Are you trying to do more than you have time or resources for? Many small- to medium-sized businesses often come up against an impasse as they look to execute their marketing strategy.
And, unfortunately, the more channels you use, and the more tasks there are to complete, the harder it can be to carry out your strategy.
Wouldn't it be helpful if you could put your marketing on autopilot and spend more time strategizing and creating killer campaigns?
That’s exactly what marketing automation tools are for.
What Is Marketing Automation?
As a marketer, you have many repetitive tasks that need to be carried out daily. Whether it’s sending emails, posting to social media, or updating your website, a marketer’s to-do list is virtually unending. Tomorrow, you’ll be doing many of the same tasks you had to do today. Wouldn’t it make sense to automate these repetitive tasks?
A marketing automation platform can assist you in the generation of leads, scrutinize potential sales closures, reduce the length of complex sales cycles, and help create a more efficient, faster, and accountable marketing process. It can also simplify the management of your marketing efforts by creating, deploying, and optimizing online and traditional marketing campaigns from a single, centralized platform.
As CMSWire points out, marketing automation helps you:
- Leverage cookies on your website to track visitors
- Specify criteria and outcomes for tasks and processes
- Create forms for contact info, and helps you segment your contact lists
- Score, grade, and nurture leads
- Add calls-to-action that are easy to track
- Provide real-time sales alerts
- Analyze data to prove effectiveness
- Track a mix of outbound and inbound marketing strategies
Popular Marketing Automation Tools
Examples of some of the more popular marketing automation tools include:
It’s important to note that each tool works differently and has different features, so before you choose, talk to a variety of vendors, and ask especially about:
- Pricing and plans
- How the workflow is constructed and whether that meets your needs
- Whether it integrates your social media strategy
- Whether it fits with your customer relationship management tool so data is shared and easily integrated
- How deep into the weeds you can get in slicing and dicing your contact lists to enable more personalized and relevant
Will Marketing Automation Really Work?
If all this sounds like a panacea, it’s not. Many companies invest in a marketing automation tool but fail to understand they need to have a strategy to employ if to get the best results. In order for you to the most out of a marketing automation tool, you need to have an inbound lead generation strategy that deals with the top, middle, and bottom of your sales funnel.
Importance of Knowing the Buyer’s Journey
Marketing automation will only be of value when you understand the buyer’s journey and the need to capture audiences who are:
- Just looking for ways to solve a problem, or
- Have found the solution but need to consider which is best for them, or
- Ready to make an informed decision
If you’ve done that – have created educational blog posts, data sheets, white papers, eBooks, landing pages, and more – you’ll discover that marketing automation can reduce staff costs and optimize the marketing and sales conversion process.
The best tool is the one that lets you generate high quality leads, convert these leads into sales, and optimize your marketing spend based on the data you gather.
What Can Marketing Automation Do for Your Business?
Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead, according to CMO.com. And it can increase your revenue and reduce your overhead. Pardot reports that one of its client’s tripled its revenue in four years by using marketing automation, and it’s not alone.
When you use a marketing automation platform well, you can better:
- Track your leads, so they don’t fall through the cracks
- Identify which of your leads are warm and ready to buy
- Nurture your leads before they’re ready to be handed off to your sales team
- Identify the most effective customer journey and scale it
- Engage your leads through multiple marketing channels
- Determine effective upselling and cross-selling opportunities
- Increase customer loyalty by learning more about your customers
With marketing automation tools, you can take your system and streamline your processes. You can increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing.
The True Cost of Marketing Automation
If you’ve decided marketing automation is worth a try – and believe us, it is -- you’re probably wondering whether you can afford it.
Most top-tier tools will cost you an average of $1,000 per month, and in general somewhere in the $200 to $2,500 range, depending on the size of your business and the features you require.
But many marketing automation tools offer a free trial.
And, because there is a bit of a learning curve with most of them, the free trial is worth it, so you can become acquainted with the platform and how well – or not – it suits your needs.
However, if you’re not ready to take a deep dive into marketing automation, understand that many platforms offer an entry-level solution customized to your needs.
This means you can get started in marketing automation without taking a big bite from your budget. Consider:
As you can see, with marketing automation, you can automate many of your repetitive tasks, making it easier to keep up with your daily responsibilities. The result will be greater efficiency and an improved bottom line.
If you're looking for advice on how to get started with marketing automation, feel free to schedule a free 60-minute marketing consultation with one of our marketing automation specialists today.