2017 is the year of marketing automation and the rooster!

I always enjoy Chinese New Year. I find the year of the animal and the Chinese zodiac calendar interesting and accurate for a given personality. The Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 blocks (or houses) just like its western counterpart, but with the major difference being that each house has a time-length of one year instead of one month. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. In terms of marketing cycles, I’d like to suggest that 2017 will also be the year of marketing automation for many businesses.

Why marketing automation this year?

Marketing automation has been around for a while as a technology concept but I think it’s finally coming into its own as a business process. Here are the top three reasons I believe that all businesses will be taking a very serious look at the process of marketing automation and applying it to their business in 2017:

1. Content Competition

As of Monday January 30, 2017, there were 4.55 billion web pages indexed on the web. That’s a lot of web pages – that’s also a lot of competition for you as a content marketer and for your company. Without tools to properly track what is happening when someone lands on your website to learn about you and consume content, you are just guessing about whether you have the right information on your website. Marketing automation goes further than Google Analytics or your email marketing tool to tell you what people are actually doing on your website. As the number of web pages rises every month, you need new ways to compete, NOW. Marketing Automation gives you the insight you need.

2. Better Tools and More Cost Effective

Everyone seems to be getting in the game of extending data and business process from the web through to a closed deal. From big players like Microsoft, Adobe and Salesforce.com to smaller players like SharpSpring, Leadsius or Zoho, software companies are providing more marketing automation options than ever before at a range of prices and complexity that fit almost any business. You no longer have to break the bank with monthly recurring fees or have an army of content developers ready in order to deploy marketing automation. If you have an easy-to-update website such as WordPress and have been blogging for more than 18 month, chances are you already have the infrastructure and content to start using marketing automation to enhance your sales process and lead intelligence. And you don’t have to go back to school to figure it all out. (I hope you are listening Hubspot University!!!)

3. Business Owners are taking their websites seriously

I have been a digital marketing evangelist for many years now and here are highlights of the discussions I have had with business owners in years gone past…

• 2006 – “Let’s just take our corporate brochure and turn it into a website”. (Year of the Dog)
• 2008 – “My website doesn’t help me sell anything. No one ever goes to my website. (Year of the Rat)
• 2009 – “We haven’t touched our website in years. I’m not even sure how to log in.” (Year of the Ox)
• 2011 – “I just lost a deal because a prospect went to my website and didn’t think we were a credible company.” (Year of the Rabbit)
• 2013 – “I need to understand this Google thing. No one can find us on the web.” (Year of the Snake)
• 2015 – “I need to redo our website. I think it could be a much stronger sales tool for our business.” (Year of the Sheep)
• 2017 – “I want more leads for my business and better engagement with prospects but to do that I need to know who is coming to my website and what they are doing on it.” (Year of the Rooster)

The Marketing Automation Checklist

We have created a Marketing Automation Checklist that acts as a good roadmap for the business process behind marketing automation and what you need to document before you buy software. I invite you to download it and get started with mapping marketing automation to your sales process to improve your digital marketing results.

Cock a doodle doo!

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