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The Myths & Facts of Marketing Automation

CIO Insider Team

Automation has made marketing faster, easier and more efficient than ever before. Sounds promising; sure. By definition, marketing automation refers to the use of software to automate manual marketing processes. This includes repetitive tasks such as sending emails, qualifying website leads, social media posting, and more. One might ponder that the goals of marketing automation seem to be one and the same as the goals of your other marketing efforts. Of course, one is right, even more so because marketing automation does not exist in a vacuum.

Automation is tightly connected to other aspects of your digital marketing program, e.g. your website, landing pages and email campaigns.

Consequently, honing these other digital marketing venues is an integral part of implementing automation successfully.

It’s common for marketers to talk about marketing automation and email marketing interchangeably. The fact is that email marketing is a component of marketing automation, but the two are far from the same thing. Marketing automation combines disparate customer acquisition and retention channels to conform to conform to your company’s conversion funnel. Any company’s buy cycle will span multiple touch points. For instance, a customer may find your company through search. He may decide to ‘like’ your company’s Facebook page and then come back to your site to read a recently shared blog article. Your awesome blog content may convince him to become an email subscriber.

Conversion paths are unique. Imagine trying to chase down hundreds of them – it’s impossible. That’s where marketing automation comes in. Marketing automation connects multiple touch points and marketing channels including social media, email marketing, and content marketing. One of the core goals of marketing automation is to nurture prospects for the long-term, which mean focusing on goals beyond direct sales. The myth is – “Marketing automation is cold, inhuman, and impersonal. “Automation” is just another way of saying that we’re spamming people”. This is actual opinion of people who don’t understand the true potential of marketing using AI.

Now the fat: Marketing automation makes it easier to send personalized, 1:1 targeted messages. In other words, marketing automation makes communication stronger. When you automate your marketing, you can focus more heavily on the quality of your campaigns and messaging. Marketing automation gives your team the ability to add more personal touches to your campaign – by collecting data on a prospect’s interests and goals, you can custom-tailor future offers so that they are more relevant.

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