On average, 49% of companies are currently using marketing automation, with more than half of B2B companies (55%) adopting marketing automation technology.
B2B companies are shifting from traditional marketing and advertising channels like radio, T.V. and print media to a more effective and comprehensive marketing approach called marketing automation. Marketing automation leverages digital marketing strategies like search, paid advertising, social media, blogging, e-mail and content marketing to lure qualified leads to their sales teams.
The marketing automation difference is that it enables a business to create and manage landing pages, contact forms, blog posts, social media, and e-mail in one integrated platform saving you time and money. Think of it as an entire inbound marketing eco-system, not disparate marketing channels.
What is Marketing Automation?
HubSpot states that Marketing Automation "refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.”
One of the benefits of marketing automation is that the process nurtures leads over time focusing on prospects throughout their buying process. Consumers are conducting more research online about products and services than ever before, and marketing automation allows companies to stay in front of potential buyers with relevant marketing during every phase of the funnel.
Digital Marketing Platforms Have Changed
Depending on your market vertical, what used to cost $5 cost per click on Google Ads, now costs $15. Facebook has cut back on its advertising demographic options after the Cambridge Analytica scandal which has made their advertising platform less targeted than it used to be. Google Search has dramatically reduced the number of organic listings on their front page of the search engine results and increased their paid advertising placements making organic SEO even more competitive for limited first page results real estate. E-mail marketing still works but unsegmented & mass emails end up in spam filters. So, what are companies implementing today to grow their revenue?
Marketing automation is a marketing strategy that focuses on attracting potential customers through targeted value-added content at various points of their buying journey. Potential customers will find your business through blogs, social media, search engines, paid ads and other content-based platforms. When the user reads your content, it builds brand visibility and raises your company’s trust factor. If a company is able to capture an e-mail address before a prospect can download your high-quality content, then you now are capturing contact information to be used to stay top of mind with your prospect through their buying journey.
Marketing Automation is More Than Blasting E-mail Newsletters
Users who enter their e-mail address to download valuable content are then placed into segmented e-mail workflows with targeted value-based content, articles, case-studies, etc. about a specific subject. The more value-based articles that a company publishes, the higher the perception that they are a subject matter expert, and the more value they can provide to potential customers without doing a hard sell.
E-mail Marketing Paradigm Shift
E-mail marketing has lost its touch. Buyers are now conducting more Google searches, looking at online reviews, and asking their friends for recommendations. The days of mass e-mail messages are long gone. Inbox spam filters are smarter than ever and can sniff out marketing spam. Users do not want generic e-mail messages, they want targeted value-based articles.
Build Value and Win Their Trust
The difference that marketing automation offers is that the content being generated and promoted addresses the needs and problems of your ideal customers. It allows businesses to attract qualified prospects by building trust and credibility. Companies that deploy marketing automation know that buyers are savvier than ever before. They also know that they do not want to be sold, they want to be educated about a given topic and make their own decision. The company that educates and creates value overtime will be the company that wins.