Marketing automation is a powerful tool that when used properly can take your marketing to the next level by improving all of your online marketing efforts. The primary reason why many organizations are unable to see a dramatic increase their profitability and higher conversion rates with a marketing automation system is they lack the necessary internal resources to operate the system in its full capacity.

Essentially, marketing automation is technology that allows you to more effectively utilize multiple marketing channels and automate repetitive tasks in order to convert visitors into leads and nurture them through the buying process. This allows the sales department to focus on leads that have already been qualified and are currently in the purchasing stage of the buying process.

The majority of B2B buying processes are complex. Customers are not making a purchase decision upon their initial interaction with an organization. Instead, they are self-educating themselves by researching and comparing options to come to a conclusion on what and with whom they should make their purchase. Previously, buyers had to rely on salespeople to help them with this process, however, the internet has allowed buyers the opportunity to do this on their own without engaging a salesperson. With useful content, marketing automation helps guide the customer through the different stages of the buying cycle. If your company isn't guiding and educating your potential customer, you are leaving the door wide open for your competition.

Many marketing automation platforms sell their software as a solution that saves time and resources for marketing departments, but organizations who have implemented a platform under this false pretense have found they actually require an additional full-time employee in order to see the ROI they expected.

While hiring a full-time employee to manage the marketing automation platform is beneficial, the ideal scenario involves having an entire team. Individuals, by nature will have inefficiencies and competences, and solid marketing automation plan will rely on varying set of disciplines (content writing, strategizing, design, etc.). A solid team will play off each other's strengths and help to eliminate inefficiencies.

Purchasing a marketing automation software without a plan and the right people to run it is similar to purchasing all of the ingredients required in your favorite recipe and expecting it to cook itself. Without having someone actually combine the ingredients and do the cooking, the ingredients are essentially useless.

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