How to really use marketing automation tools

At its core, marketing has always been about managing information. The information a company creates about its products and services distilled into messages and content. Then managing how that information is disseminated into the marketplace to reach and engage prospective buyers.

While some may say marketing has changed, it really hasn’t. The principles remain the same, we’ve just added more channels and what has actually changed is the buyer. The buyer doesn’t just seek information anymore, they want knowledge. So MarTech (Marketing Technology) also known as marketing automation, is often misunderstood in how it is used. Most businesses need some form of MarTech, whether that’s an email newsletter app like MailChimp or Moosend and many others, the inbound HubSpot platform or SimplyCast’s automation platform. Not to mention all the analytics tools like Google Analytics and Orbio. Today, there are over 3,000 MarTech tools, platforms and services out there.

For marketing teams big and small, this can mean a confusing array of tools and many marketers end up with multiple tools. We’ve seen it so often and half the time, they’re paying for tools they know longer use but keep because they contain data they may need or have just been forgotten.

These tools are seen as ways simply to manage the complexity of getting content into as many channels as possible, then analysing the performance across those channels with various analytics tools.

But this is marketing seeing the problem from a technology point-of-view and an old business model. It’s not marketing that has changed, it’s the buyer. So often marketing automation is just used to automate the distribution of information (content) rather than focusing on what buyers actually want today and that is knowledge.

Analytics tools and digital research methodologies such as netnography should be used to understand the knowledge your buyer is seeking. Then the information your organisation creates can be turned into knowledge. The MarTech tools can only deliver what you tell them to. Buyers are lazy, they don’t want to turn information into knowledge. They want insights that help them make decisions. Content for contents sake makes it harder.

Create your knowledge first, that helps make more informed decisions. Use your marketing automation technology to deliver the right insights to the right person at the right time to make a decision.

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