Posted in June 19, 2013 - 4:29 Tami Demayo
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How to help marketing automation help you

Marketing automation is not automated marketing. It takes commitment to make it work well.

Marketing automation is not automated marketing. It takes commitment to make it work well.

If you’re discouraged by your paltry conversion rates, take heart—diamond miners have it much worse. They need to crush, sift and sort about 200 million ounces of diamond-bearing ore to yield just one ounce of diamonds.*

Still, even the most industrious marketing and sales professionals struggle to keep pace with the demands of acquiring and retaining customers in a multi-channel online market. They need help. And while marketing is an essentially human endeavor, there are myriad time-consuming tasks in the marketing process that can be automated, such as

  • lead scoring, list scrubbing, rules-based follow up;
  • email campaign scheduling, response tracking; and
  • social media and inbound website activity tracking.

Marketing automation software aims to streamline the technical and administrative side of marketing, so humans can focus on the art of converting leads into customers.

Too much of a good thing

Prominent marketing automation systems are feature rich, covering the full spectrum of online marketing channels, and integrating CRM, email marketing and database systems.

But maybe they’re too rich. Realizing that the intricacies of their solutions may not be for the faint of heart (or the resource-challenged), major marketing automation vendors are now touting the advantages of managed services for their software. These services are provided by vendor partners or independent resellers who can implement and run the software on a day-to-day basis.

So, let’s say you avail yourself of these services. You have your shiny new software, all revved up and ready to go … but the tank’s empty. Did someone forget to mention that marketing automation systems are fueled by content? Someone has to produce that content. Lots of it. All the time.

A new role for your agency

If you don’t have the resources to produce content in-house, you’ll probably use a marketing communications agency. Now, all you have to do is coordinate between the marketing automation services provider and the agency. Piece of cake.

Sarcasm aside, there is a solution: Consider having your agency manage the marketing automation system as an extension of the content service it already provides. Remember, the marketing automation software is simply a tool, a means to carry out efficiently the tasks that you have specified. And the agency, as its name implies, acts to implement strategies and tactics that you, the marketer, have defined.

Has your agency talked to you about marketing automation?

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