From time unknown, email has continued to remain an essential marketing channel for businesses. Irrespective of the increasing communication techniques, email holds the highest ROI of all the marketing channels. Moreover, new marketing channels like social, SMS, applications, paid advertising, websites, and chat-bots can also affect your marketing plan.

With innumerable tools available, how do you intend to choose the right tool? How would you come to know which channels will prove to be the most effective one and would make a positive impact on your marketing goals? The most precise way to answer that is the implementation of marketing automation.

Let’s understand what is Marketing Automation?

As per Salesforce, the definition of marketing automation is “the technology that manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns, across multiple channels, automatically.” To integrate marketing automation into your marketing strategy you need to first understand how the marketing automation platform works.

There are 3 major components of a marketing automation tool, as laid out by Marketo, which are:

  1. A centralized marketing database
  2. An engagement engine
  3. An analytics engine

To better understand the manifestation of these components into a project, first have a look at the lead generation forms. A company usually creates a form and places it on a landing page (engagement engine). Once the user submits the form, it prompts a response email and further adds the new contact to a list within the database. The prospect then receives a pre-determined, automated email journey. During this journey, the marketing automation tool tracks and reports on the activities the user does (analytics engine).

In Layman terms, marketing automation enables you to uphold all of your contacts, content, and assets in one place and simultaneously tracks the performance and engagement.

Selecting the Right Marketing Automation tool for your organization

During the selection of a marketing automation platform, a thorough research has to be performed before identifying the one that works best for your business. Most marketing automation tools have the same fundamental features, which is usually an email marketing focus, but every platform offers different set of benefits, like ease of use, control, abilities, scalability and integrations with your CRM.

For this you can assess your team’s skill sets and create a plan of action for how you want to see your marketing efforts grow. It is advisable to go for Hubspot if you have a small team and don’t have great technical skills; if you are a bigger organization and have a deep understanding of data structures and web/email development, Eloqua or Pardot might suit you best.

Know the Most Effective Channels

Try to identify the channels that the customers use and use them to reach out to them. While this sounds like an easy task, but practically it is difficult to implement first you need to understand your audience and then the problems they are trying to solve, only then you can begin to know which channels they use to search for solutions.

One major problem that you would face is to know how to distribute your content and know it is working? Here Marketing automation can be put to implementation which enables you to place tracking tags, forms and use other methods to produce data on how your audiences are performing, what is the source and even what they are talking about you via “social listening”. Being able to classify all of this engagement and communication with your company in one tool will allow you to focus on generating more qualified leads.

Making an Impact on Your Marketing Goals

Effective marketing automation tactic isn’t simply selecting a platform and then just blasting your prospects with content on their desired social channels. You must build an achievable plan; focus on achieving that goal, and then move onto a bigger goal.

Let’s say you have a goal to increase your sales by 10% next month. And you plan to use organic search and social media to achieve that goal, unfortunately it doesn’t work. Now you might need to create an email campaign to attract more and more people to your website/landing page. If that doesn’t work as well you might consider testing your email campaign with A/B testing or creating a video, or using paid campaigns on search engines and social media.

There are number of strategies to improve your digital strategy. Here, marketing automation tools can help you by collecting the information you require to make timely and effective decisions based on data, customer interactions, and conversations.

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