Marketing automation is potentially the most vital digital marketing tactic for a small or medium-sized business (SMBs). The use of automation includes software and marketing tactics that ultimately generate more leads and drive sales. In fact, 70% of companies using marketing automation report the most important benefit is better-targeted customer communication.
What is Marketing Automation?
Put simply, marketing automation is the implementation of software and technology to automate specific marketing tactics; data capturing, email campaigns, dynamic content, and more. However, textbook definitions never paint the whole picture, and certainly don’t clarify what individual steps are vital to the process.
The Benefits of Marketing Automation
SMBs stand to benefit quite a bit from implementing a marketing automation system. With a limited number of employees, resources, and budget, it can be difficult for smaller businesses to compete with large corporations, especially with the amount of activity on the web today. Today’s online audience expects to find information around the clock, seven days a week. Consequently, an automation system helps an SMB meet that demand by acting as an around-the-clock sales team—delivering qualified leads with insightful data.
Here are three key benefits to using marketing automation that ultimately help a business grow to new heights.
One of the greatest attributes of a marketing automation system is the ability to help a business convert web traffic into leads. Let’s say a business has invested in a good website, SEO, and digital advertising, each generating a lot of web traffic. But, in the end, it’s just traffic. Without a sound strategy and system in place, there is no real effort to track the ROI on that investment. Even worse, there are no strategic steps in place to convert that web traffic into leads. In an automated system, that traffic is tracked, and strategic steps are taken to capture data and permission to communicate with users, converting them into a lead.
It’s no secret, a sales team’s process of identifying and nurturing leads is lengthy. There is a plethora of questions, time-consuming emails, neverending phone calls, and more. But, the implementation of an automated system can dramatically cut down on these time-consuming tasks. Because most SMBs have small sales teams, an automated system acting as an extension of the sales team is a massive advantage Additionally, an automated system is customizable and can be scheduled to work at the right time, anytime. Whether it means being responsive to customers on the other side of the country or operating after business hours, it continuously nurtures leads and drives sales.
Last, but certainly not least, is the ability to track and collect performance data. Any business owner will say understanding the effectiveness of their marketing efforts is one of the hardest parts of running a company. There is a big difference between being told conversions will happen and seeing the ROI for yourself. However, marketing automation technology and software thrives on data, and tracking is a crucial element of the system. With detailed campaign metrics and exhaustive data on user behavior, marketers and business owners have a transparent look at quantifiable results of their marketing efforts. This data can be used to improve and strategize all marketing efforts. More importantly, a business owner can measure their ROI and identify the best investments to help their company grow.
What does Marketing Automation Mean for the Future?
One of the reasons marketing automation is so important is its ability to improve the efficiency of a business. Not only can it improve areas where a company’s current team might be overwhelmed, but it can also make an already successful marketing approach faster with its lead creation, leaner with its ability to identify bad leads, and clearer with its ability to report on its own success. There is a reason that more than half of B2B businesses currently utilize a marketing automation system. An automated system has proven to drive a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and reduce marketing overhead. As the industries continue to adopt these marketing practices, competition will rise. It might be time for your business to consider implementing a marketing automation system.