With advances in technology and communication, and most especially with the advent of the Internet and social media, has come a surge in new forms of marketing. The first wave was fairly modest and predictable — as Internet use increased, more and more businesses established websites and e-commerce portals to capture sales from this new form of business property.
As more and more people became connected, we saw the rise of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and new kinds of celebrities in the form of bloggers and influencers. The ease of generating and distributing content gave rise to entirely new channels of media, as in Twitch.tv and the like. And with all these new forms of media came new avenues to reach consumers, and the technology that’s made it possible also offers another promise — it can be tracked, analyzed, and frequently even automated.
While the tools of today’s businesses and marketers have become extremely robust, this promise was seen relatively early in the life of the commercial Internet. In fact, one of the earliest automated marketing tools was called Unica, introduced in 1992 to serve the needs of businesses in the financial, healthcare, telecommunications, energy, and tech sectors. It was later acquired by IBM as part of their enterprise marketing management solutions. Today, the marketing management industry is worth $1.65 billion and is only continuing to grow.
Take a look at some of the latest and greatest solutions that have evolved alongside our digital marketplaces:
Neoreach is a comprehensive marketing automation tool that helps businesses identify and work with influencers and manage their influencer marketing campaigns. Through Neoreach, you can search through over three million influencers. The order these appear in is based on a careful calculation of keywords, social performance, and audience demographics. It also manages campaigns, payments, influencer relationships and helps you keep track of your ROI — allowing you to find and focus on the individuals and tactics that work for your business.
Hubspot was pioneering technology when it was launched in 2008, with the company being founded only two years prior. The concept behind it is genius, but simple: outbound lead generation would be transformed into inbound lead generation, which would allow more potential customers to discover them and begin to use it. Today, the company has nearly eight hundred employees, and their service is still recognized as one of the best available to anyone interested in automated marketing, with CRM integrations that allow it to be a good fit across industries.
Eloqua is definitely one of the most expensive automated marketing tools out there. While this might make them a very difficult product to sell in most cases, the company has been successful by presenting their product as being worth every single penny of what you are paying. And it’s also recognized for providing an incredible level of service — especially in their onboarding process. Their agents will spend the time needed to make educate you on how to get the most out of their service.
Marketo is a cloud-based marketing software platform that prides itself on the ability to scale to the needs of businesses of any size. A powerful and easy to manage marketing tool, sales and marketing professionals have found that Marketo improves both their marketing accountability and their revenue. They also offer a free trial and no setup fees, making them one of the most accessible tools on the market.
If what you are looking for in an automated marketing tool is flexibility, then Customer.io has you covered. While this flexibility can come at the cost of a steeper learning curve, the tool boasts an excellent user interface and their customer support team offers fast and personalized service. As a newer product to have recently exploded onto the scene, it also brings with it some new developments that will likely influence the features offered by similar tools on the market in the future, such as customizable event-based notifications.
Infusionsoft is more aimed towards small businesses. It claims that it seeks to aid small business owners in growing their sales, saving their time and, most of all, getting organized. As such, many bloggers use the service to create marketing campaigns, as well as to funnel and to organize their email marketing. It also makes it a lot easier to create and implement simple sales and marketing strategies. Customer interactions are centralized, new leads are captured, and tasks that could be considered automated and repetitive are managed from one place, making it an easy and effective small-business CRM solution.
Like Infusionsoft, Constant Contact is an email marketing tool specifically designed for smaller businesses. One of its main strengths and advantages is that it does an excellent job at providing basic features and functionality in a way that even non-technical users can easily take advantage of. The low cost of the product and its high ease-of-use make it a popular choice.