What is Marketing Automation & how to use it for Your Business
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You’ve created a gorgeous website, reserved budget for marketing and are ready to start making money. However, you may be wondering how with millions of people shopping online every day you can increase your chances of reaching those who will eventually purchase from you. Marketing automation may be what you need. 

Marketing automation has been around for a few years, but has now really caught on in the online marketing world and is often touted as an essential weapon for online marketers. According to business2community.com marketing automation can be defined as the practice of using one system to track data for leads, automate personal marketing activities, and generate in-depth reports for all your marketing activities. 

A good platform is one that allows you to see who is visiting your website and where they go so you can see what content is working and what subject areas are of interest to them. The system should allow you to learn more about what your visitors are interested in, what they want to learn more about and how much time they’re spending on the site and easily capture their contact information with minimal fuss.

The idea behind automation is to introduce simplicity and efficiency into your operations so that you can market more effectively. Using one tool makes it easier to launch cross-channel campaigns and report on the results of all the marketing tools used including online marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), social media, mobile marketing, retargeting, and e-mail marketing.

For smaller businesses what makes marketing automation compelling is the ability to generate more leads on the same budget. With these tools you can automate many of the manual tasks that pull you away from being creative and generating leads.

If you are considering a marketing automation platform, first get clear on what you want to accomplish. If your drive is mostly on email, make sure it’s a strong feature of the platform you select, and also look closely at landing pages and forms, online behaviour tracking, lead nurturing and scoring and CRM integration and solid social integration if social networking features in your strategy. 

There are various companies in the marketing automation field, such as Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot  and Infusion Soft while they offer slightly varied tools and features, they are all designed to help you prioritize and execute your marketing tasks in a more streamlined and efficient way.