As marketing automation continues to rise in popularity, it may seem like just another tool to tack onto a growing list. Marketers and sales reps alike have spent the last few years obsessively collecting as many new technologies as they can fit into their browser's bookmark bar. These new technologies gave us added capabilities, better insight, and a whole host of new capabilities.

However, all of this new technology had a negative side effect: it fractured our attention. Actually it shattered it. The data and tools a business needs are living in dozens of separate places. This fragmentation is highlighting the importance of how well a tool integrates with our existing workflows and makes our lives easier, not just its capabilities. It is through these metrics that tools like marketing automation are rising to the top of the technology market.

Marketing Automation

According to Google's search trend tools, search traffic for the term "Marketing Automation" has risen nearly 40% since October of last year (Source). Interest in the technology seems to be growing exponentially, and if you’re not yet an automation users you may be asking yourself “why?” What is marketing automation all about?

Marketing automation is:

Technology that allows marketing and sales departments to create, deploy, and automate online marketing campaigns and sales activities that increase revenue and maximize efficiency.

In it’s most basic form, marketing automation is a set of tools designed to streamline and simplify some of the most time consuming responsibilities of the modern marketing and sales roles. From automating the lead qualification process to creating a hub for digital campaign creation, automation is all about simplifying a business world that is growing far too complex, much too quickly.

Marketing Automation and CRM

Tools that can not only integrate gracefully with existing tools, but also enhance them are the ones delivering the most value to today's organizations. A shining example of this is marketing automation and your CRM.

Your CRM tool is already a central part of your business and a key element in tracking, recording, and accessing customer data and performance metrics. Integrating marketing automation with your CRM system is like updating your favorite smartphone app to suddenly have all the features you’ve been dreaming of. It’s the same familiar platform, now with the ability to track prospect activity with your campaigns and on your site, real-time sales alerts when buyers are showing purchasing behavior, ROI reporting, and much more.

Here are some resources from Pardot to help you learn even more about how automation can improve your CRM:

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Putting Sales and Marketing on the Same Page

It’s no secret that in most organizations, integration between sales and marketing is often a little rocky. But why? As technology continues to evolve and shape the buying cycle, marketing and sales are only growing closer together, making efficient collaboration between the two more important than ever.

The misalignment between the two departments isn’t necessarily the fault of one over another. That fault lies with outdated processes and structures. When marketing and sales are working with different tools toward separate goals, it’s only natural for tensions to result. Fortunately, marketing automation can help provide a solution by improving lead quality, increasing revenue, and automating traditionally manual processes like lead assignment and follow-up.

Here are some resources from Pardot to help you learn even more about how automation can help sales and marketing to work more efficiently:

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Better Data For Smarter Decisions

It seems like everyone these days is talking about “big data,” but few business have a grasp on how to collect and utilize it. Marketing automation allows you to effortlessly embrace big data, collecting valuable data at tremendous scale and putting it to work for you by helping you make smarter marketing and sales decisions.

By providing a single platform for collecting and storing data, closed-loop reporting, and dashboarding and analytics, marketing automation platforms are the most comprehensive solution for measuring marketing and predicting consumer behaviour on a small-business budget. Assemble a more complete profile of your prospects than ever before, A/B test your marketing assets to find the techniques that work best, and truly understand the contribution sales and marketing are making to the bottom line.

Here are some resources from Pardot to help you learn even more about how automation can help give you better insight:

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For even more information about marketing automation and to see how you can start simplifying your sales and marketing workflows today, visit Pardot.com.