just started your research.
As always, the Illumine8 team is here to help. Here is a quick overview of marketing automation and some key terms to know as you explore adding this potentially game changing service to your business development toolbox.
What is Marketing Automation?
HubSpot defines it as "...software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier."
In essence, automation software empowers a business to increase their presence across multiple marketing channels with less labor, while at the same time increasing the likelihood that they will be communicating with consumers or clients in the right way and at the right time to move them more quickly through the sales funnel.
Automation is not a marketing strategy or cure all. Rather, it's a powerful deployment tool that only maximizes returns if grounded in strong market understanding of consumer pain points and desires.
Lesser-Known Automated Marketing Terms
Automation of marketing is not a new strategy or paradigm. It speaks in a marketing language and uses terms you've heard before like CRM, leads, lead management, lead nurturing and inbound marketing. However, there are some terms that are more unique to this approach and less commonly understood. Here are a few that you should know selected from a HubSpot's blog's list of important marketing automation terms:
- Behavior-based automation.
This enables marketers to set up behavior based criteria that trigger an automated response such as an email or other communication should a lead take certain actions. For example, if a lead downloads a content offer, a thank you email could be sent automatically with additional content tailored specifically to where that lead seems to be in the buyer's journey. Behavior based automation allows marketers to deliver content that is highly relevant and targeted to lead or buyer behavior.
- Drip marketing.
Otherwise known as lead nurturing, drip marketing is a strategic series of emails that seek not to sell products or services immediately, but to gently encourage a lead along the sales funnel.
- Progressive profiling.
Progressive profiling allows you to display new form fields to prospects based on the data points you've aleady have collected. In other words, some automation software tools allow you to build a data profile subtley and over time, instead of pushing a long, unappealing form in front of a lead during a single moment of engagement. The form fields build over time, gathering bits and pieces of information that eventually form a more complete data profile or customer persona.
- Permission based marketing.
This is the antithesis of more traditional interruption-based marketing that could be perceived as intrusive. Rather than a direct mail piece showing up in your mail unsolicited, or a pop up ad, permission based marketing has potential leads and customers opt-in first. Permission based marketing tends to be highly educational, offering value to a lead or potential customer without pushing sales, at least in the initial stages. This approach establishes trust between a business or organization and their audience. It is an invitation rather than an intrusion.
And there you have it. A quick framing of marketing automation and some lesser-known terms defined.
If you'd like to learn how Illumine8 can help you better understand how this technology can help your business-reach out.
We'd love to hear from you and learn more about your business.