Have you heard of marketing automation but not quite sure why you should be using it?
I have 6 very good reasons as to why it is good for your business.
If you are reading this blog post, you must be at least thinking about investing in a marketing automation system which is great news.
It was reported in August 2015 by Ascend2 that 42% of companies now use marketing automation so it is about time to get involved in this trend too.
Before you go ahead and start looking at which marketing automation system to invest in, I feel it is important for you to understand the benefits of it and what to expect from it.
If I could sum the benefits up into one word, it would be “optimisation”.
The data that you get back from marketing automation will help you better understand your customer’s behaviours which will in turn, help you better optimise your marketing and focus on where the money is in your business.
It doesn’t stop there though, you can optimise how your marketing team or sales team spend their time to get maximum productivity and your lead nurturing process.
I will go through each of the benefits in more detail so keep on reading.
1. Save Time On Repeatable Processes
First on the list is a very appealing one; marketing automation can help save time from your marketing team so they can spend that time doing more creative work.
A 2014 report from Redeye and TFM&A Insights showed that 36% of marketers said that marketing automation took away repetitive work which allowed them to focus on new and exciting projects.
No matter the size of your business, you will be able to make your marketing team a lot more effective with marketing automation making sure that every minute they work is doing something of value.
Your marketing team should be flowing with creative ideas and not tied down with repetitive admin tasks.
Marketing automation is, well… automated. You will set automated rules and campaigns to handle the lead nurturing process which will free up time from your marketing team to carry on working on bringing in additional leads.
Another benefit to this is employee happiness rate in the workplace.
While there aren’t any statistics to back this up, being happy in your work comes naturally when you have the freedom to be creative and not stuck with dull repetitive tasks.
2. Send Out The Right Information At The Right Time
Image Source: EveryWebNeed
You can set automated rules and campaigns to target your segmented email list.
By sending personalized emails to your contacts that are relevant to the stage in the buying cycle will lead to an increase in conversion rates and revenue.
A 2014 report from Redeye and TFM&A Insights proved that 30% of online marketers found that with marketing automation they could better target customers and prospects.
Marketing automation makes it a lot easier to up-sell and cross-sell products and services which can be forgotten about or slowed down when done manually.
You can set up automated campaigns for this to target the right customers at the right times to maximise customer lifetime value.
This could be done by setting up a generic up-sell or cross-sell campaigns such as reminding customers about monthly car valets or gift ideas for Christmas.
You can also set up even more personalised up-sell and cross-sell campaigns by targeting customer birthdays and life events.
For example, a customer buys a necklace which also has matching earrings so your marketing team may send an email 14 days before their birthday with the matching earrings and an exclusive discount code.
3. Provide Your Sales Team With Better Leads
Image Source: Salesforce
One of the best things about using a marketing automation system is that you can use lead scoring to rule out leads that aren’t qualified for sales.
This can save a lot of time from your sales team so they can spend more of their time nurturing the leads that have a higher chance of converting.
A 2013 report from Pepper Global found that B2B marketers said the ability to generate more and better leads was the number one benefit of marketing automation.
When you first setup your marketing automation system, you will be promoted to set a number of rules which will then be used to calculate the score of leads.
This accurate scoring system will not only save time for your marketing team but will also take the guesswork out of it so your sales team can rely on the leads provided are of quality.
Most marketing automation systems will use a scoring system of 1 to 5 and will split leads into ‘marketing qualified leads’ and ‘sales qualified leads’.
The sales qualified leads are the ones that are at a more advanced stage in the buying cycle and will be passed to the sales team to close the deal.
The marketing qualified leads will remain with the marketing team to further nurture until they become a sales qualified lead.
4. Reduce Staffing Costs
Because a marketing automation system can send mass personalised emails triggered by rules and criteria you have sent, it can do the job of a 50 person marketing team… saving you a lot of money on staffing costs.
It may take you a few months to begin with to set up all the necessary rules and criteria to trigger certain personalised emails but once it is done, you could be sending thousands of email every day without the need to expand your marketing team.
Not only can you save on staffing costs but you can also improve the performance of your marketing team and sales team as having a marketing automation system will allow you to see where leads are dropping.
If they are dropping out of the sales funnel after they have become a lead then you know the lead nurturing process isn’t good enough.
If they are dropping after they have been classed as a sales qualified lead then you know your sales team need to improve their deal closing techniques.
All of this data can be seen very visually from a simple dashboard.
5. Target Prospects Across Multiple Channels
Image Source: OutsideSource
Marketing automation systems are that advances that they have the capability to target prospects across multiple channels, both online and offline.
To back this up a study was done earlier in 2015 by Marketo & Ascend2 and found that 91% of the most successful marketing automation users agreed that it is “very important” to the success of their cross-channel marketing.
You can set rules and criteria in your marketing automation system so that when a prospect reaches different points, different methods of communication are triggered such as an email, text message, phone call or even tweet.
For example, a person lands on the website and submits their email address to download a free guide.
That person then receives an email to suggest they try the free trial on offer.
Half way through their free trial, that person receives a phone call to see how they are getting on.
All of these forms of communication will be triggered by the marketing automation system.
6. Better Reporting For Better Optimization
The level of data the marketing automation reporting has to offer is extremely valuable.
It will not only tell you what is working but who it is working for.
You may notice that there the highest conversion rates are among those who came through a certain channel, the type of communication they received and which sales team members has the higher conversion rates.
You can use this data to then optimize not only your online marketing efforts but also sales training.
Marketing automation reporting lets you see in a very visual and simplistic way what is working and what is not so you can do something about it.
This takes away assumptions and guesswork and will result in more optimized campaigns and sales funnel.
If you can clearly see which email templates or communication type is working well, you can create hypothesis rather than guesses and test this theory on another email to see if also results in higher KPI’s.
Key Things To Takeaway…
While there are many benefits to having a marketing automation system in place, there are some others factors needed for it to be a success.
According to a 2015 survey by Marketo & Ascend2, 40% of marketers found that a lack of quality content is the most challenging obstacle.
If you already have a quality content strategy in place, it is already one hurdle you have made it over.
Here are a few key benefits to think about when deciding whether to invest in a marketing automation system:
- Takes away repetitive tasks from your marketing team so they can spend more time on creative campaigns.
- Nurture leads right through the sales funnel by sending personalised emails to the right people at the right time.
- Be able to differentiate between marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads so your marketing team and sales team’s time is spent on the right leads.
- Reduce staffing costs by having a system that acts as a 50 man marketing team.
- Be able to use different methods of contact to reach prospects across online and offline channels.
- In-depth data on what is working and what is not so you can better optimize marketing campaigns and your sales funnel
What is stopping you from investing in a marketing automation system?
Share your thoughts by leaving your comments below and I will do my best to answer all questions.