Marketing Automation Times defines marketing automation as “a subset of customer relationship management (CRM) that focuses on the definition, scheduling, segmentation and tracking of marketing campaigns.”

Marketing Automation programs (such as Marketo, Hubspot or Pardot) could be a marketing professional’s dream. These programs integrate a host of tactics such as email marketing, landing page development, customer relationship management (CRM), social marketing, data management and more, all in one convenient tool. Everything is now in one centralized location enabling marketers to better manage multiple campaigns and gain valuable insights about current customers and prospects and the behaviors that drive their purchasing decisions.

As Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief of Direct Marketing News, states in a recent article, “The question isn’t whether you need marketing automation; it’s when.” Conlon’s article, titled The State of B2B Marketing Automation offers some great insights for healthcare marketers in regards to the adoption rate of marketing automation across various industries and the perception of its value.

Interestingly, Conlon shares, “The growth rate of marketing automation adoption is about 22% per year. At that rate, if you’re not in the race you might wind up watching competitors pass you from the sidelines in the not too distant future.”

Conlon makes a great point, the use of marketing automation is rapidly growing and you’ll certainly be left behind if you don’t get on board soon. But what’s critical to remember is that the name, Marketing Automation, is a bit deceiving. You can’t just “set it and forget it”. Marketing automation tools require the same care, time and dedication as the traditional tools we’ve used for years. If you don’t carefully plan and strategize, you’ll fail, regardless of your new integrated platform.

Our advice: take the time to research the various marketing automation platforms to determine which one may be right for you. Each offers different features and some may not make sense in your line of work. It’d also be beneficial to consult an expert who has experience working in marketing automation. Bringing a platform in-house is one thing, but implementing streamlined campaigns is another. The tools are so complex; they can quickly become overwhelming and turn you away from what has the potential to be a positive thing for your business.

Once the learning curve is over, we promise you’ll be blown away by the power of marketing automation. B2B marketers are now in a position to really enhance the sales and marketing relationship, tracking the behavior of leads and only handing them over to sales when they’re ready to make a purchase.

Lanmark360 uses a leading marketing automation platform to fuel its Demand360 program which combines the agency’s 37 years of marketing experience with the technology needed to excel in today’s fast changing digital landscape.