Oh, marketing and automation. The darling buzzwords of the marketing world. But what does it actually mean, and can it really work? As we’ve seen with the booming success of Pardot, there’s a strong argument that it only really works when it’s part of a wider CRM system – like Salesforce, in their case. But is that really the case, or are we just looking in the wrong places.
Let’s consider what inbound marketing “traditionally” looks like:
If there was ever a graph to make a writer nostalgic for their university lectures, this would truly be it. Attract, Connect, Engage, Delight is the oldest and most effective inbound marketing process, and with good reason. Mainly because ACED is a great acronym. But really, it’s because it gives us a solid meaning to it all. Marketing, more than any other industry, suffers from the “shades of grey” complex – no, not “those” shades of grey. The one’s that make you ask “are we ok with doing X?” Marketing always, or rather should always, encounter this question regularly – indeed, the best marketing is often done when on the middle of the light/dark see-saw. Anyone who’s ever seen guerrilla marketing in action will attest to this. What does this have to do with anything?
Automation exists in the same space. The feeling against it, commonly and broadly speaking, is that nothing automated is going to produce as high quality content as a tailored, crafted and hand-written piece. There is of course still value in this, but in a world of big data and no border business, it’s more of a numbers game than ever before. The “sales funnel” still very much works, but instead of being a funnel that you pour into, you now have a giant butterfly net. Your job, is to run around as fast as you can in your specific field, and catch as many in your net as possible. After this, you transfer them into a big jar, but leave the lid off. This means the butterflies you have left, have done so through absolute choice, and want to actively engage – and this is where sales begins.
But, author of highly questionable imagery, why leave the lid off? Because frankly my dear, you’re not worth their time. Over 53% of internet traffic is generated via mobile. There are more screens, TVs, tablets, and other attention grabbing items to steer people away from you than ever before – not to mention *gasp* other human beings, coming over here, starting conversations…the nerve. So if you have a small team, you’ve got to make a decision somewhere along the line about your time and influence. Is it better to spend your time running around the field, or is it better to create something wonderful that will encourage the precious and beautiful butterfly to stay? The answer, is almost always the second one (at least, that’s what we as marketers claim a salary for…so we best say it is). Now we need a tool to do the chasing for us.
And this, is where automation shows true value. Marketing automation tools were never designed to replace human interaction, they were designed to facilitate finding the right humans to interact with. That’s what we’re passionate about, and that’s what we believe that we can deliver. At SoDash and SoGrow, our tools are about engaging with your audience in new and innovative ways on social media. Targeting, connecting, and engaging in new and dynamic methods, on their preferred channel of communication. There’s always a place for marketing automation, and to the critics we ask – would you rather have 100 irrelevant e-mails in your inbox, or 10 e-mails that were actually of interest to you? If it’s option B, which in an increasingly time-poor world it likely is, marketing automation is your tool to achieve that. In social media, that’s where SoDash and SoGrow come to show value – we don’t replace your interaction – we enable it. Connect with your audience in new and meaningful ways, through intelligent social automation. Try it free for 30 days, and discover the power of social automation.