When I talk to my customers, most of them believe Marketing Automation is just about that: automating marketing processes. What’s more, very often questions follow such as:
There is only one right answer to those questions: No! Apparently, some people define Marketing Automation this way, because the name itself may suggest that. But that’s not what it’s all about.
Marketing Automation does automate some of the marketing processes, but that’s not its goal. MA is mainly about increasing audience for our content, and better message personalization – through automation of the actions related to content providing and through replacing manual activities wherever absolutely necessary.
This does not mean, however, that MA will make marketing fully automatic. On the contrary, after introducing MA you will need, in my opinion, more “workforce” in Sales to serve the sales processes – with Marketers support. Why? Because after implementing MA you may have more potential customers, which in turn means more work for Sales Representatives. This additional work is mainly so called “prospect qualification” (or lead qualification, although it is a less precise term in this context). Putting it simply: it’s about deciding which contact is a potential customer and which one needs a little bit more “warming up”.
Following MA implementation, the amount of work in Marketing is not going to decrease – rather, the scope of work will be different. In addition to creating general communication strategies and the resulting content, the team will also be responsible for developing process maps for various scenarios carried out as part of MA and their configuration in the technical campaigns supporting tools.
Summing up, Marketing Automation is not going to let you dismiss your entire Marketing Team automatically. But when it’s implemented in the right way, you will get:
MA can not be discussed without taking the sales process into consideration, because Sales and Marketing have common elements in their processes and, to put it simply, have the same goal – customer buying the company’s product.
More about the relations between marketing and sales, and designing processes within organization, in my latest article (audio and video also available).