Marketing automation is one of those loaded terms that means different things to different people.
It’s the subject of a fair amount of hype and embellishment, too, which adds to the confusion. The reality is that marketing automation is a simple idea, though one with wide variation in execution. It can be simple. It can be extremely complex. It’s done by huge companies. It’s done by one-person businesses. The goal is always the same, though: to automate previously complex marketing tasks so you can always send the right message to the right person at the right time.
Marketing automation is about using software to automate the process of communicating with your customers and prospects – driving them further along the path toward buying whatever it is that you sell, whether that’s a product, a service, or a cause. It involves marketing with email but it’s quite different from basic email marketing, and far removed from the disreputable practice of “spamming” subscribers.
This paper reviews the basics of marketing automation. It is intended to give you a sense of what it is and how it might work for your business.
Jeanie Parker is with the marketing program at iContact.
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