For many small businesses, managing and implementing successful marketing strategies can be an overwhelming process that quickly eats up all of your time. Fortunately, marketing automation can help you to streamline your marketing processes and boost the overall success of your marketing strategies. It’s likely that you have been hearing a lot of hype surrounding marketing automation and there’s no question why – it’s the future of marketing!
If you have never implemented marketing automation you may be unsure what it is, how it works, and whether marketing automation would be right for your business. Don’t worry – you’re in the right place! The LETSDEVELOP.TV team is here to help! To make sure you get a better understanding of marketing automation, here is a quick overview of everything you need to know about this marketing tool.
What is Automated Marketing?
The first question you are likely asking yourself is "what exactly is marketing automation?" You may find that the term "marketing automation" brings to mind thoughts of software that completely creates and implements marketing strategies for you without needing your involvement. Technology is not quite this advanced yet, but there are tools in place to make implementing and maintaining your marketing strategies a lot easier! Marketing automation refers to software that helps you streamline and improve your marketing processes, allowing you to improve relationships with your current customers and develop new leads.
Marketing automation software helps businesses create a series of messages that the software can then send out to customers and prospective leads based on predetermined actions. You can use emails and chatbots to target people based on their spending habits, past contact with your business, interactions they've had with your website, etc. This software can also help you keep track of who is visiting your website, develop a contact list, and send targeted marketing emails to potential customers. Automating certain marketing tasks can help you better manage your website and social media pages, all of which work to improve the success of your company's marketing strategies while removing much of the burden marketing can place on small businesses.
When Should You Use Marketing Automation?
So how do you know if your company needs marketing automation? The short answer is generally, yes; almost every company, big or small, can benefit from marketing automation! Still unsure? Ask yourself whether you could benefit from improving the quality of your lead generation and nurturing, as well as your overall inbound marketing and sales performance. If you answered yes, then marketing automation is for you!
If marketing tasks are taking up the majority of your time and you are still not seeing the results you were hoping for, then trying out marketing automation may help you save time and energy. It could help you build better strategies and operating procedures while taking over a large portion of building your customer relationships. Marketing automation does this by helping you to nurture leads, increase your online presence, and streamline your marketing and sales process through bots, email campaigns, and other automation software.
Pros and Cons of Marketing Automation
If you are still uncertain whether marketing automation is the right investment for your small business, you may be wondering if there are any drawbacks to using this software. Like most technological advancements, there are certain challenges and risks involved in deploying marketing automation at your company. To help you make an informed decision and keep you aware of the drawbacks regarding marketing automation, here is an overview of the pros and cons you should consider.
- Generates Sales: Perhaps the most valuable benefit of marketing automation is that marketing automation software can help you to generate new sales by helping you to successfully cultivate new leads and generate a new customer base.
- Increased engagement: Using automated chatbots on social media messengers can help increase engagement between customers and your brand! This helps to not only nurture current relationships but encourages the building of new relationships by spreading brand awareness.
- Saves Time: Not only can marketing automation software improve your marketing strategies and efficiency, but it can also help to save you time by automating certain processes. This can then help to boost your productivity by allowing you to focus on nurturing the leads that marketing automation delivers to you.
- Answers FAQs: Bots can instantly and easily answer customer questions so your customers aren’t waiting for a response from a human through email. This allows you to automate a portion of your customer service with bots, cutting down on frustration for the customers and allowing your team to focus on the more detailed and pressing matters.
- It's the Future of Marketing: Marketing is moving toward messaging platforms, with data supporting that more people are using messaging apps in recent years. Messaging platforms are becoming a better way to connect with your customer base and essentially turning into a more interactive form of email marketing – further developing the marketing automation field. Bots allow you to get information directly from your customer base quickly and easily, meaning you can grow your email lists, engage your customers, and ensure your messages are being received. By using all of the automated software available to you, you can create and nurture a more personalized customer experience than with email alone. If you still don’t believe us or want more information about bots, check out Hubspot’s in-depth page about chatbots.
- Costs Money: One of the primary cons of marketing automation is that there are certain costs involved in implementing this technology. Considering many small businesses struggle with tight budgets, it can be difficult to stomach spending additional money on marketing. However, if you feel as though you have been struggling with your current marketing strategies, you will have to decide if the benefits that marketing automation could provide will outweigh the costs. Many companies offer a limited membership for free or collect only a small fee that allows you to test out portions of their software before deciding to take the full plunge. (Mobile Monkey is a great software to begin testing out marketing automation and they have a free membership option.)
- Can Lead to Over Messaging: One of the greatest risks inherent to using marketing automation software is that it can lead to over messaging. It is easy to go overboard when using this software by communicating too frequently to prospects. Remember that you do not want to spam leads as this will only aggravate them. You must learn to use marketing automation successfully by sending strategically timed messages that nurture leads without alienating them – and that task can be complicated to learn. Though this can be a concern, most messaging and email platforms have spam blocks in place to keep this from happening. Take time to learn what practices will get your messages flagged to avoid getting your messages blocked by spam filters.
- Can Depersonalize Your Brand: Similarly, there is a risk that you could depersonalize your brand if you do not use automated marketing successfully. Some companies fail to use personalization features in their automated marketing and they end up sending the same message to all of their targets. However, when you fail to personalize you risk blending in with spam emails, making it critical that you personalize content to ensure your messages are getting through and to build lasting relationships with leads. Most email and messaging programs allow you to segment your customer base, so take advantage of these personalization features! It is also good practice to offer ways that customers can reach out to a human instead of getting stuck talking to a bot that may or may not fix the problem.
Ultimately, if you strategize and use marketing automation without falling prey to some of the challenges it can present, then marketing automation has the potential to make life much easier for small business owners. The benefits that marketing automation provides are what led to its popularity amongst small business owners, who often struggle to manage marketing tasks without the resources and large marketing departments that bigger companies have. Should you make the most out of your investment in marketing automation software, you can quickly and easily reach a broader customer base and develop new leads. Contact us to learn about how your company could benefit from marketing automation and how you can best implement this technology to grow your business!