Marketing Automation 2015: No Longer Just for the Big Boys

Many of us dedicated to the publishing industry have been intrigued for some time by Marketing Automation technology but have not seriously considered implementing it at a subscription- or advertising-based organization.

We have experienced Marketing Automation firsthand through companies such as Amazon and have known that the expectations of our customers would inevitably rise as they experienced and enjoyed this same degree of responsive, personalized interaction.

It’s been appealing to hear anecdotal stories of the time-savings that Marketing Automation affords its users by eliminating the need for labor-intensive tasks such as importing, exporting, & updating lists, sorting data, etc., but the core obstacle always remained – it’s just too difficult, too expensive, and too complicated for all but the largest and most committed companies.

2015 brings good news – the Marketing Automation industry has evolved, and a threshold has been crossed. As always happens with technology, this category of software has been improved, one simplification and enhancement after another, and has now reached the point at which certain Marketing Automation solutions can finally be viewed as simple. Easy. Accessible.

No industry stands to benefit from this more than publishing, and for the following reason – Marketing Automation has typically been used by companies endeavoring to bring in new sales prospects, reaching out to individuals about whom they knew relatively little.

The customer/prospect data stored in your systems, however, is typically far richer than what most companies know about their prospects, positioning you to reap the benefits of Marketing Automation much more easily than all but a handful of the many organizations that have implemented it to date.

Publishing professionals should be greatly encouraged by the fact that their fulfillment and CMS systems already contain the raw elements needed for Marketing Automation success.

For example, you have data documenting when your organization gains a new customer, so executing automated Welcome/Onboarding campaigns will be simple. You also have data available that indicates when someone registers for or attends a paid webinar, so it’s easy to (for example) trigger an email to anyone who registered for a webinar but was unable to take part.

Further easing your entry into Marketing Automation is the fact that the primary needs of publishers – things such as prospecting for new customers, maintaining existing customers, promoting conferences and events, offering learning/ certification programs, etc. – are classic usages of Marketing Automation and not at all difficult to execute. The requirements of the publishing industry tend to be quite modest, yet another indicator that publishers may conservatively expect positive results when using these systems.

As you look ahead at ways to meet organizational goals and rising customer expectations in 2015 and beyond, consider Marketing Automation a newly-viable option. Publishers are in many ways the ideal users of this type of software, and the evolution of this technology has finally earned the attention of our industry.