While your marketing efforts may be aggressive, they will not yield the results that you desire if you don’t have a sound marketing strategy plan right from the outset.
Marketing is a tricky aspect of running a business but one that is critically essential to your success. The good news is that you can optimize your marketing campaigns and achieve your marketing goals with the help of comprehensive marketing software for small businesses and enterprises.
Marketing automation is now prevalent. In fact, marketing automation ranked 2nd in the Top 10 SMB Trends of 2019, a survey that featured over 750 small and medium-sized businesses across the United States. Twenty-six percent of respondents said they plan to incorporate marketing automation into their business. Twenty-seven percent (1st) reported they want to go with BI and data analytics while 23% (3rd) said they will move forward with ERP.
1. Automate High-Quality Lead Generation
“The leads are weak!”
You probably heard this line from a classic Al Pacino movie a few times before. Some say it’s just an overused excuse trumpeted by marketers and salespeople who fail to deliver a desirable output. And it’s a convenient excuse. But the reality is any marketing campaign is doomed to fail if your leads are, indeed, weak.
Lead generation is an important facet of marketing but one that takes too much time. According to a 2018-2019 report on global small business trends, 40% of 573 small businesses all over the world still use outdated tools such as Microsoft Excel and Outlook to gather leads and customer data.
Fortunately, one of the benefits of marketing automation software is that you are able to generate high-quality leads without spending too much valuable time. A marketing software with lead generation capabilities automates many steps in identifying and qualifying leads. This enables your marketing teams to focus on leads that are likely to convert and become paying customers, instead of working with an audience who doesn’t even have the slightest interest in what you offer.
2. Manage and Nurture Leads
Always keep in mind that not all leads will convert into a sale, which is why it is imperative that you aim for high-quality leads and not for quantity. Once you get your leads, you have to manage and nurture them through the pipeline and over the course of their customer journey.
Managing and nurturing leads can be quite difficult for a small business. You only have a few people on your team and you can’t ask them to keep tabs on your prospect customers all the time. Furthermore, you also have to prioritize customer retention for ecommerce growth. This is where marketing software comes in handy.
You can automate sending personalized and targeted messages to your prospects whenever certain conditions are met or specific triggers are activated. With your marketing automation software, you can set certain criteria for specific automated email types and purposes such as following up on an inquiry, updating customers with new and relevant ads, product pitches, and other content, as well as upselling and cross-selling. To further optimize this process and leverage how you manage customer relationships, you may also integrate with the best free CRM systems in the market at no cost.
Your customers are always in the loop. And for them, it shows that your business value your customers.
3. Personalize Your Marketing Efforts
A good marketing software provides you with a clear, 360-degree view of your customers, giving you a good idea of their behavior, motivations, and triggers. It helps you determine the right content per prospect and the best time to deliver it and how, whether as a pop-up message, an email, or a short text.
Your marketing automation software automatically captures important data that drives engagement. Are your prospects responding positively to your social media posts? Or do your newsletters send organic traffic to your website? What topics and products do your website visitors frequent? Your marketing software should help you find reliable answers to these questions quickly so you can create a thoroughly personalized journey and deliver the best experience per prospect. All these boot your engagement and increase your sales and boost ecommerce website revenue.
A 2017 international survey on marketing automation gathered inputs from 421 marketing professionals from all over the world, asking how marketing automation helped their small business marketing strategies. Seventy percent pointed out that they have improved their message targeting outputs and benefited greatly from it.
4. Utilize Big Data
Just because you are running a small business doesn’t mean big data can’t help you. Your marketing software provides you with a centralized platform with which you can collect, store, organize, and analyze all your business data. Powerful reporting tools help you take a deeper look into all your information and gain actionable insights that fuel your actions and help you make smart business decisions.
In just a few clicks, you can generate analytics and reports that allow you to evaluate your marketing campaigns and compare them with your sales performance. You can identify the most effective channels for engaging your customers and prospects. Your marketing team can build a more precise profile of your prospects and share them with your salespeople.
You can also perform A/B tests to discover the most effective marketing strategies and execute campaigns that truly impact your bottom line.
5. Bring Sales and Marketing together
While the two terms go together, sales and marketing are two very different species. Sales teams aim to increase their sales volume. On the other end, marketing departments toil to build up the brand and are more focused to meet the needs of their consumers, no matter how diverse those needs can be.
They may have different roles, but both sales and marketing teams need to work closely with each other to ensure that they meet their goals. With marketing software, putting them on the same page is a breeze. Marketing teams can easily share their customer information with the sales team, or even give the latter access to their data.
Improved lead quality, automation of manual marketing tasks and processes, and better lead nurturing also help salespeople do their job.
6. Shorten The Sales Cycle
Since marketing software helps marketing teams generate high-quality leads and guide them smoothly into the pipeline, the sales cycle is drastically reduced. Salespeople have more time to engage prospects with the highest probability to convert. Access to customer information also provides the sales team the fuel with which to power their sales talk and convince customers to make a purchase.
Sending your existing customers and prospects the most relevant content, personalized messages at the right time, as well as unhindered access to knowledgebase of your products, also shortens the sales cycle. Consumers feed on information and digest them prior to making a purchase decision. Having a marketing software helps you deliver the information they need and/or want at any point in time.
Marketing Software Makes Your Business Run Smarter
To reiterate, success in any business enterprise requires you to make sales. Customers mean sales. To have more customers, you have to market. There is no way around this formula. That said, any marketing campaign will end in futility if you are doing it the wrong way, no matter how zealous and energetic your marketing team may be.
The introduction of marketing software has definitely changed the way businesses do marketing. Strategies that are built on the shotgun approach are ineffective in this age where everyone has instant access to reliable and relevant information. Launching a massive marketing campaign blindly and praying it will reach your target audience is not going to work anymore.
Your marketing efforts should be smart, precise, and on-point. Your ads, emails, newsletters, and other marketing efforts should bleed and brim with relevance, providing consumers the information they would readily and eagerly consume. A marketing software gives you that distinct edge over your competition.