Marketing automation is technology that manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns, across multiple channels. It assigns a lead score that changes as the prospect becomes more qualified. Think of it as a pipeline measuring multiple marketing efforts simultaneously.
Defining qualified leads
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL): A lead that has achieved a certain score based on a predetermined set of criteria and is ready to be handed off to sales
- Sales Accepted Leads (SAL): Leads accepted by sales for follow up actions
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQL): Leads that convert into opportunities – either wins or losses
You collect customer data through many interactions: emails, website visits, app usage, on social media, and so on. You then tie those interactions to your customer data base and automate the workflow. As your target audience takes various actions, you automate certain responses, as well as, initiate contact at strategic points in the journey. You nurture the target through the decision process and establish levels of qualification. You assign internal resources based on the targets qualification level and had them off from marketing to sales when the date tells you they are ready. The automation ties the marketing effort more directly to sales/revenue, customer acquisition cost(CAC) and customer lifetime value(CLV).
Marketing Automation requires a commitment to the automation platform and integration with a CRM platform(Customer Relationship Management).