Recently, I put together some stats about the marketing automation industry in 2014. One of the trends that jumped out from all the data is that companies are in desperate need of marketers who understand how to make the most out of marketing automation technology.
But with just 3% adoption in non-tech industries, there aren’t many marketers out there who have extensive experience using marketing automation yet. Fortunately, those who do are pretty good about sharing their knowledge with the rest of us. (After all, that’s what inbound marketing is all about, right?)
So if you’re struggling to get your marketing automation system off the ground, or still deciding whether or not it’s even worth investing in marketing automation software, check out these 15 blogs to help guide your way. These pioneers in marketing automation technology have put together incredibly useful content to coach you on everything from lead nurturing, to landing page design, to managing your pipeline and mastering closed-loop marketing.
The Chief MarTec blog by Scott Brinker focuses on how today’s technology is revolutionizing the marketing profession. As co-founder and CTO at a marketing software company, ion interactive, he’s had years of experience, as he puts it, “at the intersection of marketing and technology.”
David Raab is a B2B marketing technology consultant, and I like his blog particularly for the interesting data he consistently provides. It’s rare to see one of David’s posts without a chart or graph showing the latest trends and survey results in the marketing automation industry.
Unlike several of the other blogs on this list, the DemandGen Report is an online media publication, as opposed to someone’s personal blog. The DGR pulls together the latest news in revenue performance management, demand generation, and marketing automation from across the industry into one central hub for B2B marketers.
Craig Rosenberg is the mastermind behind the Funnelholic blog. He explains that he started the blog so he could have fun talking about all things revenue. And fun is definitely the right word to describe it. He injects humor and real-world references into insightful lessons for sales and marketing pros. (See: Mo Money, Mo Problems and “I Have No Idea What Marketing is Doing”)
Jep Castelein, a principal consultant at Marketo, is a master at lead management and marketing automation. He explains that the unofficial tagline of his blog is: “LeadSloth, Smart Ideas for Lazy Marketers,” because successful lead management makes smart use of automation. Like a sloth, you can be incredibly efficient at managing leads without expending too much unnecessary energy.
This online publication is also a compilation of news and articles from industry experts. You can find articles, podcast interviews, and more on the Marketing Automation Times from influencers in the marketing automation space.
The Marketing Tech Blog is written by Douglas Karr, the founder of the inbound marketing agency, DK New Media. He’s pulled together a collection of other marketing experts to contribute regularly to the Marketing Tech Blog, on topics such as PR, online advertising, mobile marketing, and, of course, marketing automation.
Unbounce is an online landing page builder tool, and as such, their blog includes great tips for how marketing automation professionals can optimize their lead generation campaigns. Unlike some of the other more industry-focused blogs on the list, Unbounce gets very specific with CTAs, forms, landing page design, and other tips you can actually put into action with your marketing automation system.
While VentureBeat bills itself as the source of all types of technology news, they’ve recently started focusing more articles on marketing automation technology, thanks to author, John Koetsier. Follow their marketing automation feed for a great, unbiased take on the future of the industry.
Marketing Automation Vendor Blogs
While the blogs above will give you more than enough marketing automation fodder to keep your Readers full each day, there are some truly outstanding bloggers at the actual marketing automation software companies, as well. While you should be aware that software vendors will often tailor their educational content to subtly highlight their software, I’ve found that, as marketers themselves, these pros know how to share truly unbiased, helpful marketing insights.
Act-On primarily targets small business marketers with their marketing software. So it’s not surprising that their blog covers all aspects of small business marketing for the resource-strapped marketer, with topics like How to Maximize Your Google AdWords and How to Keep Departing Sales Reps from Stealing Your Customers. You might think these topics have nothing to do with marketing automation, but if you’ve worked (or currently work) in a small business, you know how many different hats a marketer has to wear.
On the flip side, Eloqua targets the enterprise-level marketer. Their blog, It’s All About Revenue, focuses on sophisticated marketing techniques and revenue performance management tactics to optimize your sales and marketing funnel. They also know how to inject a little personality, like with this Mad Men Sendoff post in honor of the final season of the popular television series.
Perhaps the masters of inbound marketing, HubSpot’s blog covers it all. What I love about HubSpot is that they have content for the beginning marketer who’s not very tech-savvy, and they also write helpful articles for pros who are tackling advanced marketing tech challenges. I’d be surprised if you’ve been working in marketing for more than a few months and haven’t heard of HubSpot before.
Marketo’s blog writers are fantastic at taking complicated marketing issues and breaking them down into actionable, digestible blog posts. They also cover unique topics before many of the other vendors, and they focus on specific ways you can better use marketing automation technology. For instance, read up on the Shortcomings of Generic Lead Scoring or how to use Real Time Personalization.
Recently acquired by Salesforce.com, Pardot is a great resource to learn more about aligning sales and marketing through marketing automation technology. They have wonderful advice on how to integrate marketing activity with your CRM, improve sales hand-offs, and use marketing automation to engage with your current customers.
Silverpop has its roots in email marketing, and over time, the company evolved into offering a full-fledged marketing automation system. They believe email is a strong foundation for a multi-channel marketing program, so while they cover all sorts of marketing topics, you can find some real email marketing gems through Silverpop, such as: 7 Tactics to Generate Content for Automated Emails and Why NOT to Resend to Email Addresses from Suppression Lists.
For all you marketing automation pros out there, which blogs did I miss? I’d love to hear what online resources you turn to for your marketing tech guidance!
Looking for Marketing Automation software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Marketing Automation software solutions.