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In today's fast-paced digital landscape, businesses are seeking innovative ways to engage their audience and stay competitive. Marketing Automation is at the forefront of this revolution, streamlining efforts, delivering personalized content, and integrating marketing and sales seamlessly. This article explores the benefits and applications of Marketing Automation, guiding you through selecting the right tool to drive unprecedented success in your marketing efforts. If you're eager to harness power and revolutionize your approach, dive into the world of Marketing Automation with this essential guide.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation refers to use of software tools that aid in automating sales and marketing tasks and processes. These include but are not limited to lead generation, email marketing, social media management, and more. Marketing automation platforms typically provide businesses with a range of features and functionalities that can help them automate their marketing efforts, saving time and resources while also driving revenue growth. Marketing automation enables businesses to deliver personalized, relevant content to their target audience at the right time. With the rise of digital marketing, marketing automation has become an essential tool for businesses to streamline their marketing efforts and increase their ROI.

The Benefits of Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation offers a wide range of benefits for businesses including streamlining marketing efforts, saving time and resources that can be invested in other areas of business. Other key benefits include but are not limited to:

Increased Engagement

Marketing automation helps in improving accuracy of target market and clients as well as create appropriate segments for more personalized and effective marketing campaigns that resonate with the target audience. The optimization of marketing efforts also results in refined strategies and tactics with aid of valuable insights through data collection.

New customers for businesses are often not familiar with complete services or products that a company offers. Welcome series of marketing automation can allow marketing teams to time specific messages to clients to help them familiarize with what the company offers and create awareness about company’s products and services.

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The frequency of opening such messages, clicking them and finally driving revenue results in increased integration of marketing and sales department in terms of driving revenues up. Data released by various research suggests that tools like welcome series can drive click rates to 8 times greater than traditional methods and revenues by more than 5 times. With marketing automation, companies can track the performance of their marketing campaigns, measure ROI, and gain insights into customers' behavior and preferences. This can help firms make data-driven decisions and optimize marketing efforts for maximum impact.

Partner Integration and Communication

Partner integration and communication is an essential element of successful marketing automation. These partners include various automation platforms that provide a technical support ground for companies and by working closely with such partners, firms can leverage their expertise and resources to achieve shared goals and deliver more effective marketing campaigns. This type of integration involves sharing of collected data and information that further provides meaningful insights into potential or current clientele while high level and efficient collaboration can be achieved in content creation and execution of marketing campaigns.

This can be achieved through use of tools for content creation, project management, and communication, all of which can help work more effectively with partners and achieve goals.

Netcentric Approach

Netcentric approach is an important concept in marketing automation that revolves around creation of personalized content for customers using multiple channels. This approach can help businesses to build engagement and loyalty among their target audience, driving conversions and revenue growth by communicating content that resonates with the audience.

Applications like Adobe is a prime example of process-based marketing automation platforms that uses Netcentric approaches. For instance, Adobe Experience Manager enables businesses to create and manage high-quality content across multiple channels, including web, mobile, and social media. With this platform, businesses can create and deliver personalized content that resonates with their audience, helping to build engagement and loyalty.

Process-based marketing automation platforms aid businesses in automating marketing campaigns across multiple channels, including email, SMS, and social media. This in turn increases conversion of potential customers into actual customers and ROI.

Increasing inclination of businesses towards marketing automation software has led to emergence of numerous solution providers over the past few years. Currently, the global marketing automation solution market is valued above $5 billion and is projected to reach around $14 billion by 2030. Rising social media platforms and exploding users along with cloud computing has aided in this growth.


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Source: Statistica, 2022

Marketing Automation Tools

There are various automated digital marketing tools rendering a number of useful features. The adoption and application of each tool is dependent on business type and their requisites. However, some of the most common uses of marketing automation features include:

  • Lead Nurturing
    Lead nurturing refers to processing and strengthen client relationships at each stage of the sales funnel. Automation allows focus of marketing teams on prospective sales and create meaningful solutions for their needs. Through automated emails across sales funnel, relevant information is shared with important leads based on their interests and needs. To summarize, marketing automation helps businesses in generating high-quality leads compared to traditional marketing tools and increase client’s average order value. Moreover, through lead nurturing, the costs of customer acquisition reduces significantly while increasing brand authority and loyalty among customers.

  • Lead Scoring
    Lead scoring refers to making use of tools of marketing automation for determining worth of each lead based on the value they can bring in terms of purchase of products or services. It is an essential tool of marketing automation where through email, website or application platforms, businesses can calculate the number of visits, opening of links and emails and clicks on various elements aimed at making sales. The scores represent the intent of potential client/customer to make a purchase in future which allows sales teams to improve communication with their marketing counterparts for future strategies in a more efficient manner.

