Marketing Automation: How Does It Help Small Businesses?
Marketing Automation is one term that is buzzing all around in this day and age of online lead management, while most of B2B and B2C marketers are looking at it as a tool that helps to simplify and automate the tasks of marketing departments, to enhance their business in terms of generating revenue. The equation and significance of marketing automation is apprehended as a medium to communicate consistently with prospects and existing customers in novel ways balancing their engagement aspects.
While the demand for online lead management and marketing automation industry is growing rapidly, let’s see how marketing automation can help small businesses?
Before diving deep into the discussion, allow me to explain “what is marketing automation all about”.
It is a software platform that uses multiple technologies and digital marketing to generate leads and process them effectively to improve sales conversion rate. (OR)
Please go through the description of Eloqua, a leading marketing automation service provider – “The art and science of automatically managing the targeting, timing, and content of your outbound marketing messages in response to prospects inbound actions and online behaviors.”
Why Do You Think Marketing Automation Is Necessary?
The marketing departments of companies invest a lot of time and efforts in identifying and gathering the prospects’ contact details and forward them to sales department that is meant for customer conversion. The important thing here is that the automation process of generating and managing contacts is performed badly, while the lead generation of many companies does not mirror the buyer changing behaviors. Thus, marketing automation is necessary to maintain and process all the marketing unit activities to improve sales and revenue.
Key Elements of Marketing Automation
There are multiple key elements that play a vital role in the process of marketing automation to produce desired results for a business.
While lead generation is one of the key elements of marketing automation, generate leads through both online and offline resources. Online lead generation covers the resources such as website, social media, webinars, and content marketing, whereas the resources like TV, newspapers and free seminars are covered under offline lead generation.
Generating just leads is not the end of your efforts while you need to capture the generated leads. Therefore, create lead capturing strategies through websites, social media, and emails. Add forms to a subscription for newsletters, request a quote and son on the website while enticing the prospects by announcing special offers and providing coupons on social media. In the case of emails, create an email and send to your targeted prospects with the forms for free registration and offer discounts.
Identify Qualified Leads
Identifying the qualified leads is one of the key elements of marketing automation, where you have to gather all the required information of a lead. Also, you refer the past history of your leads if they have made transactions in terms of business, registrations or contact in order to find your qualified leads.
Give Scores for Leads
Set up numeric scoring based on criteria for your leads. Give high scores to sales and medium score to marketing while the low score for getting qualified leads.
Nurturing your leads that are not yet ready to become your sales is also a part of marketing automation key elements that play an important role. Therefore, maintain consistent engagement with your nurturing leads by interacting with them continuously until they get ready to become your sales.
As I emphasized on the significance of online lead management at the beginning of out discussion, it is essential to integrate the process of lead management to automation and CRM (Custom Relationship Management) systems. Track all your leads in order to manage your sales process to achieve higher results.
Reprocess the Lead Process
Reprocess your lead generating process repeatedly and get the leads from your sales making them your repeating customers. This creates a brand and importantly instills trust in your leads towards you, thus making them your ever-long customers.
Isn’t the topic interesting? It is right, Great! Let’s dive into the discussion even deeper look at the ways of using marketing automation.
Here are the Ways How to Use Marketing Automation
Target Beyond Your Specific Groups
It’s obvious that targeting the specific buyer groups with relevant and informative messages will increase the chances of making a purchase. However, do not restrict yourself to certain demographics such as gender or age; make your step ahead forward and target the groups based on their response to your past campaigns or the activities they do on your website.
Tighten your Email Marketing
The best way to develop your email marketing strategies is to create relevant and informative email marketing campaigns. Respond to your visitors’ actions in a timely fashion by sending specific messages such as purchase confirmation, anniversary or shopping cart abandonment. Design relevant and attractive templates and provide quality content with call-to-action attributes such as free registrations, special offers and so on.
Nurture your Leads Persistently
Nurturing your leads is one of the essential parts and massive advantage of marketing automation. However, keep one thing in mind that shooting at your prospects with a series of email at one go should not be part of your lead nurturing program or process, rather it should be a conversation through the email series you send. Also, make sure that the conversation flow with your lead should be in step by step process and get rid of sending same content again in the process of lead nurturing.
Add Forms on Your Website
Adding forms to your website is the best way to capture your prospect leads. However, prefer creating brand awareness first and then adding forms to get the lead information. The point here in doing this it instills trust within your leads. Also, you can use progressive profile form featuring a series of questions over the offers, making sure the important questions placed at the top. This eases your prospect leads to build a relationship with your business or a company.
Evaluate Marketing Automation
Measuring the performance and learning is the best practice to yield fruitful results adding value to your efforts. Likewise, measure the performance of your marketing automation and learn about the required changes that help you optimize your marketing automation campaigns. The best practice to learn and optimize is setting a goal for your campaign in terms of ROI (Return On Investment).
What are the Benefits of Marketing Automation?
The successful implementation of a marketing automation for your business or in company benefits in aligning your marketing and sales units to a single axle. However, here are the other benefits that can enhance your marketing efforts of a business.
- You can produce better ROI and measurable marketing results
- Enables you to curtail marketing costs
- Gaining profits and enhances revenue growth
- Gain more leads
- Marketing effectiveness
- Score more deals with increase in close rates
Some of the Marketing Automation Tools
Marketing automation solutions through Marketo, help you generate more high-quality sales leads and win more business with less manual effort. Focus on the strategic and creative elements that improve marketing return on investment (ROI).
Eloqua improves your marketing effectiveness through its marketing automation and automated demand generation. Modern Marketers use Eloqua marketing automation expertise and technology to power revenue performance.
Act-On Software is the world’s fastest growing marketing automation company; its cloud-based marketing automation platform is the foundation of successful marketing campaigns everywhere – from small, simple and direct, to complex globally implemented programs.
HubSpot’s multi-channel marketing automation increases the power and effectiveness of your nurturing campaigns. With marketing automation, your leads’ behavior, not your marketing schedule, determines when emails get sent. That means you can deliver information at critical moments in the decision-making process.
Share your thoughts on the role of marketing automation for a small business in the comments below.