6 Essential Enterprise Marketing Automation Tools to Cut Your Workload and Increase ROMI
A survey by Social Media Today revealed that 75% of marketers use marketing automation tools. So, if you are not a part of those stats or if you’re looking to enhance your marketing automation stack—read on.
Our previous guide discussed the basics of marketing automation and how you can leverage it to make your marketing team more productive. In this guide, we will focus on essential enterprise marketing automation tools that can help you generate more qualified leads and boost your ROMI.
We will categorize these tools according to their respective application areas, including:
- Email marketing
- Social media management
- Paid advertising
- Reporting and analytics
- Marketing and sales workflow
- Lead generation and nurturing
Let’s get into it.
In 2020, over 306 billion emails zipped across the internet every day. This volume of activity firmly established email as one of the most automated marketing channels in the industry.
The email marketing automation process basically involves the use of predefined rules to send emails to contact segments based on specific actions subscribers take or don’t take (a.k.a., triggers).
There are several email marketing automation solutions on the internet. Our top pick is Mailchimp.
While it has recently transitioned into an all-in-one marketing platform, Mailchimp remains one of the world’s most popular email marketing services, thanks in part to its robust automation features.
Mailchimp’s email marketing automation functionality helps you streamline your communications with your leads and customers, categorize them based on their actions, and ultimately ensure they receive the right messages at the right time.
The platform’s standard automation allows you to create targeted emails that go out when triggered by specific events, dates, and subscriber activity. It also allows you to automatically create segments based on actions your leads are taking throughout your marketing funnel.
This empowers you to deliver high-quality, personalized experiences for your leads, effectively boosting key email marketing metrics like open, click-through, and conversion rates.
Mailchimp also allows you to create “customer journeys”, where you make an entire automated workflow to attract leads, nurture them, and convert them with minimal manual effort.
Social Media Automation
With the world becoming more connected, social media has become instrumental in helping marketers build valuable relationships with their prospects. According to the Content Marketing Institute, social media content is the most widely used form of content marketing among B2B marketers.
Marketers connect with their audience through social media by creating and delivering content that provides value. Automation tools streamline this entire process by helping marketers schedule, manage, and optimize their social media posts.
For this category of automation tools, Buffer is our top pick.
Buffer is a full-service social media marketing platform that helps marketing teams streamline social media marketing workflows and build high-quality audiences organically by providing tools for major repetitive tasks.
For instance, the “publishing” module allows you to plan, collaborate, and distribute posts on major social media platforms all in one place. With Buffer, you can easily schedule your posts to automatically go live at your chosen time.
The platform also allows you to seamlessly access and respond to comments across all your social media pages by automatically pulling all comments and mentions into one Gmail-like inbox.
These features ultimately make your social media marketing workflow more productive and efficient.
Advertising automation, also known as programmatic advertising, refers to the use of artificial intelligence, data insights, and complex algorithms to deliver adverts to relevant targets at the right time, place, and bid price.
The use of automation in media buying allows enterprise marketers to make bids and optimize campaigns for more efficient use of ad spending across multiple publisher networks.
For this category of marketing automation solutions, we will be looking at Adobe Advertising Cloud.
Adobe Advertising Cloud
Adobe Advertising Cloud is an automated advertising platform that allows marketers to plan, buy, manage, and optimize ad campaigns across multiple channels, as well as leverage dynamic templates to serve relevant content to prospects.
Enterprise marketers utilize Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) to execute media buys across all channels. However, each channel requires a different kind of DSP. For example, to purchase ad space on mobile devices, you need a mobile DSP. The same applies to video ads, display ads, and so on.
Adobe Advertising Cloud DSP allows you to programmatically execute all media buying activities across all channels and devices under one platform. The platform utilizes AI to help automatically optimize performance, forecast results, and offer spending recommendations for search ads.
While automating your media buying workflows, Adobe Advertising Clouds gives you full control of the media inventory you’re purchasing and ensures your ads are appearing in brand-safe contexts.
Reporting and Analytics
Marketing is a data-driven activity fueled by analytics and reporting. According to research by Forrester Consulting, marketers who implement complete marketing analytics platforms are 39% more likely to witness an increase in performance.
A reporting and analytics software helps companies get better marketing results by automatically pulling data from different sources, providing insights into where the best leads are coming from, how they’re interacting with the brand, and what marketers can do to turn them into loyal customers.
For this category of marketing automation tools, our strongest recommendation is Improvado.
Improvado is a Revenue Data Platform that leverages the power of modern data analytics to help organizations explore deep insights from their marketing campaigns, illuminating opportunities for growth in performance and revenue.
On average, B2B organizations use 91 marketing cloud services and eight marketing channels to connect with prospects. Each of these tools and channels generates unique sets of data. But as marketing activities continue to scale, the volume of data also grows. Manually generating insights from each of these data sources becomes tedious and prone to human error.
