While aiming to successfully promote products and services in the marketplace, companies had realized the importance of adopting marketing strategies early on. Due to intense competition, marketing strategies were infused with technological innovations to evolve as modern marketing, which is now integrated into the life of the customer and affects him at a rapid pace.
Fortunately, from radio to the Internet to smartphones, today’s technology has revolutionized the ways marketers can reach their potential customers. But back then, in the late 1950s, with almost no effective marketing channel, companies had a hard time approaching a huge customer base.
Thus was born automation technology. Its origins can be traced back to a customer relationship management or CRM that grew out of Rolodexes and a business card package. He acted as a rescuer for companies struggling to keep records of their employees and customers in a central knowledge pool. But in no time, it became the fundamental business element and began to find its applications in professional business services as well.
By the late 1980s, CRM platforms had gained more power in terms of customer support service, sales management, and forecasting. But, the high price kept it confined to a few multinational corporations.
In 1999, Mark Benioff, the founder of Salesforce, invented the Monthly License Fee (MLC) model, with the goal of offering an agile and profitable business model, which further introduced SaaS or Software as a Service. Rather, this technology evolved as an amalgamation of email, web analytics, and Marketing Resource Management (MRM) capabilities. With the advent of the Internet, marketers were looking for potential ways to reach their customers. The pioneer of this space, Eloqua, arrived in 1999 and developed a product, which was later recognized as an automated marketing service in 2003.
Soon, the success of this trend led to the arrival of more players in the market, such as Pardot, HubSpot, WhatsNexx, etc., and the industry began to gain momentum as it moved marketing automation services to cloud platforms.
By 2008, new platforms such as HubSpot, Act-On, were dominating the market, and the advent of social media marketing, content management, and search engine optimization saw marketers incorporate a variety of automation tools.
In 2013-2014, the automation industry witnessed huge financial growth through acquisitions when a marketing software giant ExactTarget acquired a marketing automation company Pardot for $ 95.5 million and in turn, salesforce.com spent $ 2.5 billion to acquire ExactTarget, this is its largest acquisition to date.
I found people wondering if CRM and marketing automation coexist. In fact, few consider the latter to be a subset of the CRM industry that follows one of the marketing laws suggested by Al Ries and Jack Trout. To clarify, CRM is a sales-centric software, while the other is user-centric software that is completely focused on marketing strategy. When a CRM manages the interactions of the company with its customers, an automation software streamlines the marketing tasks and the workflows of the company. However, these two, together, go hand in hand and reinforce the knowledge and efficiency of the company. A good CRM-marketing automation integration unleashes the opportunity to handle data management and marketing plan strategies.
You can filter relevant data and required fields to standardize labeling and data, and ideal processes. Additionally, you can run automatic cleanup processes to clean up data dumped into a CRM system. Companies using automation software have seen an incredible 451% growth in qualified leads and 14.5% growth in sales productivity, as well as a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. We can conclude by saying that the future of marketing belongs entirely to marketing automation.