Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Marketing Automation - A critical segment of CRM

Every business defines a marketing system, either manual or automated. Some emerge as giants, while others, either give up on business or constantly struggle to keep their heads above the water. So, what are the variables that make or mar the success of an organization?

The successful enterprises have the capacity to address the market needs by using right marketing automation tools and analytics, which enact as time and money saving mechanisms and help in making good business decisions.

Marketing automation, an integral component of customer relationship management (CRM) involves using a software application to automate marketing processes such as customer segmentation, customer data integration (CDI) and campaign management. Marketing automation allows manual processes to be performed much more efficiently and conceiving some new ones.

It's Functions

Most companies have taken to marketing automation tools in order to tune their customer marketing efforts to acquiring and retaining customers and generating new sources of revenue. Marketing-automation application allows you to: -

1.Perform critical, real-time market analysis that lets businesses gauge the effectiveness of marketing initiatives. 2.Build, execute and measure their marketing campaigns. 3.Update information on customer segments and profiles based on the constant input of new data. This information can come from click stream analysis of customer behavior on a Web site or from response patterns across multiple campaigns such as direct mail, conferences and training initiatives. 4.Collect, analyze, disseminate and act on a wide range of data, with greater speed without greasing your elbows.

The core of this technology lets you streamline your data as per categories such as - which information goes where, which messages are sent to whom and likewise. From the very first step, marketing automation allows you to carefully segment your in-house list. Accordingly, no entry can be made without being classified. Thereon, every single action taken by an individual, from every clickable link to slightest piece of information, all gets recorded under one central database. Whether you're sending out your first email or fifteenth, every person's record is updated instantly.

Knowing the Answers

By analyzing the volume of data (open rates, clickthroughs, form completions, expressed and implied preferences...) accumulated by your data marketing automation system, you as a marketer, can find answers to some of your most persistent queries such as:

1.By the designated category, which prospects are the most and least active responders? 2.What has been your response rate over the past 6 months for one email type communication versus another? 3.What number of prospects responded to the current month's product promotion compared to the one executed 2 months ago?

Knowing your Prospects

You can better understand your prospects by letting them choose the type and level of communications they do / don't want to receive from your end. Such communications might include:

1.Product announcements 2.Corporate press releases 3.Event announcements 4.Broad informational resources

Once your prospects have expressed their preferences, the information gets stored in the centralized database, supported by your marketing automation, which further lets you capture your prospect/s professional interests.

Advantages

With marketing automation application, you enjoy a number of benefits:

1.You spend more time on the tasks that you like to do, which usually are those that got you into the business in the first place. 2.Instead of you having to chase clients, they come to you already knowing about your products / services. 3.While you are occupied entertaining existing clients, you're still getting the word out about your services allowing you make informed decisions about your company' 4.You get the leverage to accelerate your business growth.

Most marketing-automation applications let users design, schedule, execute and evaluate multi-channel marketing campaigns. Major components to be considered under marketing-automation are: -

1.Marketing analytics is important for companies that do not have a sophisticated data-management infrastructure. Companies that are new to data analytics might want a marketing-automation tool that can generate data models. 2.Campaign management is another key piece of marketing automation that supports campaign design, scheduling and execution capabilities across multiple channels, including direct mail, E-mail, Web, phone, fax and events. 3.Real-time decision support helps marketing managers track campaigns and make tweaks on the fly in response to customer activities. 4.Learning algorithms track and predict customer behavior. 5.Finally, response management and reporting lets business managers review the results of their campaigns.

Any major marketing automation project must be initiated with a strategy and process evaluation. Many companies attempt to redesign processes in the middle of an automation effort. This is can significantly increase costs and induce delays. Strategy, process and automation - in that order - deliver the best and most predictable results.

Selecting the best product is often a matter of aligning with a company's CRM infrastructure or selecting the most viable software vendor. While functionality is important, products should offer maximum support for most marketing processes. A number of CRM vendors offer marketing automation as part of larger offerings that may include sales-force automation or customer-service capabilities.

Get winning results with Salesforce.com

As a global leader in on-demand customer relationship management (CRM), Salesforce.com provides closed-loop marketing automation application. Understanding the importance of integrated sales and marketing, Salesforce Marketing Automation helps you advocate multi-channel campaigns. Real-time analytics and reporting tools help marketers to evaluate campaign results and make necessary tweaks to enhance their performance.

Salesforce.com's comprehensive on-demand marketing automation offers you: -
Integrated marketing and sales application with automated lead conversion. Real-time analytics to measure and optimize campaigns for positive results. Multi-channel campaign management and analysis. Simple-to-use and rapid deployment encouraging better and faster user experience.

Want to get quality results? Choose Salesforce.com for award-winning functionality, proven integration, point-and-click customization, global capabilities and more. Free Trial & Demo - Apply Today!

For more information contact us at: Sales Force

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