The Necessity of Marketing Automation

Today’s marketing department has too many things to do with little time and less help. This makes it almost impossible for brands who want long-term success online to achieve their goals without automation tools.

Automation tools help prioritize those choices and allow us to maintain more outposts, but the capacity issue is still a problem that needs resolution.

The challenges of modern, integrated marketing far surpass the ’90s equivalent of simply getting everyone to apply the same message across diverse tools. While certainly strengthening overall communications, historically, integration lacked the personalization and seamlessness that strong database and algorithm-driven marketing can bring to the table.

There are too many social network and tool options to be present everywhere.

The continuing fracture of social networks creates the need for algorithmic solutions like If This Then That (IFTTT). Automated dashboards like Hootsuite, Radian6, our own PR and Marketing Suites, and others offer steps int his direction.

At a minimum, marketing automation can empower departments to easily segment your stakeholders and serve them customized content. But now, with the rise of Big Data and strong CRM solutions, we’re starting to see segmentation and customization on an individual basis.

Algorithms allow us to identify individual opportunities such as buying signals in seas of data, and flag high priority conversations that brands should participate in. Marketing toward larger search and social network stream algorithms like Facebook’s Edgerank allow us to achieve higher placement.

So you can see there are plenty of reasons to automate. Here are some statistics supporting marketing automation:

  • In a study of 650 multi-channel marketing campaigns, personalized campaigns consistently and overwhelmingly beat out static campaigns in generating a high response rate from recipients. (MindFire). See a breakdown by industry.
  • 37% of brands would like to use social media engagement to create customer-tailored marketing campaigns (Forrester).

What marketing automation really offers us is the marketing equivalent of power tools.

These tools are awesome, if used intelligently and strategically. Conversely, if they aren’t deployed with purpose and analysis, then one may not be pleased with the results.

For example, 25 percent of marketing automation adopters have not integrated with CRM, and more than 50 percent have not added in lead scoring or nurturing (source: Pedowitz Group).

Power tools need to be used (and well) for them to effectively deliver a result. And competing effectively requires knowledge of these new automated tools as they evolve.

What do you think of marketing automation?

Image: Matthieu Photographie

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