Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing Automation Strategy

The Beginners Guide to Understanding Inbound Marketing Automation


Understanding Inbound Marketing Automation Strategy

A very simple definition of marketing automation is the use of technology to automate and simplify tasks, most commonly associated with the sales process.

Our unique approach to marketing automation considers two primary types of strategy:

Inbound Marketing Automation.  Technology that automates the process of developing incoming leads and moving them through the customer journey.

Outbound Marketing Automation.  Technology that automates the process of reaching out to key prospects to generate qualified leads and move them through the customer journey.

In this “Ultimate Guide” we consider inbound marketing automation specifically.  If you’d like to know more about outbound marketing automation, we cover that in a separate guide.

In its simplest form, inbound marketing automation communicates with prospective customers, moving them along the customer journey toward a purchase, without human intervention until it is required or likely to be profitable.

Visualizing How Inbound Marketing Automation Works

To simplify the learning process, we created this diagram (below) that illustrates how a typical inbound marketing automation strategy works for many of our clients.  Here are the major components of our unique approach to inbound marketing automation, which are based on the basic marketing formula that drives everything we do at Source Local Media:

Targeting.  We determine all the potential channels and sources of new prospects for inbound marketing, the most common of which are illustrated here.

Messaging.  We craft what needs to be said in response to any inbound prospect opt-ins (i.e. communication), and how we visualize the message alongside the copy.

Reach.  We experiment with sequences of communication methods and timing to determine what converts the most prospects into actionable leads and other outcomes, such as on-line sales, etc.

Results.  We track all outcomes to be able to analyze, iterate, and optimize your inbound marketing automation strategy over time using our Bullseye Digital Marketing Method.


Developing Your Own Strategy

Every business is different.  Every customer journey is different.

We believe any inbound marketing automation strategy should be designed to interact with prospective customers the same way you would in-person.  It should never be obvious that the communication is automated, because your business and your brand is built on personal relationships; not computers.

Starting from that perspective, diagramming the customer journey from awareness to purchase and recurring loyalty becomes the foundation of your strategy.  Then, it’s a matter of determining which marketing automation platform and tactical execution will give you your desired interaction with customers.


We Can Help

Our team develops inbound marketing automation that feels very natural and human.  If you’re struggling with the idea of marketing automation and want to explore it further, we’ll invest time and effort building a relationship with you long before we ask you to invest in us.

Just schedule a free initial marketing consultation and we’ll walk you through our approach and best practices while we learn more about your business and the goals that are driving your interest in inbound marketing automation.

If you’re not ready for that, but you’d like to keep seeing more articles like this one, we welcome you to sign up for our Local Marketing newsletter.  It’s a free e-mail subscription, and you can stop it at any time if you’re not finding it helpful.

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Steven Ludwig
After 3 decades as a professional marketer, serial entrepreneur and business consultant Steven Ludwig shares his best practices for small business marketing for owners, managers, and marketers with limited time, money, and expertise. Steven started his professional marketing career in broadcasting in the early ‘90s in Chicago after attending Valparaiso University. After a brief stint at an advertising agency specializing in entertainment and sports marketing where he worked with radio and television stations, movie theatre companies, record labels, musicians, and professional sports teams, he moved to Nashville to form The Marketing Group with his long-time business partner, Jim Wood. Having worked with some of the largest brands in the world, in 2010 he returned to local marketing primarily out of an interest and excitement for working with small business owners to build stronger companies. That desire comes out of early days in radio, where he worked closely with everything from car dealerships to restaurants, insurance and real estate agents, banks, home services companies, and specialty retailers of all kinds. Over the past decade, he has been on the bleeding edge of digital marketing technology, constantly seeking to understand complex strategies employed by giant corporations and then translate those capabilities into tactics small businesses can execute at a local level. Today, in addition to other business ventures with his wife and other long-time business partners, he still lives outside Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee and currently serves as Executive Chairman of EmpowerLocal, a digital marketing company building a nationwide network of digital, hyperlocal news and lifestyle publishers to provide efficient advertising opportunities for local, regional, and national brands.


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