Is marketing automation beneficial for small businesses?

Marketing Automation - The Advantages

Are you also fighting windmills in your marketing department? The sales force complains about bad leads, the management is constantly cutting your budget and your marketing measures are bobbing about? With Marketing automation you can mitigate some, if not all, of these problems.

Marketing knitted with a hot needle

As a rule, work results do not improve if they have to be “knitted with a hot needle”. The greater the number of communication channels, the greater the pressure to act. The fact that more and more channels want to be served doesn't mean that you can afford to make more mistakes.

Consumers, buyers and decision-makers have extremely high expectations, which generally require the same high quality standards for communication. In times of increasing pressure to save in marketing (actually constantly), fewer and fewer resources are available for the abundance of tasks behind them - a real dilemma.

Advantages of marketing automation

Modern marketing is complex and fragmented - if you want to plan, execute, measure and optimize all steps for all channels individually, you will definitely be fully booked for the foreseeable future.

You can read about how to start your online campaigns successfully in our mds e-book.

But modern marketing also means that with intelligent tools Many process steps in marketing can be done automatically. No more manual work in corporate communication, the copy-paste procedure and completely redundant and admittedly also deadly boring work steps.

I am counting the most important Advantages of marketing automation in the following on.

Increase the speed of lead nurturing

Do you know that too? You did your best to quickly generate a load of fresh leads for sales. And then with these - nothing happens.

The problem of the “gentle death” of leads (generating, collecting dust, filing unprocessed) can be solved once and for all with automated marketing processes.

With marketing automation, you can join forces with sales

No sooner has a contact entered a form than it activates one that has already been prepared Email Marketing Workflow and is automatically provided with previously determined information or offers without any further action on your part.

Depending on where a conversion took place, the contact can then, for example, be directed to pages or articles with useful content or receive special offers for immediate completion.

If you offer more complex products and / or services, this approach is particularly helpful: As soon as you have introduced lead scoring, the contact is only passed on to sales when it has reached a certain value and can be considered qualified. The leads are then simply better pre-informed and prepared.

This ensures a higher level of acceptance for the lead, which is addressed by the sales representative in an already existing context. And that in turn increases the likelihood of closing and ultimately sales.

In return, in sales, appreciation and recognition for marketing activities also increase - especially since colleagues are very constructive in lead scoring and the development of the buyer’s journey and can also observe the result of their improvement measures immediately.

Marketing automation benefits:

  • immediate processing of leads
  • Immediate start of lead nurturing and lead qualification
  • faster decision-making process for the lead
  • higher conversion rates
  • more degrees
  • better cooperation between sales and marketing

Get your head back on real marketing

When you first went into marketing, it wasn't really your intention to work off repetitive small-scale tasks like a robot. The automation of marketing processes relieves you of a lot of workload. This makes the operational side more manageable and controllable.

You then have time again for what you really want to do: write brilliant concepts, plan the next campaign, integrate the next product.

You don't have to do everything by hand. Marketing automation helps you

Marketing automation benefits:

  • Reduction of redundant process steps
  • operative relief
  • less time pressure
  • less stress in the team
  • Release of marketing resources for creative tasks

Generate measurability

If you accompany your leads on a defined customer journey, you have fixed and traceable measurement points that enable good comparability: the basis for one continuous improvement process and a permanent optimization of your workflow.

Customer journeys do not always go as planned and have to be adjusted here and there

This is a real relief: it lets you know whether you should focus more on search engine optimization or better allocate your resources to optimizing workflows.

This measurability is also advantageous for you personally in marketing: because it not only makes reporting more precise, but also simpler. This enables you to prove your performance and that of your colleagues in the department beyond any doubt.

In addition (that now depends in detail on the software used) you no longer have to worry about investing endless hours in more or less pointless report slides, which a handful of decision-makers then briefly skim over and then criticize because the logo "jumps" ".

Forget that. Just take a look at the live data in the report dashboard in team meetings, that's enough. Reports differ somewhat from tool to tool. Since measuring success is essential, not only big players like Salesforce, Marketo or Evalanche have intelligent and detailed reporting, but also solutions like Hubspot.

Marketing automation benefits:

  • Assessment basis for optimizations
  • less effort with reports
  • steadily better conversion rates
  • better understanding of your persona
  • increasing efficiency
  • targeted use of resources for optimization

Automate lead nurturing

Sure, you can of course cherish, caress and love every single lead. Depending on how extensive your CRM you can keep a team of several people fully occupied with it in addition to yourself.

This does not make sense, because not every lead is equally promising and many repetitive process steps in CRM can be done automatically without any problems.

Marketing automation is an excellent way to separate the wheat from the chaff and then only deal with those prospects who really make sense for your company.

Marketing automation benefits:

  • better qualification of leads
  • targeted marketing processes
  • less workload
  • Conservation of resources
  • higher chances of graduation

More efficient email marketing

Email is still an extremely important means of communication. However, nowadays, disgraceful sales emails can be equated with spam: People have become sensitive to what ends up in their inboxes and whether they want it there or not.

The “a lot helps a lot” method has been obsolete since the late 1990s

For this reason, emails must always be sent in the right context and at a reasonable frequency. If this connection does not exist or if the emails are rated as irrelevant or annoying by the recipient for other reasons, you are quickly out of the inbox and inside the spam filter.

