Adapt or get left behind.
That’s according to Katrina Bollozos, Strategic Marketing Automation Manager at Traction on Demand. “With the rise of game-changing marketing automation technology, there has been a significant shift in the way businesses market to and engage with their customers. This transformation has bridged the divide between the marketing and technology functions in businesses today, resulting in the emergence of a new breed of marketers,” she says.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation allows businesses to connect with customers in a one-to-one relationship across multiple channels: web, email, social and mobile.
“It is a tough concept to describe in a few words,” says Katrina. She uses her own life to explain what marketing automation is and its impact on consumer purchasing behavior. “Let’s say I’m looking to buy a new laptop. I hardly go into a brick and mortar store anymore, because now I have access to real-time information right at my fingertips. I can research different brands, educate myself on different features, compare prices and order a laptop right on my smartphone. Even if I were to visit an actual store, it’s really just to check the weight and feel of the laptop. I likely would have already narrowed down my options before walking in the door.”
Katrina is not unique. Over 79% of people use smartphones to help with shopping, and about 60% of shoppers make their buying decision even before talking to a sales rep, according to the Corporate Executive Board. This fundamental shift in the way people buy has made it increasingly important for businesses to have the right technology in place to stay top of mind with consumers and stay ahead of the competition.
Marketing automation platforms, such as Pardot and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, can track a sales lead’s activities on a company website, capture their email address via a form, use predictive intelligence technology to show product recommendations based on their e-commerce web visit history, automate personalized emails based on a lead’s shopping cart or wish list, and more. All of these capabilities allow businesses to send the right message to the right person at the right time. Ultimately, marketing automation enables businesses to scale meaningful, one-to-one relationships with their customers, which results in higher revenues and shortened sales cycles.
A new breed of chief marketing officers
With digital marketing taking the place of traditional forms of advertising, like television and radio, it has become increasingly important for marketers to embrace marketing automation. This transformation is shaping a new breed of CMOs – the chief marketing technologist.
With the rise of marketing automation platforms, marketing has quickly become one of the most technology-reliant functions in today’s businesses. According to Gartner, chief marketing officers will spend more on technology than chief information officers by the end of this year.
Stay ahead of the game
The emerging role of the CMT will focus on both marketing strategy, as well as the technology required to execute this strategy. It will bridge the gap between marketing and information technology. The question for businesses is: Do you have the right technology in place to stay ahead of the game? And the question for marketers is: Do your current skillsets align with this new landscape?
This post is the first in a three-part blog series about marketing automation. Are you new to marketing automation? Stay tuned to learn how to make the most of this tactic in four key steps.