The idea of marketing automation might be familiar to you, whether you have a business yourself, are a marketing expert in an organization, are in B2B business or B2C, or even if you are simply a consumer who experiences marketing daily.

The goal of ‘marketing activities’ is simple: get as many potential customers as possible to the business, so the salesperson will be able to finalize the deal and increase the business’s income. Marketing automation can make this process easier.

How do we do ‘Marketing Automation’?

The first step is to get ‘Leads’

In the marketing world, the term ‘Lead’ means an identified person; an identified person is someone who has interest in your business and has given you details about himself (most often name and email address).

There are many ways to get your potential client details, one of them is frontal tradeshows; another is a web advertisement, which directs clients to landing pages with forms. Other possible methods are websites that lead to a “contact us” form or phone calls to the business, and so on.

The second step is the database management

As time goes by, the number of leads will grow. Some of the leads will be automatically created in the marketing automation (due to form fillouts), and some will be uploaded to the system (for example – leads that you get from tradeshows and phone calls). It is important to keep the leads database clean (without duplicates) and relevant.

The next step is to create your own “Marketing Funnel”

Imagine a funnel, large at the top and narrow at the bottom.

At the top of the marketing funnel you will find all the leads, and at the bottom, you will find only the leads that are ready to close a deal, and those will be directed to the sales department (those are MQL – Marketing Qualified Leads). There are more steps in between, but we will not discuss them in this article.

The fourth step is Engagement

This step’s goal is to increase the interest in your product or service.

One of many ways to do this is to send emails with content that describes your product or content with an added value to the potential customer; the content should be sent once in a particular period of time (this process is called nurturing). Another possible way is to send text messages (SMS) with special offers or to create a webinar with added value.

So, why automate?

When your database is small, you can manage it manually. However, when it grows to more than a few dozen entries, you will need to start using applications that will help you to automate, or you may lose potential sales opportunities. Marketing automation applications offer to schedule sending times for emails and text messages (SMS), offer to create invitations for webinars, and above all, they can manage lead movement through the marketing funnel, and pass the leads to the sales department when it is the right time to make a “sales call”.

The most efficient way to identify the MQL is by the marketing automation scoring system. In this method, every lead gets a score for each action, and the number of points for each action is set by the marketing and sales departments. When leads obtain the right score, the marketing automation platform (which is synced to the sales system) sends an alert to the specific salesperson and notifies that now is the right time to contact this lead and close the deal.

A small comment about marketing

The world of marketing is vast, and the people who work in the marketing automation industry sometimes forget this. This article is not about marketing activities themselves, and it is important to say that the content, the advertisement itself in addition to schedule timing – all have a crucial impact on the number of leads you obtain, and their quality. Always remember: marketing automation does not replace marketing itself, it only makes life easier and assist with pushing more leads toward sales.