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With marketing automation ranking as the most effective digital marketing technique after content marketing, businesses certainly know its value. But what happens when your automated marketing software integrates seamlessly with your other tools? Well, things get even better.

Marketing automation allows you to leverage powerful data dashboards and automate tasks, but it can have even greater advantages when you integrate it with customer and non-customer facing tools. Here we’ll discuss marketing automation integration, its benefits and how to think of it when choosing marketing automation software.

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is software that manages certain marketing tasks across various channels automatically, so you don't have to. Using marketing automation, businesses can target customers across channels such as emails, social media, SMS, and the web with automated messages. These tools can also help you identify your target audience, create content, and trigger actions.

To target customers, marketing automation tools operate according to set instructions or workflows. Although some businesses use marketing automation for simple, middle-of-the-sales funnel tasks such as deploying automated lead-nurturing emails, effective marketing automation targets and personalizes touch points of the customer journey with relevant content.

Through appropriate use of automation, marketing teams are relieved of tedious tasks and customers receive a better overall customer experience. From lead scoring to creating a digital campaign hub, marketing automation employs customer data and your marketing strategy to streamline marketing processes and prioritize tasks. Using a personalized workflow or templates and strong data, marketing automation can engage meaningfully with customers as they move from qualified leads to post-sale customer service.

What Can Marketing Automation Programs Integrate With?

Marketing automation programs can integrate with several important tools using API integration. They most commonly integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) software, but can also integrate with social media management software, CMS tools, data enrichment tools, account-based orchestration platforms, and more.

For example, you can integrate your marketing automation platform with your CRM to automate certain lead-engagement processes for sales and marketing teams. Specifically, a new or updated lead within your marketing automation platform can automatically update within your CRM platform and vice versa.

New trends and technologies are creating endless opportunities within marketing automation. Using automation tools, you can compile and analyze data from sources such as social media posts, surveys, and even live streams.

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Why Integrate?

Although marketing automation platforms of the past presented a challenge in integrating with other tools, the benefits of today’s programs are essential to keeping up in competitive markets. The benefits of these systems include:

Fewer Human Errors

By automating tasks such as data entry and logging customer information into your marketing automation software, you reduce the risk of poor-quality data. Sales, marketing, and other teams are less likely to enter duplicate or incorrect information as an integrated CRM tool can cross-check records for leads and data and optimize data hygiene.

Reducing these types of human errors translates to more efficient and streamlined data tasks. It can also mean fewer unwanted experiences for leads and customers, such as welcome emails to long-term customers or premature sales promotions emails. By optimizing the quality of your data hygiene, your marketing automation can provide more relevant and personalized customer experiences specific to their buying cycle stage.

Improved Workflows

Offloading time-consuming tasks to tools and integrated marketing automation software allows marketers, customer success reps, sales reps, and others to focus on higher-order priorities, such as qualified leads and customers.

In addition to saving time, improving these workflows and redirecting employee efforts to priority tasks boosts the value of your team, products, or services. Rather than dealing with frustrating and tedious tasks, your teams can perform more meaningful and engaging work, enjoy higher job satisfaction, and deliver meaningful and valuable experiences to customers.

Happier customers and employees can translate to improved customer retention and lead generation. In turn, your business can enjoy improved efficiency, productivity, and overall return on investment.

Ease of Future Integrations

Although integrating marketing automation used to require tech-savvy IT workers and engineers for maintenance, modern marketing automation platforms are much simpler and easier to maintain. Low and no-code marketing automation platforms allow your marketing, sales, and other teams to integrate with other tools or apps in only a few minutes. Some marketing automation platforms even come with built-in CRM integration and other features, meaning you won’t have to set up integration at all. 

Ways To Use Marketing Automation Integration

The global marketing automation technology market value is on track to exceed $25.1 billion by the end of 2023, indicating the breadth and value of its capabilities for your marketing and sales strategy. Below, let’s look at a few ways to integrate and get the most from marketing automation platforms.

Align Marketing and Sales

Marketing and sales teams are equally responsible for driving company revenue and growth, but often experience disconnects due to lack of communication or conflicting goals and strategies. By linking your marketing automation platform with your sales CRM software, both teams maximize their productivity.

For example, whenever a lead is updated in your marketing automation platform, it communicates that information to your CRM and vice versa to ensure consistent and streamlined data between marketing and sales teams.

Enrich Leads in Real-Time

Data enrichment tools can access large amounts of valuable prospect and customer data, but it can be difficult to harness this information in relevant and meaningful ways. By integrating your marketing automation platform with a data enrichment tool, you can implement automation that allows you to access and organize important information in real-time.

For instance, whenever a lead is added to your marketing automation platform, your data enrichment tool can automatically look up additional lead information such as email address, geographical location, and more. In addition to completing customer records and updating stale contact information, this integration allows your teams to strategically target leads and customers.

Nurture Leads Intelligently

Data gained from marketing automation platforms, data enrichment tools, and other tools can enable your teams to provide individualized and meaningful experiences to leads and customers. By identifying past lead and customer interactions with your organization, your teams can determine factors such as the quality of leads and the stage of the buyer lifecycle.

These tools can look at data such as interactions with email campaigns, landing page clicks, social media traffic, and more. For example, your teams can consider what type of social media content drives the most user engagement or what time of day do posts make the strongest impact. Using this data, marketing teams can strategize social content that reflects the behavior of users and helps drive traffic, awareness, and loyalty to your brand.

Your teams can also harness this information on more personalized scales. This can include automated actions such as reminding customers of abandoned ecommerce shopping cart items, sending timely email reminders or updates for events, or sending appreciation emails to long-time customers.

Add to Your Integrations

By adopting end-to-end automation, you can transform workflows and get more out of your customer-facing tools. Consider this example:

  1. A customer lead visits your website and completes a transaction, triggering the workflow and emails that follow up on actions such as making a purchase, requesting a demo, or signing up for newsletters and promotions
  2. Using real-time information, your integrated platform collects information about the prospect from sources such as your CRM system and data enrichment tool
  3. The platform generates lead insights, ranking, and scores and communicates information to relevant teams
  4. Marketing automation delivers onboarding welcome emails to new customers to create a strong brand connection
  5. Email blasts and A/B testing email marketing campaigns measure marketing efforts and provide strategically-valuable insights

Integrating Marketing Automation Solutions For Stronger Workflows

Together, your marketing automation platform, customer-facing tools, internal tools, and your teams can be a powerful combo. Seamless and thoughtful marketing automation can help you capture more leads, improve conversion rates and revenue, and boost overall return on investment.

Learn more about marketing automation in other articles on our website, and make sure to share your favorites with your professional network. While you're here, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get important updates about the latest marketing tools, trends and techniques.

Stephanie Hood
By Stephanie Hood

Stephanie Hood is an experienced marketing professional and Editor of The CMO. With nearly a decade spent as Marketing Manager at Discover Holidays and Executive Editor at VIVA Lifestyle & Travel, she built her career leading editorial and marketing teams and strategies that turn six-figure budgets into seven-figure profits. She now enjoys connecting with the world's top executives to learn their secrets to business success, and shares those insights right here with her community of like-minded professionals. Curious what she’s uncovered? Be sure to sign up for The CMO newsletter.