Marketing automation can become expensive for startups and companies who don't have the time or resources to develop it to its full potential. So it's understandable that companies may be hesitant to implement it and may want to wait on making such an important decision.
But not having one can also imply massive costs. Those costs are harder to track and may come in the form of losing opportunities due to the inability to reach out or follow-up on leads or being out-marketed by the competition.
Although implementing a new marketing automation system can take time and resources, if done correctly, it can provide your teams with more detailed reporting, better lead and client follow-up capabilities, shorter lifecycles, among other benefits.
The most common way companies notice they need to make the leap into marketing automation usually has to do with detecting a problem of low performance and conversion in your sales and marketing processes. Different issues can cause this, but you'll likely gain better visibility into what's going on once you have the proper tools.
Do you have KPIs and goals you're aiming for? Or are you just working your best and seeing what happens?
You may notice your junior team or assistants do repetitive, sometimes small tasks to keep up with the workload, like send out pre-written emails, update information to a spreadsheet or create periodic reports.
Or even worse, your sales and marketing executives have to add those routine tasks into their workload. This can result in frustrated, less productive teams and expensive mistakes due to errors, inconsistencies, inefficiency, excessive workloads or loss of information.
Many smaller companies start looking into marketing automation once their email marketing systems start falling short. They lack enough information to track different types of customers, don’t provide sufficient reporting, or don’t provide as many features as other systems.
One common workaround is to use integration tools like Zapier or Integromat to help connect different tools, but they may be limited into what you need to do, or expenses may rise as your traffic does. Another common alternative is to create API integrations with the help of programmers, but you may require their assistance further on, and may make you rely on their services. Marketing automation tools usually have multiple native features and integrations, with customer support to help you in your process, which may be a simpler, cheaper solution.
Are your sales and marketing teams managing multiple sources of information? Do they use various reports which end up in confusing and disorganized information? Do you have multiple sources of information with data that doesn't seem coherent with other data sources? Do you have more than one marketing or sales platform with disconnected information, which makes you have to do manual work to "sync" it or understand the gaps?
As technology progresses, the gap between sales and marketing continues to shrink. Marketing automation helps you better align these two areas by creating processes that automatically streamline the selling process through programmed actions and triggers. This lets you develop strategies to align those efforts and improve communication between the teams.
Some buying processes can take months or even years to complete. This may be because they may be decisions that directly impact a company or a user's future way of doing things. This means they may require approval from multiple decision-makers and time to evaluate the proposal and the competition in depth.
In long, complex buying processes, each buyer usually needs to go through multiple "steps" until they finally make the buying decision. This is also known as a buyer's journey.
This means that they usually interact with your company's webpage, marketing content and sales representatives before completing the purchase. Being able to track your lead through their stages will allow you to follow up with them with consistent, specific information and relevant messages.
Are your campaigns targeting the correct audience? Are you receiving the leads you thought you were going to get?
It can be challenging to track the success or gain the results you're looking for when your campaign's target may not be correctly defined.
Another problem you may stumble upon is that after your campaigns run for some time, you may need to later cross-check your current systems with your sales results to understand their ROI.
Most marketing automation systems come with built-in campaign reporting. They can provide you with more detailed information based on demographic data or activities. These systems can offer a full 360 vision into how your leads interacted with them and what happened afterward.
Maybe you have a steady stream of leads coming in your webpage. It's likely that most of them aren't ready to buy. In fact, according to a study conducted by Accenture, 74% of all B2B buyers conduct more than half of the research online before contacting a sales rep. Why? Because they may want to learn about the product or solution themselves or they don't want to be sold to just yet.
It's also likely that you may have too many leads and need to prioritize which ones to attend to first, based on buying intent signs or buyer characteristics.
You need a way to track your prospect's activity and create a conversation without spending time on leads who may not be ready to have an in-depth conversation just yet.
A marketing automation system can help you better understand when your lead is ready to take the next step and nurture them until they are, allowing you to classify your leads and tend to the most important ones first.
Content is a fundamental part of inbound marketing and marketing automation. It can help you attract new customers by providing value and insights into their problems, and also teach your leads about your solution while they are in the buying process.
Without a marketing automation solution, you miss out on spreading the content to your contacts (which means your investment may have been in vain), and sending your leads valuable and relevant content, that helps you create better interactions and may help accelerate their buying cycle.
According to Moosend, 58% of marketers use automation software to upsell products.
For most companies, the sale doesn't just end at the purchase. They need to ensure that the product or service meets their expectations, can be recommended to other similar customers, and may be sold to again or upgraded in the future. Why? Because gaining new customers can be five times more expensive than selling to your current clients.
Marketing automation systems allow you to track different custom items like what the client bought, how long ago the purchase happened, what can be offered next as well as other different campaigns to stay in touch with them.
Multiple factors can influence your decision to invest in a marketing automation system. While implementing Marketing Automation may seem like difficult and sometimes expensive work at first, it's essential to evaluate the benefits that these tools provide and how they positively impact your sales processes.
You can reach out to us to learn more about how we're using automation in multiple companies to help boost their efficiency.