What’s in a name? That which we call marketing automation
Having worked within the marketing automation industry for a number of years now, the biggest issue the industry faces is categorising itself.
It is interesting to see how various vendors like, Eloqua, Marketo, Silverpop, Hubspot have all tried to reinvent new categories including Inbound Marketing, Revenue Performance Management, Behavioural Based Marketing, All-in-one Marketing which are all significant improvements on marketing automation.
But it that still begs the question, what is marketing automation? And what does the name mean?
Yes it can automate campaigns which help the marketing department scale and track the digital body language of recipients, but the functionality and benefits are so much more than that. It should be understood that marketing automation platforms are not merely for sending emails, website visitor tracking, asset library management or CRM integration.
One of our guiding philosophies is that the web should be central to everything we do, below I have highlighted just two additional ways we are using our marketing automation platform.
1. Managing our e-privacy and cookie initiative
2. Managing our lead management process
Emails and spreadsheets have been banned from the lead management process within CleverTouch as typically, such an ad hoc process, leads to excessive lead leakage, inefficient funnel and pipeline management. As a replacement we use a password protected location on our website where every opportunity, be it an inbound enquiry, a meeting or a referral, is managed. Internally it provides everyone with insight into the uses of the platform and means warm leads go in to our marketing automation platform via a web form, whereas defined opportunities go through the marketing automation platform immediately into our CRM where they are assigned for follow up.
In short, it means no more lead leakage and a significantly more efficient lead management process. We only follow up on immediate qualified opportunities, the rest remain in the marketing automation platform for nurturing. Sales and marketing alignment is embedded in our culture and the systems support this approach.
The point I am trying to make about the category name, is that it doesn’t really matter what one calls the category, (though it must have been invented by a techie and not a marketer); it just has so much more potential to offer a business than lead generation and automated marketing campaigns.
If you consider your marketing automation in terms of a MIT (Marketing Infrastructure Technology) or your SMP (Strategic Marketing Platform) one will likely demand more of it and in turn derive more benefits and competitive outperformance.