Marketing automation software is an advanced platform designed to help marketers capture potential customers, nurture them further down the funnel, and analyze potential customer behavior and campaign performance. . No longer a test technology, marketing automation tools are now an essential resource for B2C and B2B marketing and sales departments that want to grow their business.

Marketing automation software (MA) is often compared to customer relationship management (CRM) software because they have overlapping functions. But CRMs are currently acting as a platform for sales departments, while MA platforms are built to scale and accelerate marketing efforts while making each touch count. more personalized and focused.

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about exactly what marketing automation software is and what it does. With so many different marketing automation tools on the market today, it is important to understand what they offer, as well as how they differentiate each other. This tutorial is meant to clarify some differences.

What is marketing automation software?
Marketing automation software is designed to help marketers capture potential customers, develop relationships, and bring potential customers across sales channels. This includes several types of functions: email, social media, web marketing, multi-channel marketing and analytics. Marketing automation is an outstanding method to extract customer data from multiple sources and develop strategies and tactics that operate on different media.

While marketing automation automates a number of processes, this software does not turn your brand into a robot. Marketing automation allows you to scale up to build relationships with many potential customers across different channels to give them a consistent experience despite different interests or needs of they. And when you segment your audience precisely, this technology really allows you to build more meaningful relationships with your potential customers by providing them with content relevant to their interests. their.

Technology trends impact marketing automation
Marketing automation systems have been at the forefront of integrating new technologies, for the benefit of both marketers running campaigns and individuals as the goals of marketing. The general trends in the application of MA software technology have helped communicate with potential customers personally and led to more personalization on a large scale.

Workflow based on integrated behavior
This trend has been used across technology areas including CRM, field service management, project management, supply chain management and marketing automation tools to speed up self-employment. actions between different users and from one part of the project to another. Based on a series of triggers and actions, the workflow is based on behavior that tracks the behavior of a user or client (trigger) and responds to that trigger with a specific automated action.

In marketing automation tools, behavior-based workflows can automatically track customers down to the sales channel based on the email they open, the link they click, the content they download, and so on. partner them with the messaging system or a sales rep. The company determines what each triggers in marketing automation tools and sets up a follow-up action to keep customers engaged with the company's content.

The pay for work processes based on behavior is clear: instead of your marketers tracking each potential customer interacting with the brand, the team can automatically assign content that the customer received potential. While workflows automatically push customer-relevant content based on how the company determines actions, marketing automation tools also gather feedback on how the process works. By considering where customers continue to interact with content or fall off the channel, a company can improve their own workflows and streamline their sales channels to optimize growth. their.

AI & Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are a trend that everyone likes to talk about, especially business technology tools, because they seem super sophisticated. What AI and machine learning really do is apply algorithms to thousands (or millions or billions, depending on the type of data you collect) of the data that your technology collects. These algorithms can then improve the way your company uses all that data. Here are some ways that AI and machine learning can bring insight and use to your data:

Predictive analytics: Predictive analytics tools in marketing automation that study how people behave when they meet your brand, website, content, email or social media and use that information to predict what kind of customers might move on your site. So by better understanding what your customers are likely to buy at your sales channel, the tools can serve those types of customers with the right content to bring them to the buying stage. .
Dynamic content: Marketers use dynamic content to recommend the right content or product to customers and prospects based on the types of content or products that customers have participated in until that point. . You may see dynamic remarketing content when you view a product on the web and then see ads for similar or similar products that follow you on the web.
Automated marketing tools with AI and machine learning can predict what kind of content customers will engage based on their search history and push that content to customers without their intervention. people. Dynamic content allows proposals to be personalized at scale without the human supervision of each proposal.

Chatbots: Although it sounds like The Jetsons, chatbots are actually another algorithm hidden behind a friendly interface: a messaging app. Chatbots use natural language analysis and processing to understand user requests. They can be used for all purposes such as customer service, product recommendations and content delivery to customers based on their needs. And it's not just a fad. Many companies are using chatbots to interact with customers at all stages of sales and marketing channels. In the first half of 2018, companies invested more than $ 58 million in chatbot technology and this number is expected to increase in the coming years.
Automated social media marketing
Sharing content on social media regularly and with the biggest impact is a full-time job, especially if you get it right. But social media marketing tools automatically alleviate the pressure of social media regulators by scheduling posts in advance, providing a way for teams to rearrange evergreen content. to attract new readers and platforms to understand social media analytics like mentions and replies.