  • Personalized Email Marketing
    Email marketing has been in place globally for over decade and is aimed at creating sales pitch and brand marketing to potential and existing clients. However, with huge influx of brands and e commerce activities, such marketing techniques often resulted in dissatisfaction of customers for receiving emails that felt like cold sales calls.

    A 2021 report by Statista survey revealed that 90% of US consumers find messages from companies that are not personally addressed to them or are not relevant to them, annoying. Personalized email marketing is a game changer for businesses worldwide as with this tool, businesses achieved higher customer satisfaction rate and repeat sales. At the same time, businesses identified that the costs of acquiring new customers is far greater than retaining existing customers and generate sales.

  • Forms and Landing Pages
    Short forms and landing pages are an efficient way for businesses to get information and data on potential clients and further route the information to different departments for future actions and strategies. Unlike previous dependence on web developers to create this marketing tool, marketing automation software allows firms to quickly discuss, plan, design and create these forms without any development knowledge. Figure below shows a sample form from website of a company that aids in collecting data and information from prospective clients. This not only saves time and cost effect for operations but makes further processes smoother by integrating these forms over various platforms within the firm to take further action.

  • Social Media Management
    The rise of social media as a significant platform for marketing and sales teams of majority of firms has led to automated marketing tools which distribute content across all social media forums through single interface. These tools manage the big data flowing from uncountable accounts that were previously managed individually by sales and marketing teams.

    This not only allows for better time and cost management but relieves firms from responsibility of ensuring high security protocols for managing customer data and privacy details as the marketing automation software take care of that. Moreover, these tools allow reusing and editing of images, posts and content multiple times on various forums without compromising on their sales pitch.

  • CRM Integration
    Almost all Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools these days deploy systems that can be integrated with Customer Relation Management (CRM) platforms. Since ERP tools help streamline all business processes, integration with CRM platforms allows businesses to share and transfer data and information regarding new, existing and prospective leads seamlessly.  The marketing automation tools deployed by the firms are an essential component to help establish this integration.

    Marketing automation and CRM work together but their functionality differ in real sense. Where marketing automation follow a top down approach across sales funnel activities to convert prospect clients into sales, CRM collects and stores information and data on those prospects and identifies their position in sales funnel. In between there are other tools to cleanse the data for adding it to CRM and marketing automation.
How to Select Right Marketing Automation Tool?

The marketing automation market is expanding rapidly with numerous tools and software available for businesses. However, when a company chooses to automate any of the processes, it is important to dive deep into the criteria and specifics and match them with own requirements to successfully integrate both. Some of the key considerations when selecting the right marketing automation tools include the following:

  • Features: tasks that the software allows to use. Some of the basic features that every marketing automation tool should have include email campaign automation, lead management, web engagement analytic, real-time alerts, social media automation and data hygiene. Apart from these, features based on the firm requirement should be explored before selection.

  • Customization Scope: The software must allow for personalization and customization of emails, forms, messages and other content for the firm. The in-house developers and users should be able to edit or develop templates of their own using the software. Since the main purpose of marketing automation is to integrate sales and marketing efforts and drive more revenues, the software should allow features that enable this alignment.

  • Cost & Integration with other software: The marketing automation process involves integrating more than one tool for increasing Return on Investment (ROI). for instance, CRM is one of the most widely adopted tool for increasing sales and therefore, any marketing automation tool considered for purchase should be evaluated for its ability to integrate with tools and software that are already in use. Moreover, to achieve high ROI, cost of software should outweigh the value it is offering.

As we navigate the digital landscape dominated by social media marketing and e-commerce, marketing automation has become an indispensable tool for businesses of all sizes. These technologies facilitate more effective outreach to both potential and existing markets, fostering global business growth. Whether a small enterprise or a large corporation, marketing automation tools can yield significant benefits and returns. They lead to higher-quality leads, repeated sales, streamlined business processes, particularly in sales and marketing, and efficient campaign management. Therefore, it's imperative for businesses of all scales to seriously consider implementing marketing automation to remain competitive in this digital landscape and drive their growth forward.

Zeeshan Irshad

Senior Consulting Manager, Cognizant  

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Zeeshan is a versatile professional with over 16 years of experience in IT Management, Strategy Consulting, Digital Transformation, SAP Implementations, excels at leading cross-functional teams at Cognizant. He specializes in crafting project plans, ensuring on-time delivery, and implementing tailored strategies to enhance digital experiences, organizational change and people management. He drives innovation and productivity across diverse industries and geographies reshaping organizations to the future of work.

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