Marketing automation software is used by businesses of all sizes. It helps companies automate repetitive tasks, while targeting their audiences based on key user profile preferences and needs.
Before you ask if your business is ready for marketing automation, it’s important to note that most programs are not cheap or easy to set-up. Though some more cost efficient options that have come out in the past few years, the well-known behemoths like Hubspot, Marketo, and Pardot can be quite costly, especially if you have a large prospect and customer base.
When you’re reviewing the various marketing automation software platforms, you’ll also need to think about a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM), if you don’t have one already. This will serve as your database for prospective clients and leads throughout the process. A marketing automation platform can’t work without one.
Marketing Automation for Your Small Business
Most businesses considering getting marketing automation software have one thing in common: They want to nurture prospects strategically and for the long-term.
Why is nurturing prospects great for small businesses? According to Constant Contact, businesses were able to improve their lead management and nurturing by 86%! They were also able to increase efficiency and productivity by 61%, and enhanced targeting and personalization by 66%.
Read Benefits of Marketing Automation for Small Businesses to review more statistics and testimonials from business owners who use marketing automation.
Marketing Automation is a Time Investment
One of the most important things to consider when deciding whether to move forward with marketing automation is how much time it takes to set up. Content is a large part of how the software works, so you’ll need to have content prepared for each touch point along the customer’s buying journey – from the moment they express interest in your product/services to them becoming a paying customer and beyond.
Not only will you need to prepare content, but you’ll also have to set up automation rules, drip campaigns, lead grading/scoring, etc.
Marketing automation is not a set it and forget it type of tool, despite using the term automation in its name. Once your rules, content, grading/scoring, etc. are in place, the software will still need to be monitored to ensure prospects/customers are moving through the buyer journey.
So, Is Your Business Ready for Marketing Automation?
While the sticker shock (in both dollars and time) of marketing automation may initially deter you from marketing automation, the time and money spent setting up the process are well worth the investment. Plus, you can always work with a digital marketing team to help you get started.