Being one of the driving force of business, marketing runs via the constant changes, shifting and evolving into more complex processes. Potential clients use multiple devices in interaction with your company, so now it is far more than conversions and funnels.
Digital professionals rely on marketing automation tools to handle everything from social media activities scheduling to understanding and getting into their customers’ shoes.
Defining Marketing Automation Tool Concept
As a blend of software and tactics, marketing automation helps companies to use personalized, useful content to nurture prospects and converting them to customers. So the ultimate target of the marketing automation services is to
- make managers’ job more efficient by task prioritization,
- generate leads and nurture prospects,
- specify criteria and interpret outcomes, and
- bringing more revenue and higher ROI.
Marketing automation is a buzzword, and lot of digital marketers have preconceptions and think the performance will look like a robot’s work from cyberville. However, these tools are designed for streamlining the execution of marketing tasks in an efficient way.
Top 5 Proven Marketing Automation Tools at A Glance
There is rather an insane amount of various marketing functionalities and tools. But this situation is explained by the reasoning that each platform has different feature sets and offers benefits for various business types.
Here is the short-list of proven marketing automation tools for SMBs and enterprises as well.
As a rule, the inbound marketing approach associated with HubSpot. Indeed, this automation software offers a vast array of tools and capabilities that enhances day-to-day tasks, improves effectiveness. This marketing automation tool suite combines SEO, blogging, social activities, email marketing, audience targeting and analytics.
- Set up workflows based on your marketing goals
- Manage the content for delivering personalized, timely information
- Monitor prospects, landing pages and performance
- Score, track and categories your leads
- Customizable campaigns
- Content library and reuse options
- PPC/Adwords and Salesforce integration
Provides a free trial, but you should contact for a quote.
HubSpot is an convenient all-in-one solution with a variety of functionalities. It’s one of the best marketing automation tools for small businesses. Besides, they will educate you how to use their solution.
The software does a lot of everything, yet some of their features can be found free elsewhere. They require an annual contract and tech support is paid.
Marketo is a well-known multi-functional software with marketing automation, customer engagement, budget planning and calendar tools. This cloud-based platform with aid marketers and sales reps in boosting revenue and developing sustain relationships with prospects and clients.
- Score, nurture and manage your leads
- A/B testing tools
- Dynamic and personalized email campaigns
- Landing page and forms builder
- Social media marketing
- Revenue and campaign analytics
- API integrations and Adwords support
- Spark - $800 per month (up to 10000 records) - the best option for startups and small companies,
- Standard - $1795 per month (up to 10000 records) - the most popular package,
- Select - $3195 per month (up to 10000 records) - includes the advanced analytics and trend metrics,
- Enterprise - requires a custom quote.
Marketing automation tool is intuitive, quick and easy to set up, and offers great customer support.
The platform has limited analytics and reports functionality. Besides, the builder of landing page and forms has a room for improvement.
Another competitor in the list of marketing automation tools is Infusionsoft. The service provides you the campaign building, social and email marketing, analytics and visitors tracking. This is an all-in-one solution for SMBs.
- Marketing campaign builder with triggers for setting up
- Designing landing page and form tools
- Cuustomizable email marketing
- Monitor your website visitors
- Real-time reports and performance analytics
- Social media marketing tools
- Integration with CRM
- Essentials - $199 per month - offers basic marketing automation tools
- Deluxe - $299 per month - for companies with sales teams or online store
- Complete - $379 per month - for companies with sales team and online store
- Team - $599 - for companies with large teams
Infusionsoft provides a scalable tracking across marketing channels, API integration and has a built-in shopping cart.
The platform has no native integrations with 3rd-party tools, while extensions and apps at marketplace may require additional payments.
Aiming to boost efficiency and revenue growth, salesforce.com company offers Pardot, a solution for B2B marketing automation. This suite enhances the cooperation of sales and marketing teams by lead management, email campaigns, analytics and CRM integration. With this service, you will shorten the sales cycles and increase marketing accountability.
- Landing page, form builder, and research connectors
- Email campaigns with branded templates
- Built-in testing tools
- Leads scoring, grading and nurturing
- Audience segmentation wizard
- Prospects tracking
- Real-time alerts and reports
- Multichannel social marketing
- Sales alignment by integration with CRM
- Standard - $1000 per month
- Pro - $2000 per month
- Ultimate - $3000 per month
- Marketing cloud (Basic - $400/mo; Professional - $1250/mo; Corporate - $3750/mo; Enterprise - requires a custom quote)
Pardot is one of the most customizable marketing automation tools, with a great customer support and prospects’ tracking.
API access and A/B testing are available only for Pro users.
