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 for pushing out spam, it absolutely doesn’t replace your marketing team, and it won’t do your work for you.
For more clarification, check out 5 Misconceptions about Marketing Automation Software.
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 are a small company but you don’t want to stay that way
Either you are 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 are 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 are 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 MA tool. The most common objection I hear about MA tools is, “But I can already send emails in my CRM.” 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 can send emails for you, it's not 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 nurture your leads by sending them emails/content based off their behaviors. Since lead nurturing is not a feature of a CRM tool, you won’t receive benefits. Nurtured leads from marketing automation produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.
The best CRM and MA tools work together rather than trying to be something they aren't.
4. You are moving to an inbound method of marketing and have no tools to support it
Inbound marketing is the new way of marketing. Rather than old tactics, such as attending tradeshows, buying ad space and contact lists--which are all expensive and have low ROI--inbound is all about creating quality content to attract visitors to your website. The system then involves converting them 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 this new way of marketing. It provides you a way to build topic clusters, create and optimize landing pages that convert visitors, and report on your most effective marketing tactics.
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 resources wearing many hats and spread thin [any analogy of limited, over utilized resources would do here]. Marketing is often a shared role along with sales, support and business development. Oftentimes, this leads to marketing efforts becoming subpar or abandoned altogether.
MA allows businesses with limited resources to 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 resources can take those time savings and focus on other crucial business activities.
Keep in mind that MA tools are not “plug and play.” There is also an investment of time on the front end to get everything set up and 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, contact us! TREW Marketing is a HubSpot Platinum Partner, which means we know marketing automation and believe that HubSpot is the perfect fit for our clients in engineering and technology, due to functionality, costs, and ease of use.
Already on HubSpot, but not sure how to set up your marketing automation work flows? Read this blog post on creating a successful work flow.
This blog post has been updated since it's orginal publication on August 25, 2015