Although marketing automation is a hot topic for marketers, that doesn’t mean everyone who talks about it is ready to embrace it. Marketing teams that gain a thorough understanding of how marketing automation works, what automation can do for them, and what it doesn’t do are at a distinct advantage over their competitors who hew to conventional thinking. Even if you think you know about marketing automation, some of these facts might surprise you.
Marketing Automation Is for Businesses of Every Size
Once the domain of enterprise-level marketing departments of major global corporations, marketing automation has become accessible to small and mid-sized businesses as well. In part, the shift is due to familiarity; as a product becomes more widely available, its cost goes down. Another difference-maker is the number of third-party marketing automation consultants who put their expertise to work for your business. For many mid-sized companies, marketing spend is higher when trying to go it alone than when working with a marketing firm that puts the power of marketing automation at their disposal. Local and regional firms find the greater efficiency, more detailed reporting, and better customer care marketing automation delivers can quickly make the upgrade pay for itself.
You Don’t Need an IT Wizard . . .
Yes, marketing automation is sophisticated. Yes, it’s complex. So is a car or a television, and yet we command that state-of-the-art technology regularly. Marketing automation platforms are designed to streamline reporting and simplify analytics, not add new layers of arcane information you need a PhD to decipher. Because the end results of marketing automation are meant to be readily accessible, you and your marketing automation partner can see meaningful upticks in engagement, conversions, and revenue clearly. Your time from installation to full implementation is shorter than many might imagine – think weeks, not years.
. . . But You Do Need Marketing Knowledge
Only those who are unfamiliar with marketing automation believe it’s a fire-and-forget solution. Although it automates routine tasks, creates seamless drip nurture programs, and generates in-depth analytics with a few keystrokes, the technology is still rooted in marketing truisms. Your marketing automation team must have a good understanding of lead life-cycles, account-based marketing, and the buying journey to put this powerful tool to work.
Automation and Content Are Partners
All the things that go into great content – an engaging voice, logical structure, colorfully descriptive language, and more – are precisely the things machines are notoriously bad at doing. While “robot journalism” can handle dry morsels of text such as quarterly earnings reports or weather forecasts, it hasn’t come close to the natural, engaging language of content written by native speakers with something more to say. Marketing automation is not, as some people unfamiliar with it might think, a way of circumventing the need for better, sharper content marketing; on the contrary, it depends heavily on a steady stream of high-quality content.
The more you know about marketing automation, the more powerful it becomes. Whether you’re just starting your upgrade to automation or want to get the most out of the software you already have, unlock its full potential by combining it with marketing knowledge, outstanding content, and experience.
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