As a business owner or marketer, you know how hectic work days can get. Back-to-back meetings, ensuring your team is on track with projects, setting your budget for the next quarter, double checking your new Adwords campaign (that’s going live in 20 minutes!), and the list goes on. I’m a marketer – I get it!
It can be difficult trying to balance everything you need to do while also making sure you are hitting the right audience, at the right time, with the right message, to successfully generate new business. That’s why many companies are choosing to implement a marketing automation platform.
If you have already decided to adopt automation, but don't know what platform to choose, this handy comparison guide will help you out. But if you are still on the fence or need more info then read on....
This blog post is part of "Your Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation" blog series.
But what exactly is marketing automation?
Chances are you have heard of the term marketing automation, which is no surprise considering 51% of all companies are now using this technology. But maybe you are still unclear on exactly what it is – that’s okay.
A simple definition:
Marketing automation is a software platform that exists with the goal of executing marketing actions (i.e publishing social media posts, sending out emails, and updating contact info) without any manual effort.
These systems gather all of your campaign, contact, email, and web page data into one organized area for easy access. You can also post to multiple social media accounts from their platforms and create fairly detailed web pages from ready-to-build templates.
Now, why should I care about it?
That’s simple, because marketers who use it generate more leads, sales teams who use it close more deals and businesses who use it reap the revenue benefits. Here’s the proof (for those who love stats):
- Best-in-Class marketers are 67% more likely to use a marketing automation platform and see 14% overall growth in marketing revenue. (Aberdeen)
- Companies using marketing automation see a revenue growth rate that is 3.1% higher than non-users. (Aberdeen)
- Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the “very successful” use their marketing automation systems extensively. (Three Deep & Ascend2)
Want to learn more about which marketing automation provider is the best for you? Get our guide for free!
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT’S REALLY WORTH INVESTING IN MARKETING AUTOMATION?
Here are 6 signs that you're ready to adopt marketing automation.
1. You're Consumed by Manual, Repetitive, Inefficient Tasks
Rather than focusing on new strategic initiatives, you spend your time building lists, managing leads, or creating emails and landing pages. And creating each new campaign is like reinventing the wheel. The results - you spend entirely too much time carrying out tactical or reactive tasks.
Marketing automation programs decrease your workload, while increasing your output, by replacing repetitive work with automated rules and campaigns. Not only does this increase productivity and effectiveness, there’s the added benefit of improved happiness that comes from varied creative work instead of mundane repetitive tasks.
And no more reinventing the wheel. After you build an automated campaign once, your can be sending out thousands of personalized emails each day on autopilot.
2. You're short staffed or can't scale up
You list of to-do's seem never-ending, yet, there is no room in the budget to scale up your team, and there are still only 24 hours in a day.
Using marketing automation software, one employee can compete with a 50-person marketing and sales department by setting up lead nurturing and marketing campaigns that are automatically triggered based on pre-determined criteria.
3. YOUR COMPETITION IS GAINING
Your marketing efforts are dwarfed by the campaigns coming from your competitor each week, and you just can’t seem to keep up with their level of online presence. If this sounds familiar, your competition has a not-so-secret weapon: marketing automation!
It’s easier to launch campaigns that cover multiple channels when the option to post to all accounts is one click away and lead nurturing is triggered automatically.
4. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO DISPLAY YOUR SUCCESS
Your marketing team works just as many hours as your company’s other departments, but sadly you’ve got nothing to show for it. Your executives want to see how your work is converting, but you honestly don’t know. If this sounds like a page out of your diary, then it’s time to integrate marketing automation programs into your workflow.
Marketing automation systems can track everything from the effect of SEO effort on increasing traffic to your email marketing conversion rates to the effects of social media on revenue, so that when it comes time to present the final report, you’ve got data to share. In fact, many programs offer printable reports that collect numbers from all aspects of your marketing ecosystem and organize them into a single readable document.
5. You use too many marketing tools
You sign into to one system to send your emails, another to schedule social media posts and yet another to tracks your sales pipeline. Using several tools that don't integrate, are costly, require expertise, or are difficult to maintain are not worth your time.
Using a marketing automation tool will allow you to cut down on cost by integrating your tools into one platform, saving you from wasting time and effort switching between 10 tabs and repeating work.
6. You spray and pray
You send email blasts to everyone on your database because you don't have the time to create targeted campaigns. If you’ve got tons and tons of names on file but no way to organize or sort them, then most of your sent content is probably reaching the wrong audience. Your customers aren’t all looking for the same things for the same reasons, so they shouldn’t be marketed to in the same way.
Marketing automation programs can separate your contacts into segmented lists based on gender, job title, recent interactions, and more. Lists make it extremely easy to send tailored content or offers to leads based on shared qualities, so that your content hits the right mark.
Marketing automation programs also allow you to target contacts based upon their position in the buyer’s journey, so that repeat customers aren’t tempted to unsubscribe after being emailed surface-level offerings for 2 weeks straight. These programs will help your strategy become more intuitive and efficient, so that you can get the right point across to the right people without hours and hours of research.
Segmenting your campaigns is one of the easiest and best ways to improve engagement and increase email conversion rates. In fact, a Marketo study found that segmentation was the highest ROI tactic used by email marketers.
I hope I have prompted you to consider investing in a marketing automation program. If you'd like to learn more about which marketing automation provider is the best for your business check out our newly released Which Marketing Automation Software is Right for You? comparison guide.