Marketers have different views about marketing automation. Some view automation as a way to increase output and facilitate more customer interactions. Others are either against marketing automation or have mixed feelings about applying it.
Regardless of which side you’re on, businesses that want to scale need some level of automation. Especially in an era where information travels at unbelievable speeds and the world is more connected than ever.
At some point, you should consider automating certain elements in your business to enable growth further. But if you find yourself asking, “does marketing automation really work?” this article should clear up most of your concerns.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is any enabling technology that allows companies to manage and streamline marketing processes across multiple channels automatically.
That’s done through specific workflows or sets of instructions. For marketing automation to work, you must set all the necessary parameters. It’s a delicate setup process, but once complete, your output should increase tremendously.
The benefits of marketing automation are real
Companies that use marketing automation, in most cases, outperform those that do not. A revealing article by HubSpot, compiling several studies, points out the following.
- Relevant automated email messages drive 18 times more revenue than email blasts (Jupiter Research).
- Companies generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads through marketing automation and at a reduced cost – 33 percent less (Forrester Research).
- Seventy-five percent of businesses that apply marketing automation see a return on investment within 12 months, and 44 percent within six months (Focus Research).
These studies illustrate the benefits of marketing automation and what it can do for a business.
Automation increases the capacity of sales and marketing teams. For example, you can go from 1000 to 3000 Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) per month with carefully applied automation. Marketing automation allows you to do more with the resources at your disposal.
Clearing up misconceptions
Things can go wrong with marketing automation when people view it as a tool for doing everything under the sun.
It’s not something companies can turn on to immediately solve growth problems. Nor is it a replacement for the marketing team and certainly not a means for pushing spam. It won’t generate leads for you either and will not write your campaigns; those are still the team’s responsibility.
What marketing automation will do is help you scale by automating repetitive tasks and streamlining lead nurturing.
Where can you apply marketing automation?
Most people are familiar with marketing automation for email and social media, but that’s only scratching the surface of possibilities. You can also apply marketing automation to the following areas.
- Lead generation
- Lead nurturing, scoring, and qualification
- Website experience personalization
- Audience segmentation
- Landing page creation and optimization
- ROI measurement
- Cross-selling and up-selling
- Customer retention
- Cross-channel marketing campaigns
- Automated direct mail
As you can see, marketing automation can do a lot for your business, allowing you to work more efficiently and better qualify leads.
Does your business need marketing automation?
Whether you need marketing automation or not will depend on your current business situation. In general, you probably need marketing automation when any of the following is true.
- Your current marketing efforts aren’t yielding the results you want.
- You find that prioritizing every customer based on product fit and likelihood to purchase feels out of reach.
- You find it time-consuming to identify, track, and engage each prospect or buyer.
- You’re not filtering your leads based on engagement and interest level.
- You cannot easily identify the revenue contribution from each of your marketing campaigns.
Put simply, if you can’t do all the things necessary to ensure prospects are moving down the sales funnel as intended, marketing automation is necessary. However, the level of automation you need will depend on the product or service being sold and the target audience.
Marketing automation is a necessity
Today modern marketing teams require some form of marketing automation to be effective. When properly implemented, it can increase efficiency by automating repetitive marketing interactions and tasks, which greatly benefits both the sales and marketing teams. While it’s important to have a sales funnel, use marketing automation in the context of a flywheel.
In a funnel, you put leads in, and people become customers on the way out or fall through. In contrast, a flywheel stores energy and builds momentum when more energy is added.
Essentially, don’t forget about anyone who goes through your funnel. Apply marketing automation to stay in touch with those customers to increase return sales, brand reputation, brand loyalty, and advocacy. In other words, remain friends even after the breakup for the best results.
Kick your marketing automation projects into overdrive
If you’ve been following along but just want some help with your marketing automation projects, we may be able to help!
Earnworthy specializes in just 4 things, and one of those things is marketing automation. Check out our services page for more info on exactly what we can do, and get in touch with us today for a chat.