Marketing Automation: A Tool Your Company Can’t Afford to Ignore

Marketing automation can help your business by streamlining, automating and measuring marketing tasks and processes across multiple marketing channels. Think it’s not for you? Without it, your content marketing strategy isn’t living up to its full potential. Don’t let your competitors beat you, learn why you need this powerful tool in this Slideshare:

 

Why You Failed at Marketing Automation

52% of B2B marketing organizations say lead generation is their #1 marketing challenge. The solution? Marketing automation.

Marketing automation is a very effective tool in providing companies with leads. By nurturing prospects with highly personalized, useful content, marketing automation helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers. Why then are companies failing to capitalize on marketing automation? Here are the most common missteps of companies who use marketing automation wrong:

  • When companies buy email lists, it hurts more than their bank account. When they send emails to people who never requested the information, those emails get flagged for spam, bring down reading rates and hurt the company’s IP address reputation. All this will result in those emails going straight to spam folders for buying email lists.
  • Companies think marketing automation will do the marketing and lead generation for them. This is not the case. Marketing automation will help that company become successful, but it will not do all the work. Companies need to create valuable content that speaks to their potential customers.
  • Email marketing isn’t dead. You can read more about that in a recent blog of ours. It is an ineffective tool if it’s the only channel you are using to talk to your potential customers. The average person will receive more than 10,000 emails this year, according to The Radicati Group, Inc. If companies are only relying on emails, how confident can they be that they are separating themselves from the other email noise? Too many companies use marketing automation solely as an email engine.
  • Nurture campaigns are often considered the most complicated feature of marketing automation. But B2B marketing is very similar to building a relationship with someone. When you nurture a lead, your message should always be relevant and timely based on customer actions. It takes time to figure out what customers want before you can start to sell to them. These types of campaigns have two times the open rates and three times the click-through rate compared to a one-off email. In a nutshell, you have to treat a nurture campaign exactly as you would any other sales relationship.
  • Leads get handed off from the Marketing Department to Sales too early, resulting in raw leads. According to Sirius Decisions, only 2-5% of raw inquiries actually convert to sales. That is a very small percentage to be wasting efforts on.

63% of companies that are outgrowing their competitors use integrated marketing automation. Avoiding a few common mistakes when integrating this tool will keep you and your business in that percentile. Have you already incorporated a marketing automation tool with your business? Has it freed up your time and energy to focus on other tasks? Comment below with your insights!

How Can Marketing Automation Help Your Business?

Getting clicks and impressions on your online content has value, especially when it earns leads. But the bottom line for all businesses is the revenue.

Your business (hopefully) has a social media presence and you send out a weekly email newsletter. Your marketing department stays on top of current trends and brainstorms creative ways to get your message conveyed. You have eye-catching landing pages put in place and your website clicks are increasing. You have assembled the best sales team possibly, but you can’t seem to put your finger on what’s working and what’s not. This is a gap that most marketers don’t know how to fill: how do you tie together all of your efforts to increase revenue?

78% of high-performing marketers indicate that marketing automation systems are partly responsible for improving revenue contribution. Also, 25% of all B2B Fortune 500 companies are already using marketing automation!

So what exactly is marketing automation? If you don’t know, you’re not alone. 44% of B2B buyers do not know what marketing automation is. Marketing automation is a technology that helps move leads from the top of the marketing funnel to becoming a sale at the bottom. This uses a range of information, incorporating both inbound (such as social media) and outbound (such as email) functionality in addition to CRM integration to streamline, automate and measure your marketing efforts. In turn, this will help increase your efficiency and boost your revenue.

Here are some of the key benefits of marketing automation:

  • ROI. One of the most important features of marketing automation is tracking your results. Find out what’s working and what’s not so that you can change your process to help generate more revenue. You can also assign a score to your leads to track your progress through the sales funnel so that you know what’s most important and pressing.
  • Customer Retention. Marketing automation lets you understand your customers’ behavior, allowing you to reach them in a customized manner at different points in the sales process. This also creates customers loyalty and facilitates a long-lasting relationship.
  • Cross Selling. When you know the characteristics, behaviors and actions of your customers, you’ll know how to cross-promote. If you customers likes Product A, they’ll love Product B but hate Product C. This will help turn a customer from a one-time buyer to a devoted fan.
  • Cost Reduction. Cut the amount of time you spend on marketing by automating tasks such as email. Marketing automation provides 70% shorter sales cycles and 54% improvement in sales quota achievement. Think of all the time and resources you could save!
  • Lead Nurturing. One study says that 84% of qualified leads aren’t ready to buy. Instead of cold calling, find out exactly when to nurture leads for a sale. You’ll be able to get in front of your customers when they have the intent of buying instead of blindly marketing to them. Not only that, but you’ll know what your potential lead wants, needs and cares about in advance.

Marketing automation isn’t just for large corporations any more; many small and medium businsses are using this software to help improve their marketing strategy. If you’re ready to make the leap instead of being left in the dust, contact us!

Will You Need Marketing Automation in 2014?

This week, Reportlinker.com made a new report available from Frost & Sullivan on marketing automation software. Weighing in at 129 pages, the marketing report is the sort of thing that will require a strong cup of coffee to properly absorb. Still, as marketing analysis reports go, this one is an eye opener.

2013 could arguably be the year of marketing automation. In short, marketing automation is staying in contact with your customers, keeping them interested in your brand and collecting their data in order to sell better products. That’s a bit like trying to explain the cloud or an internal combustion engine in a sentence, but this blog isn’t about definitions. This is about why you should care about marketing automation in 2014.

Growth. Marketing automation is growing by as much as 50% annually. It’s already a billion dollar business, and it’s only continuing to expand into new markets. And adoption of marketing automation has only just begun to explode outside of the niche technology market.

Change. Marketing automation is already a big deal for larger B2B situations. But if 2013 was the year of marketing automation, 2014 will be the year of small and medium business (SMB). The top tier of marketing automation software (MAS) providers are diverse and ever-changing. The barrier for entry is low—meaning there are many choices when it comes to providers. In other words, the diversified field and new technology makes marketing automation ripe for businesses wishing to get started.

Opportunity. Small businesses have only just begun to use MAS, but they have the best chance for growth and profitability. Collecting customer data means understanding what products to sell without wasting time and money on hit-and-miss marketing. Storing and updating customer information means keeping those same patrons happy with new products tailored for them.  Finally, moving expenses to the cloud means large potential savings in terms of data storage and server use. The ROI is self-explanatory.

Innovation. Moving to the cloud and selecting the right MAS isn’t something your company should do—it’s something your company will do. The innovators are already moving to the cloud to save money, time and data. Within a few short years, most SMBs will adopt these techniques in order to stay competitive. The late adopters may find themselves rushing to find service while losing money and customers. Marketing automation isn’t a question of if, but when.

Interested in discussing MAS and cloud migration further? Contact us and we can help you get started.