However, with the use of a functional tool, it is no longer particularly difficult these days Email Marketing Workflows to prepare and play out appropriately in order to pick up the user well.

In the course of the buyer's journey, for example, certain actions can trigger an email to be sent to the lead: For example, if a contact visits product page XY, they will receive an email one day later with a discount of ten Percent offers. If he was on a landing page, but without converting, he receives another gentle reminder, etc.

Once the mails have been prepared, they can be personalized with appropriate tokens - not only with the correct salutation, but also in terms of content.

Marketing automation benefits:

  • fully automatic dispatch of prepared e-mails
  • Individualization of the customer journey
  • Increase in conversion rates

Quality control

It is easier to control the quality of five templates than the quality of 200 customized emails - regardless of your corporate guidelines. Through the automation, you therefore relieve all stakeholders in the company who are involved in the processing of this content in the medium and long term.

Marketing automation benefits:

  • Discharge of editing and / or proofreading
  • uncomplicated content creation
  • fewer correction loops
  • better content

Breaking down silos in the company

If you want to use marketing automation successfully, you have to talk to your colleagues: Because the approach only really brings horsepower to the road if you merge information and findings from marketing and sales ("Marketing-Sales-Alignment").

This includes, for example, the joint development of buyer personas, the design of the customer journey and the sales funnel. If you want to generate highly qualified leads, this is only possible in cooperation. Funnel view instead of tunnel view, so to speak.

Muddling around with lone fighter tactics? This is totally in marketing processes with automation counterproductive.

On the contrary, the “compulsion” to work with sales on both sides can significantly increase understanding of what the other is doing: The tasks of the other in the various departments are better understood, and the fields of action within the marketing strategy are more clearly defined.

In the best case scenario, you now give each other a hand, for example with content recycling, sensible briefings and instead of mere marketing bashing in the repetition loop for a change usable feedback on the quality of the leads.

This is good for taking the user perspective, which in many marketing departments is based on rather abstract considerations, because the feedback "from the front" either does not come at all or is only expressed as reflexive criticism.

Marketing automation benefits:

  • increased flow of information between advertising and sales
  • Targeted optimization of the content through consistent user orientation
  • higher conversion rates
  • lower CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)
  • better collaboration
  • better working atmosphere

Transparent customer journeys through workflows

The linear Customer journey Nowadays there is no longer a picture book - many touchpoints also offer interested parties many opportunities to obtain information or to close deals.

Marketing Automation Workflows are a good way to bring a little more transparency into the matter again: This way, at least a rough basic understanding can be obtained of what actions contacts do in the course of the journey, how a lead is treated in principle and with what level of information it then usually comes across the sales is handed over.

Marketing automation benefits:

  • transparency
  • Process development
  • Basis for optimization

Marketing automation software: tools bring benefits

Of course, the question of marketing automation is also a question of the right tool for it.

Which software is the right one for your company is not only decided based on your budget and the costs (read also: What does marketing automation cost?). It is also just as important: Can the tool be seamlessly integrated into your system landscape? Are there the necessary interfaces to your CRM and to other components, for example a DAM?

All of this should be carefully considered because a successful one Software integration is the prerequisite for enjoying all the advantages of marketing automation in terms of software. Then the tools do a lot more than just email marketing.

They cover all the requirements for analytics, search engine optimization (SEO) and campaign management, the creation of landing pages, the connection to CRM, content creation, lead generation via forms, the subsequent lead nurturing and lead scoring as well as mostly publishing in various channels (blog, social media) - all tasks of the marketing manager that have made life so difficult for him in their complexity and granularity up to now.

The software top dogs provide you with powerful all-in-one suites that, in addition to marketing automation, offer many other analysis and creation features. To name just a few names, the largest providers in German-speaking countries include:

  • Campaign (Adobe)
  • Hubris (SAP)
  • Silverpop (IBM)
  • Eloqua (Oracle)
  • Evalanche (SC-Networks)
  • ExactTarget (Salesforce)
  • Infusionsoft or
  • Marketo

You can find a detailed list of 43 providers from our colleagues at Keyna.

Especially for Inbound marketing There are also suites designed for small and medium-sized companies, for example the “small” solution from Chimpify or the all-in-one suite from Hubspot.

These tools map all the components required for complete inbound marketing campaigns - from search engine optimization and the right interfaces for integration into a CRM system to blogging, creating landing pages, digital forms for generating leads and designing calls to action.

If you want to learn more about the inbound method, I recommend this blog article: What is inbound marketing?

The most popular marketing automation tools in price comparison

Here's How Much Marketing Automation Really Costs!

Conclusion

Automation means a real competitive advantage for you in marketing: You address your customers better, guide them through the sales funnel in a more targeted manner and thus convert more interested parties into customers - both in B2C and B2B.

If you are not looking for the deal straight away, but first generate contact data records: Your lead management becomes easier through automation, and the quality of the leads ultimately transferred to sales increases steadily.

As described, you also benefit from ...

  • faster and more automatic lead nurturing
  • less workload and more time for creative work
  • consistent measurability
  • more efficient emails
  • higher content quality
  • breaking down silos in the company and
  • greater transparency of the customer journey

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