Improvado’s ETL functionality automatically pulls data from all your marketing channels and consolidates them within a single destination in real time. That way, you can have a holistic picture of all your marketing activities in one place.
The platform’s analytics functionality empowers marketers to identify their best-performing channels and understand how leads are interacting with content within their marketing funnels.
One of Improvado’s most outstanding features is its data normalization functionality. Data normalization leverages the Marketing Common Model Framework (MCDM) to automatically unify disparate naming conventions across all your marketing channels.
This saves you the time and stress of manually harmonizing your metrics to find the data that informs your marketing strategy.
As an ETL platform, Improvado pulls data from over 300 sources, including Adobe Advertising Cloud, Marketo, and Eloqua.
Marketing and Sales Workflow Automation
Joint research by Marketo and ReachForce showed that organizations are 67% more likely to close deals when marketing and sales teams align.
There’s been a lot of discussions stressing the importance of aligning marketing and sales workflows across companies. Still, studies by Outfunnel and Copper show that 66% of large companies report poor alignment between sales and marketing teams.
Automation plays a crucial role in helping marketing and sales teams collaborate more effectively by fostering communication, offering more efficient lead-scoring functionalities, and aiding the generation of better MQL to SQL conversion rates.
For this category, our top recommendation is Marketo Engage.
Marketo Engage is a marketing automation platform designed to help organizations simplify complex buyer journeys, foster marketing and sales alignment, and accelerate pipelines at scale.
Marketo offers a streamlined workflow for sales and marketing teams by providing shared intelligence, automating lead-scoring, and providing assets for cross-channel personalization.
With shared intelligence, marketing and sales teams can cross-pollinate insights by viewing all customer data from a unified source in real time, empowering them to optimize their strategic and engagement efforts.
Automated lead scoring improves the quality of leads generated by marketers, making it easier for sales teams to achieve higher conversion rates.
With cross-channel personalization, both teams are able to consistently deliver high-quality experiences for prospects at every stage of their journey.
Marketo Engage comes with native CRM integration capabilities, allowing sales teams to collaborate from their existing workspace.
Lead Generation and Nurturing
According to Ruler Analytics, 91% of marketers report that lead generation is their topmost priority.
Fortunately, lead generation and nurturing is one of the areas where marketing automation shines the brightest. According to VentureBeat, 80% of marketing automation users report an increase in the number of leads they generate.
Automated lead generation and nurturing tools serve marketing teams by streamlining the process of collecting data and creating personalized experiences for leads. This helps marketers build trust with their prospects, making it easier to convert them to loyal customers.
Our top pick for this category of marketing automation software solutions is Oracle’s Eloqua.
Eloqua is a B2B marketing automation solution owned by Oracle. The platform is designed to help B2B marketers create and manage marketing campaigns that nurture leads across every stage of their journey.
Eloqua offers a streamlined process for campaign orchestration and management, allowing marketers to create adaptive campaigns and even expand engagement through SMS messaging.
The platform also allows marketing teams to segment and target their prospects more precisely using a combination of behavioral and firmographic data. Its automated retargeting functionality leverages real-time streaming data to trigger retargeting content for prospects.
With automated lead scoring, Eloqua helps marketers generate dynamic and non-linear lead scores. The platform’s lead scoring model updates in real time based on recent and relevant activities across the funnel. That way, marketing teams can achieve more accurate scores.
The platform leverages AI to help marketers select the right audience segments, intelligently deliver relevant messages, and create personalized experiences for their prospects.
What to Look For in a Marketing Automation Tool
Your choice of tools can significantly impact the success of your marketing automation strategy.
So, before investing in any solution, here are some key pointers to consider.
Ease of Use
It is true that marketing automation tools have a bit of a learning curve to them. So, you should look for tools that can be grasped within shorter timeframes. Take advantage of demos and seek out in-depth reviews to help you gauge a tool’s usability before you make any form of commitment.
A good automation tool will have a responsive technical support team that is ready to help you figure things out. You will also need to look out for other helpful resources, like a regularly updated blog, knowledge bases, and documentation.
A good automation tool will provide performance tracking tools to help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing automation strategy.
You will also need to prioritize marketing automation tools that grow with you. As your organization continues to generate more leads and processes continue to intensify, you’ll need an automation tool that will simultaneously match your rising demands.
Always look out for platforms that offer larger bandwidths in terms of how many contacts, channels, or integrations you can have and how many automated workflows you can implement.
You need to consider the tools you already have in your marketing stack. How well does the automation tool integrate with your existing infrastructure? It is better to choose a tool that works seamlessly with what you already have.
By identifying your unique needs, outlining your marketing automation strategy, and choosing the right tools, you will be able to optimize your team’s workflow, spend less time on routine tasks, and help your organization grow.