As a B2B cross-channel solution, Oracle Eloqua provides marketing automation tools for targeting and lead management, drip campaigns, and testing, advertising, and analytics. The ultimate mission of this platform is to advance lead generation process.
- Multichannel personalized campaigns
- Smart editing tools for landing pages and forms designing
- Scoring and routing your leads
- Content marketing management
- Audience segmentation
- Built-in digital advertising
- Dashboard for real-time reporting
- API and CRM Integrations
- Basic - $2000 per month with more than 10K contacts
- Standard - $4000 per month with more than 10K contacts
Enterprise - requires a custom quote
Oracle Eloqua offers an easy campaign and microsite builder and integrates with 100+ 3rd party platforms.
Being a quite expensive marketing automation tool, Oracle Eloqua also has no integration with Adwords.
Brief Sum Up
There are many more marketing automation tools, and this short-list gives you a comprehensive insight to the top 5 of them. So all you need to do is to select the most suitable platform for your business goals and budget.Building a startup requires far more than a mere idea but also a business strategy, workflow planning, budget and desire to do your best to succeed. In the hunt for the valuable resources, marketing blogs become a kind of magic elixir for businesses of any type.
Follow Marketing Blog to Develop Startup Growth and ResultsEvery market niche has representatives that fight for the customers attention and loyalty. The competitiveness edge for the newcomers is higher and harder to achieve. So to be aware of the updates and ahead of the game, you should follow a well-written marketing blog or set of blogs. It goes without saying, there are hundreds of such resources. The time is limited, and you should keep the pulse on the well-searched posts that will offer definite guides for you. In an effort to help out, here is a list of the best marketing blogs for startups to expand your chances for success, and after all, developing your distribution and communicational channels.
1. Master Necessary Skills with Startup Marketing BlogBeing a startup and tech marketing agency, Marketing Envy provides product launch strategies, design and content generation and promotion. Why to follow: In their Startup Marketing Blog, you will find advice on content creation, strategies for various startups types, business models, social media activities, and PR guides.
2. Find Must-Have Marketing Assets for Startup at Onboardly BlogOnboardly presents itself as a demand marketing agency that helps small and mid-sized companies to increase visibility and brand identity, generate leads, and get result in content marketing. Why to follow: The company blog reveals a lot of tips on content marketing, PR strategy, and customer service organization for startups. Besides, there are interesting posts on email marketing and social media strategy.
3. Improve Your Marketing Skills with Unbounce BlogThe importance of converting landing page is the key to growing success. Unbounce, the optimization software, helps marketers and website owners to achieve desired results. Why to follow: Being one of the must-read marketing blogs, this source offers you tips and shared experience of the top conversion experts. With highly engaged content and strong community, it brings the help to startups to be seen in the marketing world.
4. Look No Further, Stop by at KISSmetrics BlogApart from tracking the users on the individual level with the SaaS analytics, KISSmetrics offers effective and workable resources for design and marketing upgrade. Why to follow: KISSmetrics blog provides an avalanche of how-tos and useful guidance on metrics setting up, copywriting and organic SEO tips. The content gets lots of shares and comments, so that you can derive a great deal of practical, consistent hacks.
5. Get Tips from SEO Gurus at Moz BlogMoz is a well-known SaaS analytics tool for boosting SEO efficiency, and these folks help you to get the most of the marketing intelligence. Focusing on inbound approach, the blog of this company collect the insights of the top experts. Why to follow: Gaining a great reputation in SEO, the Moz blog suggests the actionable advice, engaging and practical webinars, and tips to social media running. Don’t miss their Whiteboard Friday, it always offers great advice and assets.
6. Reap the Rewards of Inbound Marketing BlogHubspot has taken its place in the marketing automation niche and created the powerful community due to their neck-deep blog. This a rich repository of information and tips for freshmen in marketing. Why to follow: As one of the useful marketing blogs, Inbound Marketing offers practical guidelines and how-tos, whitepapers and infographics with the updates on a daily basis. Besides, they often write posts on leaderships, team building, as well as inspirational articles - what’s just the job for startups.
7. Keep the Pulse on Social Media with Buffer BlogBuffer is known by marketers as a helpful web-based tool for social media accounts running, besides it offers the calendar for scheduling, and analytics for tracking the best-performing posts. Why to follow: At Buffer blog you will find the insights into best practices of social media presence and content management. In short, this source will teach you how to post smarter, not harder and get the wanted results.
