Developing strategic marketing campaigns has always been key in growing a business, no matter its size and field of activity. However, marketing tactics and marketing channels have changed a lot in the past years, keeping up with the latest developments in technology. About a decade ago, marketing process were being monitored using pen and paper and managers would rely on traditional methods to expand their business. Now, successful companies rely on an online marketing platform and automate processes wherever possible. What started out as a trend that only enterprises could afford has now become a common and easy and implement solution that even small start-ups should consider. But what exactly is an online marketing platform, what features does it have and how can solutions such as bpmonline.com/crm/marketing-automation-platform help you in the long run?
Online marketing platforms – an overview
Not all online marketing platforms are created equal. Depending on vendor and price, you get access to different features. Bpm’online, Hubspot, Marketo, Raven Tools, each one of these popular online marketing platforms stands out through a certain feature. However, what all of these solutions have in common is that they automate the marketing process, so that it becomes more productive. Below are just a few marketing processes that can be automated:
- Collaboration between staff members and even departments
- Lead generation and lead nurturing
- Marketing campaigns
- Client database management
- Website behavior tracking
- Email marketing
- Customer response tracking
Each one of these features can save companies both time and money. For example, instead of sending hundreds of customer emails manually, the marketing department can simply automate this task and use their remaining time thinking of innovative marketing strategies.
Why it’s important to reconsider traditional views
The idea of marketing automation is not always met with enthusiasm. Some of the most skeptical persons include: owners of small start-ups who have limited funds, managers who have little experience with technology and managers who have been in using traditional marketing methods for decades. Although the classic “pen and paper” approach was effective for years, it’s important to point out that it is now starting to fail. On the one hand, it is very slow. On the other hand, it is incredibly error-prone. When working with considerable loads of data, mistakes can occur and they will cost you money.
How does it work?
Nowadays, finding a good online marketing platform is simple. Vendors such as bpm’online advertise their features online and, based on your requirements, you can choose a platform that offers what you need. Depending on your preferences, you can either have an on-site platform, meaning that you will have to support infrastructure costs, or a cloud-based online marketing platform. In general, the latter is recommended because the set-up costs are close to none and it also allows you access on the go, from multiple platforms, including mobile.
Do staff require training to use marketing platforms?
Professional developers take user friendliness very seriously, which is why online marketing platforms are created so that anyone can use them without special training. In general, the learning curve is quite short and only involves getting used to the dashboard. After all, the idea of such a platform is to save you time and money, not slow things down even more by generating high training costs.
Small vs. large business needs
Marketing process automation isn’t something that only large businesses can afford. On the contrary, there are many companies that develop marketing platforms especially for small businesses, to help them overcome the bottlenecks that may appear in the first years of activity. When starting to analyze software, it’s best to see for what business size it was created.