Work Less and Make More with Marketing Automation
Published by: David Fralinger
Lets take a moment to stop and think about the golden days of marketing. Think Mad Men, 1960s Madison Avenue offices with sharp midcentury-modern furniture. Offices filled with copywriters and account managers dressed in immaculate suits. The marketing industry has come a long way since the days of Don Draper, and it’s time for businesses to update their marketing strategy for the digital age.
Traditional marketing is cumbersome. It requires targeting potential customers in an effortful approach that usually demands a higher financial investment. TV advertisements, junk mail, telemarketing—these so-called “outbound marketing” techniques require companies to reach out to a massive number of people in order to gain a fraction of prospective customers. This type of outbound marketing is relatively ineffective and has a low return on investment (ROI) when compared to modern marketing methods. Wouldn’t marketing be so much easier if your customers came to you?
Inbound marketing represents a paradigm shift in the marketing world. By writing blog posts, generating social media content and working on search engine optimization (SEO), companies are able to communicate, connect and engage with their audience more effectively. Businesses are earning (and ideally retaining) customer attention, instead of bombarding people with hard-sell advertisements.
Mark Simmons is an inbound marketing expert for both B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) companies. He says adopting a data-centric approach is key to delivering tangible and measurable results for companies looking to maximize their marketing ROI.
“I’m personally passionate about analytics and the ability to measure offline activity. For the right brand, this level of tracking is invaluable. To follow a customer journey from store to TV to website to mobile phone, seeing the touch points and channels in between, gives marketers the tools to supercharge their efforts. By using the data and properly targeting potential customers based on HOW they take action, you create highly effective campaigns, and a more positive customer experience. The end result is greater ROI, happier customers and increased loyalty.”
Simmons thinks the future of marketing is going to be increased adoption of technology such as marketing automation platforms. These software platforms simplify inbound marketing by allowing companies to efficiently market across different channels (email, social media, etc.) and can automate repetitive tasks, such as email blasts or newsletters. The end result, according to Simmons, is to “streamline the sales process, reduce inefficiencies and generate more sales.”
“Data is where we thrive and when given a significant amount to interpret, we’re able to make smarter, more impactful decisions.”
Times change, and anyone who has seen an episode of Mad Men can attest to that. And while the days of ad men coming up with catchy radio jingles in posh offices have come and gone, the new era of marketing is just as exciting.
Inbound marketing techniques and content generation are helping businesses attract customers in newer, smarter ways. The end result? Better ROI, improved customer experience and increased sales. Who could ask for more?
About Mark Simmons:
Mark Simmons is founder of Mixed Digital and has specialized in digital marketing since 2004. Prior to co-founding an agency of his own, Mark gained his experience working for leading NYC digital shops servicing global Fortune 500 clients that included TiVo, SAP, Four Seasons Hotels, SiriusXM Radio, BMW, Duke University COLE, Wharton School of Business, The Conference Board and Nokia. Mark’s work was recognized as part of the team managing SAP’s seven-figure search campaign. They were finalists for the 2008 ClickZ excellence in search ad marketing award, losing to Marin Software.
Mark’s range of expertise has been instrumental in driving both campaign success and agency growth. As an entrepreneur and agency leader, he provides thought leadership through contributions to the agency’s blog, participation in various marketing groups, speaking engagements, providing agency services to local pro bono clientele and mentoring/advising up-and-coming industry professionals. Mark is a graduate of Duke University, distance runner and proud father of two vivacious daughters. He is based in Durham, NC aka The Bull City.