Everything you need to know about marketing automation you learned in the 90s from Ron Popeil. More specifically, the Ronco Rotisserie—everyone’s favorite midmorning infomercial product with a 4-hour timer and the infuriatingly catchy tagline of “Set it and forget it!” Marketing automation is the modern marketer’s “set it and forget it,” reminding you to work smarter, not harder with tools that replace repetitive manual processes with automated ones. Like creating a year’s worth of campaigns and scheduling them to hit at just the right time. Or pumping out the month’s social posts and peppering them throughout the hours, days, and weeks of your campaign. This is setting it and forgetting it. Except you’re not forgetting it. You’re converting it. And we’d like to think Ron approves. Marketing automation is bringing home the bacon in a big way for marketers everywhere. Businesses using marketing automation see a 451% increase in qualified leads, and nurtured leads make purchases 47% larger than non-nurtured leads. Translation: marketing automation is money in the bank. Let’s say you’ve hit it big on Shark Tank with your new line of plant-based cheeses, and you’re looking to streamline your marketing to a.) Keep that gravy train moving and b.) Help you focus on other areas of your burgeoning cheese empire. What do you do? You start using campaign management software and get to planning. Create multichannel campaigns You bust out your marketing chops to whip up an engaging, multichannel campaign. We’re talking email, social media, direct mail—all of it. You’re making sure you meet the customer where they’re hanging out at the times they want to be talked to. One of your scheduled tweets reaches an organic foods buyer interested in purchasing your new line of plant-based cheeses. She’s down with the dairy-free revolution you’re looking to start, so she visits your landing page and requests more information. Bingo! Cue the cogs of your well-oiled marketing machine. Automate emails Her request triggers your “Plant-Based Cheeses 101” email campaign and automatically signs her up to receive a series of four informational emails, which you’ve scheduled to deliver five days apart. As she opens them, you’re tracking her clicking behavior and gathering all kinds of juicy data for your sales team. Connect marketing and sales She reads all four emails, which triggers an alert for your sales team to call her up and discuss the finer nuances of plant-based cheeses and their place in her stores. They high-five you for the warm lead, and the system creates a task for the warehouse to send her a deluxe cheese sample pack and a thank you card. Close sales She is wildly impressed with your prompt customer service and unified brand presence, so she calls the sales team and orders inventory for all 10 of her stores. Success! Your campaign automation prowess just helped you manage, measure, and optimize every stage of the customer’s experience, nurturing her through the conversion funnel and landing a major contract for your business—automatically. That’s “Set it and convert it!” in action, and it’s a beautiful thing. Ready to get cracking on marketing campaign automation? Learn more about managing and optimizing your marketing and sales funnel with a single integrated solution using Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.