If you are not so familiar with the marketing tools and especially the field of marketing automation. This article will hopefully give you a better understanding of what are the challenges from the marketing teams and how automation can help them.

What is Marketing Automation Software?

  • Marketing Automation is the activity that defines the execution, management, and automatization of marketing tasks.
  • Marketing Automation is a software supporting these marketing activities. It doesn’t exist without technology.
  • Marketing Automation software is promising increased revenue and improved return on investment by facilitating lead nurture campaigns that provide specific content aligned to the buyer’s needs and lead scoring models that deliver warmed leads to the sales team.

Here the typical functionalities of a marketing automation system:

  • Tracking: Capturing user information across multiple online channels (website, email, social channel). The system tracks every single interaction with any touchpoint.
  • Contact management: Management of all the user information collected in a central database.
  • Lead scoring: Scoring of the potential of a person to become a future customer. Each time a visitor does an action such as visiting a page, downloading a document or reading an email, he gets an individual score. This score is an indication of his potential of becoming a customer.
  • Automation of marketing campaigns: Creation of workflows that will send the appropriate information (personalized information) on the proper channel (email/web/social/SMS) based on the behavior of the user.
  • CRM integration: Bi-directional synchronization of the information between the marketing system and a CRM. The marketing platform must push data to the CRM (e.g., contact information) and also pull content from the CRM (e.g., sales status).
  • Analytics and reporting: Providing an overview of the marketing funnel and performance of marketing campaigns.

For more detail, you can visit the features list of some of the most popular marketing automation solutions:

What challenges face marketing professionals in the digital age?

1. Data. Big data.

It could be the primary challenge marketing teams are facing. They are overwhelmed with a lot of information to collect, analyze and comprehend.

Prospects and customers are generating many data by interacting with the various online channels and touchpoints of the digital presence of a brand.

In other words, each time somebody is visiting the company website, opening an email, submitting a form, doing something from the mobile app or reporting a customer issue, data are generated.

Moreover, this could become very complex as new touchpoints become available every day. (Here a non-exhaustive list of 120+ online channels).

How can Marketing Automation help?

Marketing Automation offers the capability to capture various sources of data and to consolidate them. Thanks to analytics mechanisms (and even sometimes predictive analytics), it will give the marketer an overview of the behavior of their prospects and customers.

From all the data, marketing automation can help realize what your audience is and what they are looking for.

2. Get more customers engagement

Having traffic on the website is critical.

Also, don’t get me wrong, it is as well challenging, but I won’t elaborate content marketing or SEO strategy today. If you want to know how to generate online traffic, better read these articles in the meantime, here and there.

Having traffic is one thing but then what to do?

Another challenge that marketing professionals are facing today is to convert that traffic into leads, resulting in new customers.

It is critical to understand the performance of your content marketing — the content that is generating significant traffic to lead ratio. Then delivering the appropriate message to the right audience at the right time. 
It is called Lead Nurturing in proper marketing jargon.

How can Marketing Automation help?

Marketing professionals must make use of comprehensive analytics and segmentation of customers delivered by the marketing automation platform.

Use automation to deliver targeted and personalized content to increase the level of engagement of their prospects.

Lead-scoring mechanisms will finally help to identify the prospect to focus on, to succeed and ultimately gain new customers.

3. Closing the gap between marketing and sales

Historically marketing and sales teams always had a gap in communication, but digitalization has made this gap bigger, especially in medium to large organizations.

In an ideal journey, Marketing departments collect information about potential customers, nurture them with content, make them Marketing Qualified Leads, then hand those leads over to the sales departments whose job it is to move them through the sales funnel and collect further information about the potential client until he becomes a customer.

How can Marketing Automation help?

Marketing Automation offers integrations and mechanism to push and pull information programmatically.

The data collected are automatically synchronized with the CRM. So Marketing can evaluate what has worked and what needs to be improved in the marketing strategy.

4. Time and budget are limited resources

Having limited resources will limit the execution of marketing strategies. Therefore being performant is of the utmost importance. Primary activities such as aggregation of data cannot be done manually.

Marketing team must focus on activities generating ROI such as designing, implementing and monitoring marketing campaigns.

How can Marketing Automation help?

Overall Marketing Automation solutions were designed for this: Improving the performance of marketing teams by automating repetitive tasks.

However, it could sound paradoxical, but Marketing Automation could be a challenge on its own. Indeed, although it offers great possibilities for marketing, the tool itself will never deliver any value without the appropriate strategy and team structure behind.

To Recap

Finally, automation is a fundamental requirement of modern digital marketing. We saw in this previous article that its adoption would continue to grow.

New technologies will also arise and offer even more capabilities to marketers. These new systems will affect the structure of the marketing department.

Already, the emergence of the demand for data analytics professionals shows that new skill sets are required to tame the technologies and translate strategy into executio

It is just the beginning.

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