Today’s marketers are literally running from pillar to post to make their campaigns work and get their brands the exposure they deserve. But more often than not, having too much on hand doesn’t help. They end up missing out on key points of a strategy that need to be looked into or aren’t able to find enough time to look into analytics before creating a campaign.

That’s exactly why marketing automation came in as a boon for the industry and marketers are slowly bringing the technology onboard. In fact, it is one of the digital marketing trends for 2016.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation refers to a software platform and technology that is designed to streamline, automate and measure multiple channel marketing efforts via one platform. Since it enables marketers to automate repetitive tasks, it makes them more productive and lets them invest more time in doing market research.

A few things that marketing automation enables you to do more effectively include:

  • email marketing
  • landing page creation
  • cross channel marketing
  • lead generation
  • segmentation
  • lead nurturing and scoring
  • retention
  • measuring ROI
  • personalization

While almost every marketer knows what each of the above mean, how they need to be executed and managed, there comes a point where 1:1 management doesn’t work. You eventually need automation as you grow.

But how do you identify that it is time to invest in marketing automation?

When do you need Marketing Automation?

Every business has different needs and determining when to invest in a marketing automation software, can be really tricky. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before taking the call:

  • Do you know where maximum of your leads are coming from?
  • Are you able to track and engage the leads efficiently?
  • Can you identify the lead that you should contact on priority?
  • Are your leads being filtered as per their interests and level of engagement?
  • Do you have an account of the revenue contribution of each marketing campaign?

If the answers to the above questions were mostly negative, you definitely need marketing automation. Or you’ll be pulling out your hair for losing good leads and having a low customer retention rate.

marketing automation - the need
image courtesy: Email Audience

But here are a few things you must know before making the move:

  • it is not a tool for broadcast marketing or spamming
  • it doesn’t replace the need to have an efficient marketing team
  • it doesn’t create campaigns for you – only enables you to scale them sustainably
  • it encompasses all channels – social media, direct mail, etc
  • it is highly recommended for use by both sales and marketing teams

Why do you need marketing automation?

The best of marketing teams across various industries are using marketing automation to create far more accurate campaigns, and to empower their sales teams to manage leads better and achieve greater ROIs from each marketing effort.

Here are 17 reasons why you need marketing automation now:

1. Reduction in staffing costs as every member of the marketing and sales teams is able to deliver the highest productivity by automating most of their lead nurturing processes.

2. Increased revenue and deal size with better lead management and prioritization. Ability to set up automatic cross-sells, up-sells and customer follow ups to increase customer retention.

3. Improved accountability of teams with a feedback system that makes bottlenecks in the company processes very clear. It reduces tough conversions and company politics.

4. Boosts efficiency of teams as it enables you to get more out of limited time available to you by automating repetitive tasks.

5. Better resource management. When manual repetitive tasks are automated, your resources are available to focus on other aspects of ideation and marketing.

6. Refines your marketing processes. It nudges you to visualize a customer’s journey and create a marketing strategy around it. This enables you to refine how you target and nurture your leads.

7. Multiple channel targeting. It gives marketers the ability to reach out to potential customers in across multiple channels – online and offline, with personalized messages.

8. Easy A/B testing for every step in the marketing process. Instead of running split tests for a campaign, you can execute ongoing A/B tests using marketing automation.

9. Boosts customer lifetime value through personalized up-sell and cross-sell campaigns.

10. Better social media campaign management. The tools allow you to manage all social campaigns from one dashboard and post to multiple accounts in one go. While there are schedulers available, it is more efficient to combine it with your lead management tool.

11. Reduced campaign creation time. Most marketing automation tools offer a drag and drop interface, enabling you to build email marketing campaigns, custom landing pages and social campaigns in minutes without technical help.

12. Easy repurposing of content to nurture leads. The tool enables you to repurpose your existing content by setting up automated triggers to recommend those pieces to nurture leads and customers through their journey.

13. Better reporting and analysis as the marketing automation tool doesn’t just restrict to telling you what works. It lets you know which type of campaign worked the best for what kind of customer. This enables you to create in-depth marketing reports, better understand your customers and improve your campaign planning.

marketing automation - types of campaigns

14. Better lead scoring and prioritising with the ability to set up rules and criteria for qualifying incoming leads based on actions and information. This lets sales teams focus on converting pre-qualified SQLs instead of chasing unqualified leads.

15. Efficient CRM updation by connecting the CRM system to the marketing automation tool. It helps you gradually capture more information about your leads over time.

16. Reduces lead conversion time by making sales processes more efficient and effective. Since the reps know which stage in the sales cycle a lead is, what he is thinking, they’re able target them with the right message, at the right time – no more cold calls!

17. Automatic lead follow-up to ensure every hot lead is converted to a customer – even when you’re not around.

marketing automation - statistics

(Harvard Business Review)

When Capterra implemented marketing automation in their marketing and sales processes, they observed 400% increase in sales qualification rate – primarily due to prompt follow ups and an efficient sales team.

marketing automation - capterra

Over to you

While it can be hard to determine when a business should invest in a marketing automation tool with all the research and feedbacks from peers, making the transition will actually help you understand the importance of onboarding your marketing and sales teams on it!

Do you think a growing business should invest in marketing automation?