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Hands up – who doesn’t really know what marketing automation is?

16 July 2017
by Adam Oldfield

Marketers will be the first to admit that their world is full of ‘jargon’. Some would say that’s actually putting it very politely! From customer journey optimisation to machine learning and programmatic retargeting, the terminology just keeps on coming.

There are far simpler words and phrases that are overused too – relevant, omnichannel, authentic and best practice. The list goes on. And it would even be fair to add marketing automation to it!

This might sound like an odd thing for an automation provider to say. We’re not a company that dabbles in this sort of tech on the side. We’re not an American SaaS firm that ‘plugs’ clients in and expects them to make their automation dreams a reality. And we’re not a start-up trying to get involved in in the mounting martech stack.

What we are is an established UK built and managed marketing automation provider. We stick solely to supplying this type of tech so that marketers can do their jobs quicker, better and smarter. We’re marketing automation through and through, and proud of it!

So, we’re not trying to say that the phrase ‘marketing automation’ is worthless, or redundant at all. But it has become overused by tech providers that, quite simply, don’t supply it. And, as a result, if they were to put their hands on their hearts, a number of marketers wouldn’t really be able to explain what marketing automation is.

Marketing automation is not email marketing. It doesn’t matter if you can tweak content, schedule some messages and even set up a couple of auto responders with an existing tool. That’s still just email marketing. It may allow you to do some basic lead nurturing, but such a programme will soon demonstrate its limited capabilities, especially if it’s procured via a ‘freemium’ model.

Marketing automation does not mean talking to clients and prospect like robots. It is not a platform used only by lazy marketers. And it is not trying to replace the role of marketers in the workplace.

Marketing automation is also not the answer to all your marketing problems. You still need to deploy creativity, you still need to have a hunger for data, and you still need to understand your wider business objectives.

But marketing automation is a tool to help you achieve these objectives. It powers thousands of seemingly humanised conversations at once, so that recipients are targeted with the right messages, via the right channel, at the right time. That channel may include email marketing. But it may also include direct mail, SMS or bespoke landing pages, for instance. It could harness and integrate the value of social media, paid search and review sites.

Pre-determined journeys then maintain the conversation, cleverly, depending on the behavioural outcome of each touch point. They nurture the recipient along the sales or retention funnel. They maintain a sharp eye on the all-important outcome – conversion.

Marketing automation analyses data and trends that would take even a mathematical genius hours, if not days, to compute. It knits seamlessly into a brand’s CRM so that leads and opportunities need never go cold. It even helps to ensure GDPR compliance.

I could go on and on about the benefits of marketing automation – but seeing is believing, as they say. So, whilst remaining wary of the myths I’ve outlined above, why not book a ‘test drive’ to see the tech for yourself..?

Photo of Adam Oldfield
Adam Oldfield
Managing Director & Founder

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