The Evolution of Modern Marketing Automation [INFOGRAPHIC]
Modern marketing has been around since the early 20th century. As the population and industrial output expanded, the number of goods produced became larger than the quantity of potential available customers. And with a rising supply and diminishing demand, this brewed intense competition between companies looking to prove that their products were better than those of their competitors. Modern marketing was thus born at the intersection of business and customer relationships. Once new media came around like the radio and television, marketers had the medium big enough to reach mass audiences unlike ever before. Then came along the Internet, rising to prominence in 1994, which then spawned a host of new marketing tactics like email, SEO, social media, mobile, inbound marketing and eventually modern marketing automation as we know it depicted in the graphic by Marketo.
Starting in the early 1990’s, email marketing took off with the advent of Microsoft’s new Hotmail service offering free email accounts to anyone with an Internet connection. Email marketing then grew very rapidly but got abused by spammers looking to take advantage of other users which ultimately forced President Bush to sign the “Can-Spam Act” in 2003, regulating the use of commercial email.
In 1995, Yahoo began organizing search results for web pages alphabetically. Soon after marketers were throwing around SEO terms like “keyword density” and “backlinks”. By the end of the century, aggressive marketers and spammers found ways to game the results of search engines using “black hat” SEO tactics like “keyword stuffing.” Then came Google in the early 2000’s completely revolutionizing how we searched the web.
Just as marketers began to understand the complexities of the Internet, smartphones arrived on the scene changing the game up entirely. The Apple iPhone was introduced in 2007, with the Android hitting the market the very next year and becoming a solid competitor. Now marketers could offer content on the go and reach out to new audiences from a variety of apps. The Apple App store currently boasts more than 700,000 apps with more than 25 million downloads, with Google Play (for Android apps) not far behind.
With so many devices and people now connected to the Internet, marketers had to take bold new steps to gain visibility. In response to this crowded marketplace and increasing complexity of Google page-ranking algorithms, marketers accepted inbound marketing as the new paradigm. Essentially, marketers designed campaigns so that customers would come to them, instead of vice versa. Gone were the days of cold calls to increase sales. Now marketers try and use engaging content like articles, infographics, videos and more to generate new leads.
Since the creation of Facebook in 2004, thousands of new social media sites have popped up gaining relevance. How would marketers now manage their campaigns across an ever-increasing number of channels? Several platforms then arose to meet these challenges giving birth to modern marketing automation, which is essentially programs to manage your email marketing, social media, SEO, data and customer relationship management (CRM). Some of the best marketing automation tools for B2B lead generation include Marketo, Eloqua, Hubspot, Pardot, Neolane and more.
What tools are you using to automate your marketing efforts?