Marketing is the life blood of all business activities. Marketing automation is an often repeated term that we hear at all times when it comes to business activities nowadays. Why is this? The answer is quite a simple one. With the movement of all business activities towards a more digital outlook, we find that there has been an explosion of opportunities and an equally proportionate explosion of competition as well. So what does one have to do to tackle the competition and make a dent as far as the audience and customers go? We have two key tools for you: Marketing automation software and inbound marketing.
Now, before we actually go into the actual definition of the two, it would be worthwhile to note that these two tools and functions are mutually inclusive of each other – meaning, one supports the other. When you are looking to automate your marketing functions, one of the key results would be to bring in traffic with inbound marketing. And vice versa as well since inbound marketing is more often than not, powered by marketing automation as well.
With that, let us understand what each of these functions or tools actually does.
Marketing automation is usually carried out by CRM and other platforms for the complete automation of marketing efforts and activities. This includes the movement of the correct team members at the correct time, through the sales pipeline. These activities usually pertain to the buildup of a relevant digital footprint across a number of channels. Most businesses that want to take a dent online and be in the line of sight of their customers turn to marketing automationsoftware that is available on a number of platforms. Yet, it is imperative to choose the right software or channel that would promote all features and an omni channel approach so that all your marketing activities can be centralized and controlled from a single platform.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, involves a number of activities that can help you create and deliver content in way that attracts the attention and eye heat of your core audience who can turn out to be your precious customers. With the help of inbound marketing, you can make your marketing automation software functions work harder. Inbound marketing was first coined and introduced by HubSpot in 2006 when the company was established to help in CRM and other automation needs that many small and growing businesses were facing online. With inbound marketing, you get the advantage of data driven metrics that can power your campaigns and make them more targeted so that you create relevant content for your customers and your leads.
Both of these functions can take you from lead generation to conversion in a seamless manner, yet they both have to be well integrated with each other since automation without content and content without analytical automation, would be quite a waste of your bandwidth and resources. You would do well to turn to a number of companies that offer both these functions in one seamless package. Here are the ways in which marketing automation software and inbound marketing go hand in hand:
- Engagement: What happens right after you have positioned yourself to reach a certain segment? This is where you need to justify that reach and make good on it – or rather, this is the point where you need to take it further. The best way to do so is with engaging content. Once you have reached a number of portals and social media as well as other pages, you would want to grab eyeballs and make enough of an impact so that the customers flock to your products and services. This is where marketing automation and inbound marketing come into play. On some forums, you would have a very specific campaign that will touch upon some unique features of your offerings, while on others, you may have to demonstrate how your offerings can remove the problems being faced by the leads or customers in a certain area of their home or work life. You would have to create content and deliver it accordingly, with efficientinbound marketing and marketing automation software, respectively.
- Nurturing the Prospects: This is a function where the leads and the prospects would be nurtured in a better manner so that there is a movement towards creating more awareness of the product and to show the prospect how the product can fit into his or her scheme of things. Nurturing the prospects is a matter of capitalizing on engagement with well-articulated and personalized content that would be delivered to the inbox of the prospect. This is where marketing automation software and inbound marketingwould both come into play. If we take the example of emails, then a prospect would not want to receive a sales pitch. Instead, he or she would want to receive a well-articulated value addition email that would get him or her interested in the product. This is how inbound marketing helps the cause of marketing automation.
- Travel through The Sales Pipeline: This is the next and most important step in the buying journey of your prospect. The sales pipeline is when a call for action is followed in the nurturing journey. This calls on both inbound marketing as well as marketing automation so that the right message can be delivered at the right time. This message will tip the scales in the favour of the business owner and his or her team. The sales pipeline journey is one that will be filled with many questions about the products and its competitors. This is where the right content needs to be delivered to the end user so that he or she turns into a customer and does not merely remain a prospect. The closer of this or the movement towards the end of the same is what would define a successful integration and execution of marketing automation with inbound marketing.