8. Find Inspiration Source on Visual.ly BlogVisually is a marketplace for sharing visual content. Try to guess what they kind of topics these folks cover in their blog. Why to follow: Obviously, graphic works better than plain text. So, this is one of the must-read marketing blogs as it enables you with the tried-and-tested tips. Additionally, here you find the immense source of inspiration and creativity. Draw Up A Line Ultimately, marketing is all about relationship building and finding the right distribution channels. Startup shouldn’t be an over-caffeinated team that looks for resources. So, take the most of the digital era, and don’t waste your time on the internet surfing, this short and sweet review of the marketing blogs will aid you a lot. Regardless of the organization type you run, the marketing vs sales dilemma has bothered you. Planning and strategy development of both areas is the important part of the success as these departments share a mutual goal - revenue increase. In some ways, these teams are intertwined, and startups and small companies have only one personnel, the so-called smarketing. However, marketing and sales aren’t interchangeable, and along with business growth, companies split their marketing teams into separate departments. As a rule, b2b organizations are sales driven while b2c are marketing driven. The difference in the roles and responsibilities of each team we are going to figure out below.
Marketing vs Sales: General InsightBefore jumping to the comparison of the business components, let’s get the overall definitions. As a more dynamic process, marketing deals with systematic planning, implementation, control and improvement of business activities and products or services. It targets to create brand identity, brings leads and prospects for a sales team, and builds long-term relationships with customers. However, this team has given conditions, and can’t change them. Marketing works on the 4 Ps: product, price, place and promotion; and does micro and macro analysis of market and then applies these principles in action via
- advertising, public relations,
- social media,
- relationship marketing,
- brand marketing,
- viral marketing, and
- mail campaigns.
- follow-up calls,
- sales letters,
- cold calls, and
Diving into 5 Key DifferencesMarket changes are the permanent things, so marketing has to stay ahead of the changes. It helps sales by locating the potential audience and/or channel partners, generating quality leads, and enhancing information transaction. From this point, the sales continues to build a customer relationship and start to convert leads into actual paying buyers by direct interaction. They set specific boundaries to closing the deals: week, month or quarter. Dealing with the marketing vs sales dilemma, you should remember that these activities demand different skills and training. Definitely, marketing provides tactics and clues for the sales team, but this department shouldn’t perform an auxiliary function. The following comparison will aid you in the roles and responsibilities distribution among your teams.
- StrategyBy employing strategic thinking, marketing uses the pull strategy and generates interest in the products or services. Sales is more focused on tactical thinking and push strategy to convince a customer and ensure a closed deal.
- PriorityIn this aspect marketing vs sales works in cooperation. Meanwhile, marketing shows the ways for reaching a customer and sets up a relationship building; sales applies the received info and tips for achieving the ultimate result - a paying buyer.
- PerspectiveDue to marketing search, the company gets the market view from customer’s perspective that directs organization to targeted audience or group. Sales works in the opposite direction and presents the positioning of the product or service from inside the organization toward the potential buyers.
- ApproachApart from extending the variety of the selling activities, marketing develops a strategy for determining current and future customers’ needs and lays out the basis for long-term relationships. Despite the building relationship with customers, sales tries to fulfill buyers’ demands by matching the company’s product or service within a specified time period.
- Major FocusMarketing deals with the promotion and distribution of the price of product or service and looks for the ways to fulfill customers’ needs by the company offer. Achieve a set quota and fulfill sales volume objectives are the key targets for the sales teams.
Final ThoughtsAfter revealing the crucial moments, you see that marketing vs sales differences lie in various approaches, tactics, and strategies, as well as personnel specific skills. Both teams work on developing a trustful relationship with customers and boosting the revenue. In short, you can achieve the high results by setting up workflows for both teams with communication as a must. Every day there are published millions of post on the Internet, and it becomes challenging to get the most useful ones and don’t sunk in the flow of info. So the point lies in finding the sales blogs that deserve your time.
Do You Really Need to Read Blogs for Sales?Sales managers better than everyone else know that time is money. And every rep or executive wants to surf the Internet and get the new insights and workable advice. With the help of sales blogs, you will be aware of the new techniques and strategies, as well as keep the pulse on the technology innovations. Usually, the posts are written by sales pros, so you acquire best practices and proven tips in the metrics and motivational areas.
5 Requirements to Sales BlogsMany people start their morning with checking the inbox, and look for something interesting in the blog subscriptions. Obviously, the catchy headlines make you click on the link, yet if the post holds you for reading one or two paragraphs - that’s great. But you close it and subscribe this sales blog. To avoid your disappointment in the content you receive, you should pay attention to the following requirements to the blogs for sales:
- Updates constantly appear (not less than 14 days)
- Posts are original and practical
- Content is well-searched and easy to read
- Include educational information
- Tell about sales but don’t sell anything