According to a HubSpot survey of 4,500 marketing and sales professionals, the top marketing challenges for businesses are generating traffic and leads (65 percent of respondents) and proving the ROI of marketing activities (43 percent).

To address these challenges, successful companies are turning to marketing automation software, which is also known in some quarters, aptly, as “lead generation software.” Here’s how the technology helps relieve these two concerns:

Generating Traffic and Leads: First of all, traffic does not equal leads unless the traffic was induced by relevant content received by your key targets. So, no matter the source of traffic—from social media, search engine, blog, email, etc.—it must originate from value you’ve presented to your audience, which marketing automation can help you pinpoint. Then, you can employ tactics to turn the traffic into leads. Marketing automation (MA) helps in several ways.

First, automated lead nurturing programs that encompass the entire sales funnel can increase sales opportunities by 20 percent. The MA software includes a sophisticated lead scoring system that shows salespeople where to focus their energies, resulting in greater sales team productivity at a lower cost.

Second, your autoresponder email drip campaigns, which are three times more likely to prompt a purchase than social media, can be targeted at segmented populations based on demographic and behavioral data. Plus, email ranks highly as a channel for reaching customers. In fact, 60 percent of respondents to a 2015 TechnologyAdvice Research survey reported that they read emails from businesses.

Third, MA software enables marketers to better personalize emails, and personalized emails generate six times the revenue of non-personalized ones. Using merge tags (unique, text-based identifiers), MA platforms make the personalization process scalable, allowing you to send targeted campaigns to people with shared interests or similar profiles. Most MA platforms also include tools for A/B testing, allowing you to test the effectiveness of different versions of marketing communications.

Finally, use your MA platform in conjunction with landing pages, and accompanying lead-gen forms, to complement your email campaigns. That is, correspond the content on various landing pages to the mindset of the targeted audience, e.g., business leaders searching for marketing intelligence or medical professionals looking for social analytics. This keeps prospects engaged with your site, increasing the likelihood of turning them into customers.

Proving marketing ROI: All marketing strategies are aimed at plumping up the organization’s bottom line. Yet, consistently measuring ROI is a challenge for many marketers. According to a report by CMI and MarketingProfs, the metric most often used by B2B marketers to assess their content marketing strategy is website traffic (63 percent), but only 21 percent of respondents claimed that their ROI tracking efforts are successful. Marketing automation software is one of the best solutions to this conundrum. Aggregated reports on surveys conducted by industry experts, such as Regalix and Forbes Insights, indicate that marketing automation helps users measure results.

In addition, they report the benefits of MA itself are improved lead management and nurturing, enhanced targeting and personalization, and streamlining of the marketing and sales process to shorten the sales cycle and close deals more quickly.

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