The more you know about marketing automation (MA), the better it sounds. What’s not to like? It’s a software solution that takes care of the most repetitive and mind-numbing parts of managing your company’s marketing work.
Marketing automation provides you with real visibility into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, which allows you to pinpoint exactly what works (and what doesn’t). So for any company looking to maximize their results, it sounds like the perfect solution.
At the same time, it’s important to remember that every marketing automation solution isn’t the perfect fit for every company or use case. Since your company’s needs and goals should inform your decision-making process, we’re going to zoom out a little, and explore some of the finer points of marketing automation you might not have thought about.
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There’s more to marketing automation than email blasts.
The best automation tools allow you to fine tune every part of your marketing process—from A/B testing every element of your communications to writing content that targets prospects along specific stages of the pipelines.
It delivers great results for businesses of every size.
Even relatively small businesses with specialized products for niche industries can benefit from MA. Are you worried that your company just isn’t big enough to see real benefits from marketing automation? If so, think again. Some marketing automation tactics actually work more effectively with small and midsize businesses.
Automation doesn’t mean your marketing is on autopilot.
Marketing automation is about eliminating tedious tasks, not letting a machine captain your ship. It allows a marketer to have more time to test ideas, explore new options, and scale operations. But there will always need to be a human hand at the helm.
Time is money, and marketing automation saves you both.
Marketing is a detail-focused job, which requires extensive planning skills and a strong creative streak. The more people they reach, the better the company’s bottom line will be. If a technology helps streamline workflows and other processes, it will directly translate into more revenue.
The more streamlined your marketing process is, the more efficient your operation becomes.
Many companies don’t prioritize their marketing technology. While the rest of the company is using modern ERP and CRM technology, the marketing team is stuck using tools that date back to the days of print media and slow everything down. By fully integrating a new marketing automation solution with the tools used by other teams, the entire company gets a major efficiency boost.
Marketing automation takes the headache out of both tracking and targeting.
Without the right tools, it’s hard to identify customer segments. It’s basically impossible to follow prospects as they move through the funnel. So if you have a properly-designed marketing automation solution, you can accomplish both of these goals right out of the box, and you’ll have deep insights into every aspect of your customers.
It scales with your business.
Before the advent of marketing automation technology, scaling your marketing operation was a challenge. The only option was to hire new people and give them a bigger budget. Today, one skilled marketer can handle the same amount of work that used to require a dozen or more people. MA makes it exponentially easier to scale the marketing side of any business.
Lead qualification becomes a stress-free process.
The less time your sales team has to spend on qualifying leads, the more time they have to make sales. By automating the first several interactions with potential customers, marketing automation software essentially allows leads to qualify themselves.
Real-time monitoring allows you to quickly respond to changes and challenges.
When something isn’t working with your marketing, you need to know about it as soon as possible. By properly setting up the alerts and dashboards on your marketing automation software, you’ll be able to see and respond to trends and changes long before they become serious problems.
To learn more about your customers, test everything.
Even tiny tweaks to an email or social media post can result in double-digit changes to conversions. By using your marketing automation tools for A/B testing, you can discover exactly which messaging, images, and CTAs generate the best responses from your customers.
Great results require quality content that is delivered at the perfect time.
When a new prospect enters your company’s marketing funnel, he or she actually takes a guided tour through your company’s most compelling selling points. Marketing automation allows you to target exactly what these prospects learn during each stage of the funnel. This benefit weeds out the prospects who aren’t ready to buy. It also sends the ones who are ready to the sales team.
Results are only as good as the quality of your data.
For any marketing automation solution to work as planned, clean data is essential. If you have dirty data in your CRM or related databases, it’s imperative that you work with your software implementation partners and scrub it until it shines. As your marketing operations bring in data about new leads, that information must also meet the highest possible standards, cleaning it up before it passes to other teams.
Your competition is already doing it, or they will be soon.
Every company is looking for an edge, particularly when it comes to winning new customers. For companies that rely on emailing, digital advertising, retargeting, or social media to bring in new business, marketing automation tools are huge advantages. If you aren’t using marketing automation to drive your results, you’re only making it easier for the other guy to reach them first.