What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing Automation is an approach to streamlining sales and marketing activities. By combining a Marketing Automation system and set sales and marketing processes, you create a well-oiled marketing machine that helps you achieve your goals. The idea of Marketing Automation is to free your organisation from lots of manual work that otherwise often takes up a lot of your time.

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Save time with Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation allows you to automate more activities, saving you time and money. Today, many sales and marketing departments work with more manual steps to process potential customers. This also tends to be done without collaboration between different departments, with marketing doing its various activities and sales doing its things without communicating with each other. Or the sales people just sit and wait for warm leads from the marketing department. This is common but not something we recommend. 

With Marketing Automation, you bring sales and marketing together through a common strategy focused on the common goal. This is crucial to achieving your goals. 

To get there, everyone needs to be on the same page and ready to put in some time at the beginning to set up the automated processes. If you want to learn more about how to get started, we recommend reading this blog post: selling and marketing together in the digital era!

marketing automation


What does it take to get started with Marketing Automation?

Getting started with Marketing Automation requires commitment from different parts of the company. If you are the only one who thinks that Marketing Automation is the right way to go, we recommend that you recruit some colleagues and people who think the same way as you about Marketing Automation from other departments, such as the sales department. It is also important that the management is game on as a Marketing Automation work will and needs to permeate the entire organization. If you would like help in explaining the benefits of Marketing Automation to your colleagues, we would be happy to help. There is also an article called "the value of marketing automation" which you are welcome to read and pass on to your colleagues.

Okay so what else is required besides commitment? :-) As I said, it requires sales and marketing to work together. You need to find out everything you can about your customers. Who are they? Who are the decision makers? What are their challenges? What are their needs? What are their pains? Etc.

Based on this, you develop so-called situational content. If you want to read more about the importance of content in your marketing automation work, please read this article .

Last but certainly not least, a Marketing Automation system is required to succeed with Marketing Automation. It is with the Marketing Automation system that you can build all the automated flows, track what your leads do on the website and also connect this with the CRM system so that your sales people can more easily be part of the customer journey. There are lots of different Marketing Automation systems out there and here we recommend you to read an article from our partner FunnelBud: What to consider when choosing a marketing automation system

Marketing Automation System

In this article, FunnelBud tells you what you should consider when choosing a Marketing Automation system. There is a plethora of options and it can be difficult to navigate.

One tip is to choose a Marketing Automation system that either has a built-in CRM or that can be easily linked to your existing CRM system. Then we would recommend finding a partner to help you with the implementation and set up of the system. It's more work than you might think. It's also a good idea to enlist the help of an agency that can help you set up a strategy for this and can help support you during this work.

If you would like to hear how we help our clients with this today and how we can support you in this work, please book a consultation here!

marketing automation strategy

Get personal with Marketing Automation

Thanks to Marketing Automation, you can automate and personalize your communication with your customers and leads. For this to work, it relies first and foremost on a potential customer providing their email address in exchange for valuable content such as a guide or a white paper.
Based on what your potential customers then do on your website or based on what emails they read, you can set up automated feeds with different emails that are tailored to what the potential customer is looking for. These are called workflows. If you want to read more about what this looks like, please read these two articles: What is a funnel? and Lead generation in practice.

This is what it could look like. Imagine a potential customer Googling "What is a business system?" and finds your website or sees your ad about business systems. They click through and get lots of information and knowledge from your website. That's pretty much what you get from us when you read this blog post from us at Contitude. By being generous with your knowledge, you build trust. Somewhere in your content, you offer the reader to, for example, check out a guide on "10 important things to consider when getting or switching business systems". The person who wants to read this and finds it valuable to them might consider giving you their email address in exchange for this content. 

The person receives an email with the guide and can start reading further. Now you can say that a lead has entered your Marketing Automation system but it is too early for you to start selling to this person. In these cases, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to years for this lead at this stage to be ready for a purchase. This is where your automated processes and workflows kick in. 

Based on what the person has downloaded and what they have done on your website, you can send them personalised content. For example, after x number of days you could send a follow-up email asking if they have read the guide and a link to some other content such as an article on the cost of buying or changing a business system. In this way you attract the person to your website again. The idea is for the website to be the hub of your marketing. It should engage the person and convert. Statistics show that people who read 30 pages or more on your website are much more likely to want to buy something from you. 

marketing automation strategy

When do salespeople enter your Marketing Automation? 

Now we've told you a bit about how to generate leads and how to create a personal dialogue with those leads. But when is it time for your sales people to start processing the leads that come in? This is where it's important that salespeople don't start too early. Especially if the lead is very early in their buying journey. As in the example above, it's probably too early for a salesperson to call and say hello. Here, the person needs to go through the automated marketing process until they are ready to talk further. On the other hand, if you get a lead who has both looked at your prices on the website, read the article "what should I consider when changing business systems?" and downloaded the guide on "10 tips when buying a new ERP system" then it might be a good idea for a sales person to contact this person. 

Through a Marketing Automation system you can set up a so-called lead scoring. This means that you decide what score different activities will give. If a person does x number of things on the website and reads x number of emails and downloads x number of guides, the person gets a certain score. It can be on a scale from 0-100. When a lead has reached a score of, say, 80 out of 100, then you can see that there is a better chance that they are ready for a deal and then the sales people will get in touch. Until then, you hold on to the lead until they have reached your set contact score level. This lead scoring can then be revised and updated depending on what the salespeople think of the lead. This is known as the lead moving from MQL (Marketing Qualified Leads) to SQL (Sales Qualified Leads).

Here, it is important that sales and marketing have a close dialogue about how lead scoring should look in order for everything to work as efficiently as possible.

Summary of what Marketing Automation is

Hopefully, you've now found out what Marketing Automation is and maybe started to think about whether it's for you. This was the goal of this whole article. As I said, first think about whether Marketing Automation might be for you. If you are going to focus on growing through digital marketing in the future, Marketing Automation is probably a really good step for you. But it's important to keep in mind that it's not something you just turn on overnight, it requires a lot of work and dedication but that's how it is with most things in this world. If you want to achieve a really good result, you need to do some proper groundwork and really put in the work. 

If you want to learn even more about Marketing Automation, please download our guide: Inbound Marketing for Growing Businesses!

In this guide we talk about Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation and we hope it will inspire you even more in your work with digital marketing :-) 

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