You've probably heard about marketing automation, but you might not be sure your business needs it. In order to determine if you should make the investment, we should clear up what marketing automation is and is not.
Marketing Automation is: a software platform that streamlines, automates, and measures marketing tasks and workflows based on lead intelligence. This allows you to be more efficient and sustainable, increase revenue and grow into a more powerful marketing team. Basically, it uses its powers to help you gain intelligence and nurture relationships with leads that aren’t ready to buy.
A tool like HubSpot includes email marketing, landing pages and forms, campaign management, lead nurturing/scoring, lead lifecycle management, CRM, social marketing capabilities, SEO intelligence and marketing analytics.
Marketing Automation is not: a tool to replace your marketing team. Marketing automation is only as smart as the person or team behind it, and it's crucial to get the planning and strategy right.
So now that you better understand marketing automation, how do you know if it’s time to revamp the way you work using marketing automation to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that converts them into customers?
Here are 5 signs that you are ready for a marketing automation tool:
1. You're a small company, but you don’t want to stay that way
Either you're a small company that has decided the way you are doing things is not netting you the financial gains needed to grow, or you have seen a little bit of growth but have not been able to scale your processes to allow for even more growth. In order to achieve growth and hit revenue targets, you must have sustainable processes in place to generate, nurture and follow-up on leads.
With marketing automation, you not only set yourself up to drive more inbound traffic to your website, but you also can use the intelligence you gain from their activity to follow up with them and deliver content that matters most to them. Next, you can monitor when they are ready to have a sales discussion and prioritize your follow-up based on who is most likely to buy.
2. You're using many disparate marketing tools
When we first start working with our customers, we find that many are using several tools that:
a) Don’t integrate
b) Are costly
c) Require expertise
d) Are difficult to maintain
A MA tool will have most of the functionality you are using across all of these tools or at least provide an integration between some so you can cut down on cost, time spent maintaining, and pulling reports out of each of the tools independently.
3. You're using a CRM to send emails
"CRM" and "marketing automation" are not two terms for the same thing. They work wonderfully together to tighten the handshake between sales and marketing, but a CRM cannot replicate functionality offered by a marketing automation tool.
The purpose of a CRM is to maintain information about a prospect and their account as it relates to their sales and opportunity history--not to batch email your database. While it some CRMs can send emails for you, they aren't designed to send mass emails. CRMs also have a very manual process to setup and select a list of recipients. In fact, most have set limits on how many emails you can send per day through these tools.
You will definitely not be able to nurture your leads when by sending them emails/content based off their behaviors when using a CRM alone. Since lead nurturing is not a feature of a CRM tool, you won’t receive those benefits.
The best CRM and marketing automation tools work together, maximizing the strengths of each platform.
4. You are moving to an inbound method of marketing and have no tools to support it
Inbound marketing has become a core marketing approach across B2B and B2C companies. Rather than relying on attending tradeshows, buying ad space or scrapping contact lists--which are all expensive and may even have a negative impact--inbound is all about creating quality content to attract visitors to your website. By having high-value, technical gated content, you then convert visitors into known leads that you can nurture with more quality content until they are ready to make a purchase. Inbound marketing is just one part of a successful marketing strategy. With the support of marketing automation, you will be able to turn inbound efforts into actual revenue.
Tools such as HubSpot are designed for inbound marketing, offering all the tools you could need to plan, execute, report on and improve a marketing campaign.
5. You have a small team and are in need of a solution to make online marketing efforts more efficient
Small companies are usually full of employees who handle a wide range of responsibilities and never have enough time. Marketing is often a shared role along with sales, support and business development. Oftentimes, this leads to marketing efforts becoming subpar or abandoned altogether.
Marketing automation helps businesses with limited resources run successful marketing campaigns and gain efficiencies. You can do this by creating repeatable workflows, landing page and email templates, and automated reporting and emails, so that employees can take those time savings and focus on other crucial business activities.
Keep in mind that marketing automation tools are not “plug and play.” There is also an investment of time on the front end to get everything set up and to create content. Once created, TREW recommends doing an annual marketing plan that will drive new quarterly campaigns aligned to your business goals to make sure you are focused on the right efforts.
If you identify with any of these signs and are ready to learn more about how marketing automation can improve your marketing efforts, visit our HubSpot resources page.