Marketing, one of the most essential tasks for your business, is being transformed by automation in profound ways. The days of outbound marketing, comprised of traditional advertising tactics, are coming to an end, writes HR professional turned business analyst Anthony Coggine.
Advancements in automation, artificial intelligence, and cloud technologies are creating more nuanced, personalized, and targeted marketing campaigns. Without the use of automation, your customer relationships can suffer greatly. For this reason, every business should be abreast of the latest automation tools and technologies.
In this article, we’ll go over what emerging automation tools are available to you, how they can be benefecial to your organization, and how to get the most out of them.
AI and automation applications for marketers
Automation and artificial intelligence are used as broad brush terms to refer to a set of related technologies. So, when we refer to automation, we’re really referring to a myriad of interconnected technologies.
The application of marketing automation can have manifold effects. As a result, there are many exemplary applications that are worth investigating. Let’s quickly go over the absolute best tools that are available to marketers today.
HubSpot provides workflow tools that help streamline scaling and reduce the amount of tedium your marketing team experiences on a day-to-day basis. Redundant and repetitive tasks are handled more efficiently through HubSpot’s marketing automation. You can nurture leads and even automate both internal and external emails.
How do workflows work? You simply use “if/then” logic to create workflows within a comprehensive dashboard. If this sounds complex or overly technical, don’t fret. HubSpot’s visual editor helps make sense of the underlying logic.
Learning how HubSpot workflows work is an investment, to be sure. Ultimately, it just takes a bit of logic and some study time. It’s well worth the investment, however, since it can free up dozens of hours for your marketing operation.
Hootsuite is a freemium social media management service, with an optional $10 a month service. You may think social media management is easy enough without the use of automation. You may have also noticed that posting a single status on multiple accounts can be very tedious and surprisingly time consuming.
With Hootsuite, you can schedule tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram updates without ever signing into those individual accounts. In addition, you can blast updates across channels with just a press of a button.
Marketo is a hugely popular marketing automation platform that is tailored to a variety of industries. Marketo tailors their marketing automation solutions to a number of industries, including technology, healthcare, media, financial services, manufacturing, and more.
What can this platform do for your organization? Namely:
- Lead management
- Email marketing
- Consumer marketing
- Customer base marketing
- Mobile marketing
A big selling point for Marketo is its robust email design interface. It offers a drag and drop interface makes it that much easier to send exceptionally attractive and effective emails. There’s also a handy reporting tool that makes tracking important metrics a cinch.
- Salesforce Pardot
Salesforce is the number one customer relationship management software (CRM) on the market today. The cloud computing company is truly a juggernaut when it comes to social enterprise.
Indeed, the company posted a net income of nearly $180 million. In fact, many of the tools above can integrate with an assortment of Salesforce applications.
Salesforce continues to innovate, expand, and acquire. Salesforce Pardot is a happy result of their rapid and rampant growth.
Salesforce Pardot is a B2B marketing automation platform. With Pardot, you can create targeted drip campaigns, email marketing reports, and mobile responsive email templates. Pardot also makes contact, content, and file management a simpler process through their use of intuitive UI design.
Artificial intelligence and automation have melded to create useful software products and applications for business owners and professional marketing teams. In this day and age, digital marketing is highly competitive. No longer can we rely on the tactics of a traditional marketing plan.
By leveraging effective marketing automation software products, your marketing team can get a leg up on the competition. With HubSpot, Marketo, and Salesforce Pardot, you can create email campaigns through comprehensive workflows. Hootsuite allows for automated social media management, placing all of your company accounts under one roof.
These tools truly stand out because of their efficacy and ease-of-use. While there are plenty of tools out there for you to explore, the tools listed above don’t require IT or computer science knowledge to employ.
Keep exploring marketing automation tools to find the right fit for your organization. Pricing can vary widely, but remember that you often get what you pay for. Regardless of what tools you choose, integrating marketing automation into your strategy will prove fruitful. Continue with your own research and track your marketing metrics as you adopt these new technologies to ensure success.
Anthony Coggine is a HR professional turned business analyst. He has spent more than 5 years as a recruitment consultant in a variety of industries, primarily focused on consumer technology and research. You may connect with him on Twitter.