As automation of sales & marketing efforts becomes increasingly relevant for business today, here is an article from TechTarget on “Five must-have features in a marketing automation platform”, addressing different criteria to be taken into account when automating such critical processes.
Several technologies are available to help companies craft email campaigns, automate messaging, gain insight into prospects, manage leads, cultivate a social presence and measure social activity. Not every enterprise marketing platform interacts with customers and prospects and then funnels and digests those interactions equally well. If you’re seeking an enterprise marketing automation platform, here is a comprehensive list of features you should look for before signing on the dotted line.
1.Multichannel marketing automation. Multichannel marketing as a whole is critical for companies that want to be able to interact with customers regardless of the channel they use -whether it’s email, text messaging, social media, live chat or otherwise.
– Email distribution
– Integration with offline and online channels
– CRM software integration
– Real-time alerts
2.Lead management and scoring. Tools that perform lead scoring enable marketers to apply values to different prospects according to their readiness to buy and to apply sales efforts to the most promising leads. When a lead enters the marketing automation platform, it receives a score based on activities — browsing behavior, email clicks and so forth. Lead scoring enables better communication between marketing and sales and an automated communication thread: When a lead score reaches a threshold value, the lead is considered sales-ready and is automatically forwarded to a sales rep for immediate follow-up.
– Lead segmentation
– Campaign nurturing
– Membership management
3.Content marketing and management tools. These tools enable you to create content and reuse it in multiple campaigns or different channels. They also help create landing pages for website visitors who arrive at your site and help you customize and personalize content to various segments of your audience or prospects.
– Content creation and inbound marketing tools
– Website activity tracking
– Landing page management
– Analytics for campaigns
4.Social media management tools. With social media management and monitoring tools, you can gauge the comments that customers and prospects make about your company, products and services, and ingest that data into your marketing automation platform and CRM system. You also can target customized content, schedule automated social sharing and incorporate response data back into your systems.
– Social media analytics
– Forms and survey tools
5.Analytics capabilities. Analytics capabilities are immensely important to get information about customers and prospects. Analytics enable you to track online visitor behavior on websites, in email campaigns, and even data from phone calls and other non-digital channels. As mentioned previously, analytics enable you to evaluate your customers’ and prospects’ attitudes about the brand, products and services on social channels. Analytics also enable companies to gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns.
– Marketing analytics
– Data management
Read the entire article here.
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