December 23, 2015
If you’re ending each day with a sense of frustration because you didn’t complete all the things you had intended despite increasing staff, it might be time to consider marketing automation.
Although it’s a new buzzword, most people only have a fuzzy idea about what it means. So, exactly, what is marketing automation?
Here is a useful definition from SearchCRM:
“Marketing automation is the use of software to automate marketing processes such as customer segmentation, customer data integration, and campaign management. The use of marketing automation makes processes that would have otherwise been performed manually much more efficient, and makes new processes possible. Marketing automation is an integral component of customer relationship management.”
1. When Do You Need It?
Essentially, you will need marketing automation when your business is too big to maintain a one-to-one relationship with your customers. Additionally, you find it difficult to keep track of everything using basic office software like Outlook, or suites like Word, Excel, or Access.
While it’s possible to hire a marketing director who supervises a team of specialists, even this will become inefficient when you’re hiring too many people to do work software can do better and faster. Software, for example, is excellent at redundant tasks like emailing new customers personalized welcome letters in a timely manner.
At this time, it’s better to deploy staff to do things like network on social media platforms and develop well-researched and expertly crafted blog content.
2. Researching Marketing Automation
When researching marketing automation, you should consider how the software can improve your business and what criteria you should use in making your selection. SelectHub provides a marketing automation buyer's guide, that has useful information for you to refer to.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these elements necessary to get a clear understanding about marketing automation.
3. How Can Marketing Automation Software Improve Your Business?
Here are 3 studies that show how marketing automation software has improved business performance:
- Regalix did a study in March 2014 on marketing automation and considered it an excellent way to improve lead nurturing. Software improved the process of attracting, managing, and nurturing leads.
- A study from Harvard discovered that marketing automation improved lead response times. A person was more likely to become a qualified lead if contacted within an hour of making an inquiry.
- Annuitas Group discovered that marketing automation software resulted in a significant increase in getting highly qualified leads.
4. What Are the Benefits of Marketing Automation?
Businesses that implemented marketing automation solutions experienced the following 4 major benefits.
It improved marketing.
Marketing automation software helped the marketing team create the following infrastructure:
- A better converting landing page.
- A web form that created more useful lead profiles.
- An automatic way of nurturing leads.
- More responsive customer engagement.
- Smarter management of social media networks.
As a result, the marketing team was able to pass on more qualified leads to the sales team.
It improved sales.
Besides getting more qualified leads from the sales team, the sales team increased sales by becoming more efficient as a team and more aligned with the sales cycle.
The sales team benefited from the following marketing automation tools:
- web form profiling
- CRM integration
- email marketing
- visitor tracking intelligence
- lead scoring
These tools helped the sales team respond in real-time to alerts and spend the bulk of their time talking to qualified leads.
It improved marketing administration’s time and costs.
Marketing administrators were able to automate these previously time-consuming tasks:
- organizing marketing lists organized,
- sending personalized emails on behalf of its sales representatives
- Updating CRM software records
- Updating records on campaign management and other reports.
It increased revenues.
Revenue increased in two ways. First, costs were slashed. An administrative assistant did not have to spend time on marketing administrative tasks. Second, sales increased. Marketing and sales teams were able to coordinate lead generation with closing sales.
5. What Criteria Should You Evaluate in a Marketing Automation Buyer's Guide?
When choosing a marketing automation vendor, you need the following information:
- Information about the software features and the benefits they offer an organization.
- Information that compares the research gleaned from review sites on the best vendors.
- Information that will allow you to request a live demo and create a Request for Proposal.
Marketing Automation Is Not a Passing Fad
As the web has evolved over the years, leading technology trends from languages to software and hardware have disappeared — rendered obsolete by newer trends. For example, in 1995, Ruby was one of the most popular languages. Today, with more people familiar with C- language, it’s dying. However, marketing automation is different. In the past 5 years, it has seen the fastest growth in any CRM segment. It’s used by 25 percent of business-to-business (B2B) Fortune 500 companies and by 76 percent of the top Software as a Service (SaaS) companies in the world. Marketing automation is only going to grow in popularity as more businesses catch on to how the software reduces human labor, enhances marketing, boosts sales, cuts costs, and increases revenue.
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