It’s easy to want to jump on the latest bandwagon – especially when the promises are so alluring. Get more leads, more customers, and save time.
Before you do – recent surveys found that although many people do have success with marketing automation, the results often don’t justify the investment and people who buy it rarely use it fully.
Probably because of a lack of education and understanding around what tools are appropriate for your particular circumstances. It is not a question of one size fits all, no matter how much the Marketing Automation vendors (and we’re one!) try to convince you otherwise.
Part of the problem is vocabulary.
Different companies use the same terminology to mean different things. For example, Act|On calls itself a marketing automation platform (and it is), however it is also an outbound-only automation platform. Hubspot also calls itself a marketing automation platform, however it’s an inbound-only automation platform. They both call themselves marketing automation platforms, yet they are almost opposites in philosophy, and how they work to bring you new customers.
To further complicate things, there are providers who are neither inbound or outbound, and simply rely on you having an existing steady stream of leads that they’ll help you nurture and score so you or your sales team can be more efficient by only engaging with those most interested in your product or service.
So, what exactly is Marketing Automation?
I’m a terrible artist, however, I’ve drawn up a few ‘funnels’ so you can see how this might work given an inbound model and an outbound model. Click to see the larger version.