Marketing Automation: What Does Marketing Do?

By Cheryl Salazar, The Partner Marketing Group

Ever heard your sales force griping about the fact that marketing does nothing for them? They don’t have leads because you don’t do enough marketing? Prove them wrong with a well implemented marketing automation system that can show what role marketing plays in generating opportunities, driving awareness and nurturing prospects.

Marketing automation goes way beyond just helping you format your emails, identifying who to send them to and helping you adhere to Can Spam laws. With sophisticated workflow automation, the ability to easily create landing pages, setup and execution of drip campaigns – these tools will help you identify WHICH marketing activities you should continue and which you should retire.

Marketing Automation

So how do you go about finding the right marketing automation product for your organization? You need to think about:

  • Functionality, such as progressive profiling ability, usability, reporting for both marketing and sales, workflow setup, campaign execution time, campaign volume constraints, list building, list segmentation ability and so on
  • Budget
  • Integration into existing CRM systems

Getting Started

Get started by building a marketing automation SWAT team. There are many providers out in the marketplace and by assigning 2-3 to each person with predefined requirements; you can evaluate all the leading providers within a short period of time. Be sure to have the team evaluate and test the systems by:

  • Automating time consuming marketing tasks such as creating and formatting newsletters and emails
  • Setting up and sending out drip campaigns with accompanying collateral
  • Understanding the workflows and segmentation (industry, function, decision maker, where the prospect is in terms of the buying cycle)
  • Creating and working with the landing pages (including inputting graphics, assigning urls, creating navigation, calls to action etc.)
  • Reviewing accompanying reports and usefulness of data provided
  • Tracking prospect website activity

Once you have your shortlist of providers, request a live or virtual demo. These should be in-depth demonstrations to the team and be sure to compare functionality vs pricing, keeping your integration requirements in mind.

In Summary

Ultimately you’re looking for a marketing automation program that is going to provide additional information for your sales regarding the prospects they are calling on – serving them better qualified prospects will help them be more effective in helping you drive revenue for your organization.

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