Crazy at it may seem, there is an investment that you can make in your business today that will not only bring you an increase in business revenue of 10%, but will change the way you do business, automating 80% of the processes that were previously manual.
These aren’t magic beans I’m talking about – although it has many of the same properties as magic beans. It grows with the right nurturing, it will take your business to heights you have never seen and if you don’t use it properly a giant ogre will…wait – scratch that last point. Check out this presentation and blog to discover what marketing automation can do for your business.
Never heard of marketing automation? It’s a new technology designed and developed to make the job of the marketer much easier. It combines your CRM, email and your website so you can better control how you communicate with your audience. It allows your business to communicate with your customers from the moment they interact with your website and allows you to nurture them through sales process to a qualified lead, meaning your sales people only need to speak to a prospect who is ready to buy and your marketers have a wealth of behavioural data to better market to your audience.
It was found that marketing automation produces an increase of 451% in qualified leads. In turn, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (The Annuitas Group, Nov 2012)
Imagine that you could track a social media follower who enters your website. Through their behaviour on your website they are entered into an automated email program designed to help them better understand your product and lead them directly to a sales page. You have created all the steps necessary to build a sales funnel online and using automation technology you can guide them through every time without pressing a button. You will also get detailed reports on each campaign so that you can optimise them each time. Here’s the journey:
- Content marketing increases your website traffic.
- CTA’s in your blog post lead users to submit their email address for more updates.
- Marketing automation tracks your contacts behaviour on your website and feeds them automated emails.
- Contacts are automatically updated in the system when new information is taken.
- Sales personnel are automatically notified when a contact is ready to purchase.
- If no purchase is made the contact can be fed into a new campaign until they are ready.
Marketing automation and CRM
You might be thinking: ‘why do I need automation if I have a working CRM?’ Marketing automation is quite different and works with your CRM database to further understand your contacts. CRM’s like Salesforce and Sugar CRM provide a valuable tool for the sales department but they do not help the marketing department. And in today’s economy the marketing and sales teams should be working closely together.
Marketers are able to better understand how people use a company’s website, how they interact with the company online and how they build a relationship with the company. This allows them to create a community of fans that generate much higher revenue for the company.
Why is this important? Because it’s your top 5% of customers who are making 30% of your business revenues (Custora), so it’s more important than ever to make sure you know who these customers are and how they behave online.
Marketing automation and sales
Because of it’s superb ability to automate activities which were once laborious and tiresome, marketing automation has made every step of the buyer’s journey more efficient. This means deals are made faster and teams can concentrate on being more creative in their work.
Marketing automation has been proven to increase sales productivity by 14.5% and delivers a 12.2% decrease in marketing overhead. Check the report from Nucleus Research here.
Marketing automation and marketing
If you’ve been in marketing long enough, you will remember the days of print advertising. Some would call these the good ol’ days where everything was simple and the job of a marketer was to market a product or service. Today marketers have to be able to do much more. And in particular they need to attribute their spendings to their business revenue in order to work out their return on investment (or ROI).
We have been able to measure our ROI for some activity but more recently with campaigns, landing pages and multi-channel marketing – calculating your ROI has been increasingly difficult to get right. Luckily marketing automation has saved the day once again with their magic formulas.
78% of marketers cite that marketing automation systems are most responsible for improving revenue contribution. Check the report from The Lenskold and Pedowitz Groups, Nov 2013.
Marketing automation and lead generation
Marketing automation allows you to create and track landing pages straight from the tool. You can then track the success of your landing pages and improve them for better conversions.
In a study by Gartner Research it was found that marketing automation helped to increase business revenue by 10% in 6-9 months. The first stages of marketing automation adoption is quite slow and painstaking as you teach each department how to use the technology and implement processes to make it work. Soon after you are creating captivating campaigns that are building interest and growing your email database. Imagine what can be done in 1 or 2 years.
Marketing automation and lead scoring
One of the ways you will learn to implement your marketing automation technology will be to start scoring your leads. By scoring your leads you will be able to assign a score to each stage of the buyer cycle which will indicate what stage a customer is at in their journey. You can input this score into your CRM to communicate with your sales department.
The main benefit of this is that you will be able to track a sale and ensure that sales is only contacted when they are ready-to-buy.
Marketing Automation provides 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead (Forrester Jan, 2014).
Marketing automation and personalisation
Your product or service may be designed for the mass market but you will never make huge sales unless you start talking to ‘segments’ of your audience more personally. For example, a mother would want to hear about the benefits of your product or service from her point of view. This has been used in sales for years but it’s only recently that we have been able to personalise our marketing with dynamic website content, email content and social media.
Your CRM and automation technology will combine to provide you with a wealth of qualitative and quantitative data about your contacts. Using this information you can create new campaigns and better tailor your previous campaigns for each kind of person you are trying to target.
Segmentation with personalised recommendations and copy drive 360% higher conversions than a generic email message with a personalised salutation. That’s a pretty big figure.
Marketing automation and revenue
And now we circle back to the most crucial point about marketing automation. For the stakeholders of your company it will be the most important point of all. Marketing automation significantly improves your customer engagement, experience, lifecycle and retention. Consequently you improve your operational costs, processes and affordability.
Companies that invest in marketing automation experience a 70% faster sales cycle and 54% improvement in quota achievement. Bulldog Solutions, March 2012.
Where do I start?
Just like Jack in the beanstalk story had to trade something for his magic beans, in the case of marketing automation you will have to trade a few things:
- Money – marketing automation isn’t free and requires an investment averaging around £3,000 a month depending on the tool you wish to purchase.
- Change – marketing automation won’t just fit into your business, your business will have to make changes to fit around your marketing automation tool. Processes will change and for at least the first 3-6 months your business will be in ‘transition’.
- Time – automating 80% of your processes can’t be done with a click of a button. People will need to be trained to use the tools and take time to create campaigns and measure the results. There will also be time in developing campaign ideas and presenting results to your board.
Get help from partners.
25% of marketers are not using their marketing automation platform to it’s full potential, Forrester.
Implementing a marketing automation tool will involve a lot of time and effort that may result in loss of business if the owner isn’t doing their day to day tasks. By hiring a partner you’re still having to trade money but you won’t have to trade nearly as much time and change management into your business. As a result employees will be much happier.
An evolution for marketing
So the next step of the marketing evolution has become. Marketers will have less technical stuff to do and they will be able to concentrate on being creative and analytical (my favourite things). If marketing automation sounds like something you want in your business you should ask yourself these questions first:
- Is a 10% increase in profit in year 1 going to cover the investment into automation?
- Have I got the right people on board who are willing to learn how to use the technology and adopt it into the business or should I hire a partner?
- Have I got buy-in from stakeholders in the business? Does everyone in the company understand why I am doing this and what part they have to play?
- Is it the right time in my business to make an investment like this?
If you have weighed the facts and understood the benefits then you are ready to speak to someone about getting a free trial. Need any help? Live And Social are an Act-On partner and can help you with any queries you have about marketing automation and how you can use it to increase your business revenue. Contact us today to find out more.