Automated social media marketing tools can be integrated into a larger marketing automation platform or sold as the best tools.

Life cycle marketing
Lifecycle marketing works on the premise that marketing does not stop at sales, but throughout the customer lifecycle. Companies involved in the life cycle marketing attract, attract, sell, support and turn their customers into product advocates who can help attract new customers into the marketing and sales channels. line. Marketing automation tools with life cycle marketing features will go beyond the original sales channel and are designed to help you build customer advocates.

Integration for additional features
Software as a service (SaaS) and cloud storage movements have made significant changes in the way companies buy software in the last 10-15 years. Companies that have purchased licenses on-site for each user currently prefer monthly or yearly subscription models.

And more and more companies are using the Frankenstein Monster, which integrates the best programs and applications, averaging 91 cloud applications per marketing department, communicating via API to manage operations. their marketing. This does not reduce the need for a good marketing automation software that can manage the input data from the best marketing tools.

Why choose marketing automation software over other software options
Marketing automation software is often confused with other tools because of its scope: marketing automation can combine the power of email service providers, automation of communal media. Assembly, automation of work, project management, customer relationship management (CRM) and even data visualization software, all in one centralized location. This can make marketing automation tools extremely powerful and useful for companies, but the combination of all these tools can mean the increased complexity there. can scare many users. So how is marketing automation different from other tools?

CRM vs marketing automation
Although both marketing automation tools and CRM software help teams understand the movement of prospects along sales and marketing channels, the two tools have different focus. Marketing automation tools help marketing tools nurture and capture potential customers on multiple channels and get those leads ready to start selling. On the other hand, CRM often chooses where marketing automation leaves, stores and analyzes historical data on a lead interaction with the company to facilitate the sales process. Most companies use CRM and a marketing automation tool to manage different parts of the lead channel for support.

Email marketing versus marketing automation
The difference between email marketing and marketing automation tools is a matter of scope. Most marketing automation systems include email marketing tools and combine them with the connected power of all other marketing automation features like customer analytics, workflow. Automatic work, key grading, etc. Although email marketing will stop at email campaigns, a marketing automation tool can track a potential customer across multiple channels and campaigns.

Social media automation versus marketing automation
Most of the top marketing automation solutions will include social media monitoring and automation tools, meaning you can unsubscribe with the best social scheduling tool. there. The marketing automation tool will provide context for social media interactions by tracking potential customers to your website and will combine social media data with other contacts like campaigns. translate emails, phone calls or even events to better understand the effectiveness of your total campaign.

Automate workflow and automate marketing
Although both of these tools provide performance attention for repetitive tasks, there is a difference in their expertise. Marketing automation tools that automate important manual tasks in nurturing campaigns such as sending dripping email campaigns, reminding agents to call potential customers or automatically publish posts posted on social media. Workflow automation tools like Zapier may include some marketing connections in triggers and their actions, but often won will give you insights and insights into the performance. Campaign results that you will find in a marketing automation tool.

Project management versus marketing automation
Project management and marketing automation tools should be used in combination. Marketing automation tools will help you implement your marketing strategy, but it is impossible to envision all the necessary tasks while planning a marketing campaign. On the other hand, a project management tool can help your team devise a step-by-step design for your campaign, pulling assets together in a centralized location and collaborating with the desired results of that campaign. After you plan your campaign, build it in a marketing automation tool where you can set it up to run and then analyze your results.

BI vs marketing automation
Marketing intelligence and business intelligence software have a number of overlapping use cases when data visualization and analytics are available, but analysis in marketing automation software will focus only on behaviors reserved for marketing. A good business intelligence software will allow you to consolidate all the data from tools on your company to better understand the impact they have on each other. For best results, marketing teams should use their marketing automation software to drill down into specific marketing analytics, but then export their data to BI tools for clarification. more about how marketing affects the overall effectiveness of the company