Here are some numbers for you to consider:
33 - the average percentage of the marketing budget that goes to marketing technology
10 - the percentage increase in revenue six to nine months after automating lead management
79 - the percentage of top-performing companies that have a three year or longer track record of using marketing automation
80 - the percent of marketers using automation who see an increase in leads
25 - billion, the projected annual spend on marketing automation tools by 2023
Where does your company fall in these statistics?
What is Marketing Automation?
Whether you’re new to marketing technology or a long-time user, marketing automation can boost your business’ performance. While the phrase “marketing automation” is fairly intuitive – it’s technology that automates marketing tasks – what it can accomplish goes far beyond a simple definition.
These tools can automate repetitive tasks such as sending emails, scheduling and publishing social media posts, setting follow-up reminders and sending promotional content to customers. They can also be leveraged to assist with lead generation, relationship marketing, cross-selling, upselling and more.
A Paradigm Shift: Marketing Tech > Advertising
In marketing, it’s no longer enough to have a healthy advertising budget. In fact, in 2016, spending on marketing technology surpassed that of advertising.
67% of marketers use some form of automation software and another 21% plan on adding it to their marketing strategy in the next two years. It’s a digital world, and you need to get digital marketing right. Marketing automation is necessary for staying competitive.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
Every company is different, in terms of vision, goals, product/service and audience. No matter your focus, when you implement marketing automation software, you’ll have the potential to capitalize on numerous benefits.
1. Save Time and Become More Efficient and Productive
One of the biggest benefits from automation is the time saved. With these systems in place, employees no longer need to spend time sending out emails, sharing social media posts at regular intervals, posting digital ads, sending out follow-ups or doing numerous other repetitive tasks.
With more free time, these employees can focus on the creative side of the job again and likely become more effective, productive and fulfilled workers.
This software also could improve your bottom line, as you may be able to cut down on staffing costs. While the software aims to empower marketers to be more effective, it may take the place of some junior-level employees. More importantly, if your employees are able to focus on more interesting work, you may see a decrease in costly turnover.
2. Optimize Marketing Processes
These tools are designed to enhance your existing marketing capabilities and improve your marketing strategy. This is not an exhaustive list, and full capabilities will depend on which solution you choose, but some of the ways automation improves the marketing process include:
• Continuously A/B testing content to see which performs better
• Storing all marketing collateral, interactions and details in one centralized location
• Allowing advanced and evolving segmentation of the target audience
• Creating hyper-personalized and ultra-targeted campaigns (without sacrificing automation)
• Managing pipeline from initial lead to conversion to up-sell
• Creating parameters for contacting and following up with leads across multiple channels
• Building robust customer profiles
• Collecting information about leads through forms and landing pages
• Nurturing leads through repurposed content
Many platforms offer integrations with additional marketing tools such as CRM (customer relationship management) systems, so you don’t have to duplicate efforts. As you learn what works for your team and target audience, you can more quickly and effectively make changes to your marketing strategy. You won’t have to wait until the next planning cycle or campaign to justify changes.
3. Enhance Sales’ Workflow
Marketing automation is not just for the marketing department. This technology can be incredibly useful for the sales team as well.
Based on the rules you set when you start using the software, the platform will assign each lead a score. Depending on the score, a lead can be listed as a marketing qualified lead or a sales qualified lead. These scores and labels can influence which marketing campaigns or sales actions the potential customer will receive. This tool essentially takes the guessing out of lead scoring and keeps sales from wasting time on unqualified leads.
Marketing automation platforms can also send alerts when the lead is engaging with your business or brand. The alert tells the sales team when the prospect is most likely to convert or buy, so your rep can reach out then. It can greatly reduce the time and frustration wasted on failed cold calls.
4. Improve Analytics and Reporting
Most automation packages include advanced analytics and reporting, so you’ll be able to more effectively measure ROI (return on investment). The detailed attribution reports should be able to tell you how a campaign:
• Performed in various segments and channels
• Impacted KPIs (key performance indicators)
• Contributed to company revenue
Prior to the digital age, it was hard to measure which advertising and marketing campaigns influence customers’ decisions. Now, especially with automation, you have the answers in the software. These tools allow you to generate reports at multiple levels including contacts, custom event, company, revenue and ROI.
With this information, it’s easier to track the entire lifecycle of a campaign and make more informed strategic decisions.
5. Increase Revenue
With better lead scoring, nurturing and conversion, customer relationship management, targeting and the ability to automate up-sells and cross-sells, automation technology can enhance a customer’s lifetime value. Sales cycles are also likely to get shorter, which means your sales staff could potentially increase the number of leads they convert every year.
These improvements can result in increased revenues – which can be specifically attributed to certain actions along the sales cycle thanks to automation tech – for your department and business.
How to Get Started
There are multiple marketing automation platforms available, each with its own focus and differentiating features. Working with a digital agency can help you identify solutions for your marketing and automation needs and modify existing business practices to make sure you are staying competitive in this brave new digital world.