With their “ease-of-use”, data accuracy, and unprecedented flexibility and penetrability, marketing automation systems have become an integral part of most businesses. A study by the Aberdeen Group revealed that 88% of companies that performed better than others were the ones that employed a marketing automation system (Matrixmarketing, 2012). Marketing automation systems adopt a holistic view towards all marketing processes. While each function of a marketing automation system can be applied separately for a specific business process, such as sales, marketing, customer service or inventory, a unification of all of them works the best (Matrixmarketing, 2012).
In recent years, marketing automation systems have taken on increased importance. The reasons for this are as follows:
With the development of IT technology, to some extent today, an enterprise is no longer limited to their local time and geographical location. This means that an enterprise can trade with worldwide buyers 24/7 on their Internet website. As a result, a company must timely process massive amounts of data from all of their business processes almost continuously. As a useful tool, marketing automation systems are able to meet this data processing demand that can bring uniformity to a company’s worldwide operations.
Better Informed Consumers
About ten years ago, it was not easy for customers to interact with enterprises. Besides a few inconvenient ways, such as the time-consuming hotline or getting in touch with the retailer, customers did not have many choices. Now, buyers can obtain a lot of information both from and about an enterprise by leveraging all sorts of communication channels 24/7. Of course, with the help of a marketing automation system, an enterprise is able to interact with the right person at right time.
In some ways, the market is actually becoming more fragmented, which means that it is getting harder rather than easier to work towards a user experience that is satisfactory across the board (Gregoriadis, 2007). In these conditions, an enterprise that can provide a tailored marketing solution for each individual consumer will have enhanced competitive advantages. Besides the automatic marketing system, no other tools have such an ability.
Customer's demand can change according to the situation. Timely responding to these changes and updating the cross selling and up selling solutions will make an enterprise more valuable. Marketing automation systems can track customer behavior and help the business understand the pattern of customer purchases and market their products accordingly (Gregoriadis, 2007).
Successful application of a marketing automation system helps a business earn better returns on its marketing investments. An effective marketing automation system will provide the following benefits:
Accurate Customer Analytics
By considering the historical data of a consumer, marketing automation systems are able to learn a consumer’s preferences. This data can then be analyzed to design the most appropriate marketing and sales strategies. For example, in December 2013, Amazon.com announced a service that it called “Anticipatory Shipping”. It is a method that enables the company to start to delivering packages even before customers click the “buy” button. By parsing a customer’s previous orders, product searches, wish lists, shopping-cart contents, returns and even how long a user’s cursor hovers over an item, Amazon could cut delivery time between ordering and receiving (Bensinger, 2014).
Marketing automation systems are able to make businesses more proactive. Marketing automation systems provide a business the capability to timely monitor and continuously