By now you have started to blog for your business and your social media marketing strategy is really starting to take off. All your holistic marketing campaigns are starting to drive traffic to your site and your efforts are generating leads. You are well on your way to growing your business.
However, as you start your next sales meeting you are surprised to hear that sales are not increasing at the same rate as leads. Really, this is no surprise.
Your marketing efforts are starting to work, but your marketing is not nurturing these leads. When your sales team places the first contact, the lead is not ready to buy your product or service. Your sales team is not able to convert the lead into a customer.
Don’t worry, this is normal in the inbound marketing process. The problem is you probably have not been introduced to marketing automation.
Marketing Automation Definition
The official definition of marketing automation is a software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online and automate repetitive tasks.
Great, more software to learn. Just what we need, right? Well, I am going to tell you that marketing automation is so much more than just software.
Marketing automation is a way of delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time. Through marketing segmentation, we are able to guide the lead through the buyer’s journey in a way that will increase your conversion rate and generate more sales.
Marketing automation is how you get the most out of a holistic marketing strategy.
Reasons Your Business Should Be Using Marketing Automation
I have been surprised at the amount of business that do not see the benefit of marketing automation for growing revenue. So, let us look at more reasons that you must consider marketing automation in your holistic marketing strategy.
Find The Right Leads
I know, you have defined your target market. You are targeting the right customers. You might even have a stellar market segmentation strategy in place.
The issue is you do not know where these potential customers are in the buyer’s journey. Are they just starting to do their research or are they ready to pull the trigger and buy your product?
Marketing automation will tell you where these leads are in the buyer’s journey.
Nurture Your Leads
Lead nurturing is a huge part of the marketing automation process. Lead nurturing refers to the process of pulling the lead through the buyer’s journey.
For example, if you are a real estate agent you can use marketing automation to move a prospect from the research (how much can I afford, what neighborhood should I live in) phase to the buying stage (let’s start looking). By delivering relevant, valuable, content at the right time you are going to be able to nurture the lead to become a client.
Marketing automation will move prospects and leads to paying customers.
Personalize Your Marketing Message
Do you enjoy getting email messages promoting cat food when you own a dog? Me either. Marketing automation gives you the ability to segment your leads into what they actually want and deliver a personalized message every time.
Based upon the web pages and emails your lead engages with will give the marketing automation system more information to deliver a targeted message.
Marketing automation will generate a better more personalized experience for each lead and prospect.
Increase Effectiveness Of Your Team
Marketing automation will nurture your leads and if set up correctly will qualify your leads for you. Good marketing automation will deliver marketing qualified leads (MLQ) that are ready to purchase now. This will help your sales team spend more time closing leads versus selling because your marketing automation has already delivered the value message.
Marketing automation will increase your conversion rate and decrease the amount of time your sales team is spending cold calling, sending emails, so they can spend more time generating revenue.
Let marketing automation increase your team’s effectiveness and get more bang for your buck. The downside is you will be paying more commission to your sales team (not a bad thing).
Analyze What Campaigns Are Working
Do you know what marketing campaigns are working? Part of a holistic marketing plan is analyzing your campaigns to know what is working and what is not working.
Marketing automation will monitor and track every lead by segment, target, or campaign to determine what is really driving revenue into the business.
They say time is money. So let’s get the most our of your day, we all only have 24 hours per day. Marketing automation will save your marketing and sales team time by automating tasks that you are already doing.
Do you follow up with a new lead by providing a sales brochure or pricing sheet? Let marketing automation do this for you. Marketing automation will save you and your team time and give you more time to focus on what is really important. Driving revenue.
Delight your Existing Customers
Does your company like to up sell or cross promote products? Sure, that means more cash in your pocket.
One of the biggest marketing myths out there is marketing is done once the lead becomes a customer. That is the furthest thing from the truth. In fact, that is when the real marketing starts.
Once your lead becomes a customer it is time to start delighting them. Show the customer how your product or service works, how to use your products with other products, and answer their questions before they ask them.
Use marketing automation to delight your current customer base and keep that customer happy.
Marketing Automation Tools
Okay, it is time to jump on the marketing automation bandwagon and find the right marketing platform for your business.
There are tons of options when it comes to marketing automation software. They range from entry level email marketing programs like MailChimp to the advanced marketing platforms like HubSpot.
Finding the right tool for you and your business comes down to budget and features needed. For example, HubSpot, Marketo, and others are integrated marketing platforms. Entry level options like MailChimp and aWeber only cover the basics of automation and email marketing.
It really depends on what you need to drive results for your business. Here at CoBound we use SharpSpring and resell subscriptions at a discounted rate.
Integrated Marketing & Marketing Automation
The reason we at CoBound love marketing automation so much is because we base the majority of our campaigns around it. We believe in a holistic marketing plan to generate more leads and close more sales. By creating a marketing plan that included both traditional marketing tactics and digital marketing tactics we create a complete “holistic” marketing plan.
Every marketing campaign that we set up from networking, conferences, trade shows, blogging, and social media revolves around marketing automation to nurture leads.
Example. We attend a trade show. Before the trade show, we will set up a campaign designed just for that trade show. During the trade show, we can promote our business and generate leads. These leads are then placed into the marketing automation software to be nurtured. Once they become an MLQ, we make a personal contact.
Marketing automation completes our holistic marketing plan.
Marketing Automation Final Thoughts…
Your business has now implemented marketing automation into your marketing plan. It is one of the best small business marketing ideas you can install in your business. At your next sales meeting your conversion rates are higher, your sales team is happier, and the alignment between sales and marketing is spot on. Your marketing efforts both traditional and digital are paying dividends. The last piece of the marketing puzzle is in place, you are now seeing a positive return on investment in your marketing efforts.