It’s an empowering first step when entrepreneurs can actualize a business idea, create a brand, and launch it successfully within their industry. Yet, it’s also important to use the right tools that help to scale up the business.
After all, a company that scales can grow its value by up to two-thirds, which is well more than the growth that comes simply by starting the initial building process, according to analysts at McKinsey & Co. Yet, their studies also show that only one in five companies demonstrate the capacity to scale up after their initial success.
There’s a strategy for companies to grow dramatically to meet a rising need in the market. That strategy begins by positioning your company appropriately. Experts agree that technology plays a critical role in driving growth, and marketing automation is an important part of the process.
Marketing automation is a term that explains the strategy of integrating software platforms that allow businesses to create targeted actions that are triggered by specific behaviors. This process combines the engagement efforts of a company’s sales and marketing teams while offering an opportunity to streamline operations and improve outcomes.
Focusing on automating your marketing strategy is one way to commit to the long-term plan of scalability. The process may involve experimentation and subsequent learning opportunities, and it may require you to focus on a bigger-than-imagined target audience. By creating a structured workflow that executes on its own, you’ll be able to support — and, with luck — crush both your marketing and sales goals.
All of the marketing automation benefits combine to make scaling up possible. It is as if you are laying the foundation on which to grow. While you must first already have a product or service with an appropriate fit for the market, most business owners understand growth also demands a proven method for getting the word out to a targeted customer base. Once the demand becomes apparent, the next step is to increase the manufacturing or service speed capabilities.
The benefits of marketing automation are worth understanding fully so that an investment in technology and the time your team must commit to creating workflows will be clear. Once the tools are created, the marketing can run itself while you oversee the growth you’ve envisioned from day one.
Why is marketing automation so important?
The answer is clear: This technological tool provides substantial benefits that lead up to scalability. Innovation is a critical part of growth within any company, and this modern development in business outreach is one example of that innovation. From using AI in marketing to integrating software as a service (SaaS), there are many tools you can use to allow your company to thrive.
Now, imagine that your company was forced to use a personal email address for all company business. Someone would have to create and maintain an email list from scratch. Then, they would have to create an attractive newsletter or digital update without the use of modern templates. They’d have to send the email out themselves, timing the exact moment it should land in their customers’ inboxes.
If one of those customers was considering a purchase — maybe even going so far as to add an item to an ecommerce shopping cart but got distracted before completing the sale — you’d never know. If they downloaded a free piece of content from your site because they were interested in your services, you wouldn’t know to follow up. If they had specific preferences for what they wanted to buy, they wouldn’t have any way of sharing it with you.
The benefits of marketing automation alleviate these concerns, as the process helps to save time and money, provide a better return on investment (ROI), and increase company efficiency. In turn, this creates the foundation for scalability and long-term success.
The benefits of marketing automation for your business
Marketing automation provides a foundation to scale up your business. And the benefits of this process make up the individual blocks that create that foundation.
These benefits include:
- Collaborations between marketing and sales
- Personalized customer journeys
- Control over customer communications
- Enhanced brand awareness
- Greater sales conversations
- Improved productivity
- Optimum ROI for marketing efforts
- More real-time data for analysis
Let’s take a look at each of these marketing automation benefits more closely:
Collaborations between marketing and sales
Marketing and sales must collaborate if you want your business to grow. In fact, every organization needs all departments to work together to reach company goals. Technology, thus, makes this easier, allowing for joint updates to workflows and processes for long-term success.
Sales and marketing automation, especially when integrated with a customer relationship management tool, can dramatically facilitate the efforts of both the sales and marketing teams. For the sales department, automated marketing can provide warm leads and accurate data that target potential customers and meet their needs. For the marketing team, automation will allow more time to generate leads by relieving them of mundane tasks.
Personalized customer journeys
An important element of any successful marketing plan is personalization or the ability for outreach initiatives to speak directly to the preferences, behaviors, and needs of specific customers. Automation and personalization go hand-in-hand, creating a customer journey that engages the right people at the right time.
One of the best marketing automation benefits is that these tools capture important data about customers and their behaviors. This allows marketing professionals and business leaders to analyze and improve their dynamic marketing and sales initiatives based on hard numbers. If certain email campaigns don’t have optimum open rates, you can revisit your message.
