The Totally Non-Terrifying Guide to Marketing Automation

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Marketing Automation

There’s no denying it: marketing automation is hot. But for every marketer who's comfortable using it, there are probably three who are totally intimidated by the term. Once you understand what it is and how to use it, however, it can transform your business.

What is Marketing Automation?

Essentially, marketing automation is software that allows you to automate tasks you previously had to do manually—such as sending emails, posting on social media, and nurturing leads from your website—so you can more effectively measure your marketing efforts and reach your customers.

According to Emailmonday, 49% of companies currently use marketing automation, and in a poll by Smart Insights, marketing automation was named as one of the digital marketing activities with the most commercial impact for 2016 (after content marketing and big data).

marketing automation stats

Used strategically, marketing automation can:

  • Save time and improve efficiency
  • Increase leads (Annuitas Group found that using marketing automation resulted in a 451% increase in qualified leads)
  • Improve communications with clients and prospects by allowing you to tailor content and messaging to specific segments of your customer base
  • Boost sales and conversions (Users of Pardot, Salesforce’s marketing automation platform, say marketing automation boosted sales revenue by an average of 34%)

Effective marketing automation enables you to recognize the needs and wants of your customers at every stage, track their behaviors and interactions with your company across all channels, and use that information to deliver the right messages at the right time to the desired audience.

Ready to become a marketing automation expert?

Check out these free resources:

  • Marketing Automation Glossary: This 1-minute video from Copyblogger uses illustration to explain how marketing automation works.
  • What is Marketing Automation: This white paper from iContact covers the basics of marketing automation and how it can help your business.
  • B2B Marketing Automation Guide: This guide provides a summary of the 10 key features of marketing automation, including tips and recommendations for implementation and how to choose a B2B marketing automation system.
  • How to Optimize Your Marketing Automation: This hands-on guide from HubSpot takes you through the process of maximizing the effectiveness of your marketing automation, including how to choose the right software, how to use marketing automation to drive sales, and the best way to segment leads.
  • Content Marketing Automation Software Comparison: Wondering which marketing automation software to choose? Check out this ranked list from G2 Crowd.
  • The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation: This incredibly comprehensive resource from Quick Sprout not only tells you what marketing automation is and what it can do for your business, it gives you snapshots of several marketing automation platforms, explains the role of inbound marketing, talks about email and the role of conversion funnels and user flow, and provides valuable tips and best practices.