Control over customer communications
As companies grow, there is always a struggle to refine and maintain company messaging. But that’s not the case with marketing automation. It’s possible to create chatbots that are always professional, drip campaigns that provide content that gets attention, and follow-up emails with impressive conversion rates. The trick is to plan your strategies using behavior-based marketing automation tactics.
Map out a workflow starting with a specific behavior a prospective customer might initiate. For example, let’s say they click on a pay-per-click digital advertisement. This may take them to a landing page for a new product. You can add a pop-up that offers them a discount on their purchase if they sign up for an email newsletter. When they supply their email address, you can automate a welcome series that will be scheduled over the next several days. Then, you’ll be able to track to see if they open the emails and click through to complete a purchase.
Every step of the way, you can plan out a memorable experience for customers so you can reap the marketing automation benefits from the tools you’ve implemented.
Enhanced brand awareness
Brand awareness is more than just customers knowing your name. It’s about sharing your values and vision. Branding efforts help companies tell a unique story in a way that makes its goods and services stand out from the rest.
One of the benefits of marketing automation is the ability to build brand awareness. With every piece of communication that you pre-design, schedule in advance, and deliver to a targeted audience, you can have a consistent tone, message, color palette, image style, and overall look that expresses exactly what your company cares about. This thoughtful strategy connects with the customers who share your values and appreciate your work.
Greater sales conversations
Marketing automation for lead generation can do more than just find leads. By utilizing personalized content, email list segmentation, and mobile marketing as part of an automation strategy, it’s likely those leads will turn into sales. This key performance indicator (KPI) speaks directly to your bottom line.
However, it’s a good idea to have other KPIs beyond sales conversations as you work to grow a business. Sometimes enhanced brand awareness through website views, social media engagement, and newsletter sign-ups shows the progress leaders seek.
Still, being able to scale your company means meeting the demand that comes with growth. Once an automation process has been established, leaders can pivot team members to other parts of the business as appropriate. A marketing automation platform can free up your team to do what needs to be done.
This technology was created to free up your team to focus on in-depth industry analysis, new product research and development, and other tasks that can’t be done by a computer.
Optimum ROI for marketing efforts
Since marketing automation improves productivity and increases sales conversions, it may not be surprising that you’ll optimize your ROI, too. Direct email marketing, for example, brings in $36 for every $1 spent. Time is money, and flexibility and targeted messaging are just two of the many marketing automation benefits.
More real-time data for analysis
Real-time data often gets overlooked if you don’t know how to read and interpret it from your automated marketing campaigns. You don’t have to feel like you’re shooting in the dark when trying to get a message out to your target audience. Automation tools let you know the open, click-through, and engagement rates that come from a specific campaign.
If something isn’t getting the interest you had hoped, the data that you can gather with marketing automation tools will help you stay dynamic. If your call to action ideas (CTAs) aren’t getting results, try A/B testing. That’s when you send two competing emails or create two different ads and use the data to determine which one works best.
Benefits of marketing automation tools
There are many major advantages to the tools available to small- and medium-sized business owners, just as there are many types of marketing automation. These tools, many of which are offered as a SaaS, fall into 4 main categories:
- Customer relationship management software
- Email marketing platforms
- Social media scheduling tools
- SEO research tools
Look for tools that integrate with any other technology you may be using, such as Shopify. If an email marketing platform can automatically post an email newsletter to your Facebook business page, you’ve automated a step and saved time as a result.
Where to use marketing automation
Anytime you want to streamline your digital marketing processes, marketing automation benefits you. Still, there are some elements of a comprehensive strategy that are better suited for automation than others.
For example, email marketing automation makes sense if you want to implement a drip campaign. The campaign can begin when someone clicks on a digital advertisement and provides their email address for a free piece of content, such as a handy checklist or a how-to video that’s associated with your brand. Make sure your emails are relevant and scheduled over a few days for the best impact.
Another marketing automation tool that has been proven effective is an automated welcome series. Anytime a new or existing customer signs up for your email list, there should be an email automatically sent to them right away.
You can thank them for their interest with the first email, and a day later, invite them to shop with a coupon that is only good for a few days. If they don’t buy anything by the expiration date, send them another to give them a little more time.
How to start automating your marketing work
Marketing automation tools have many benefits for small- and medium-sized businesses, including saving time on repetitive tasks, enhancing collaborations among different departments, and improving the overall customer experience. Altogether, these benefits create a foundation on which you can grow your business in a way that allows you to scale up effectively.
To begin the process of automating your outreach tasks, start by researching the different tools available that can make your current workflow faster and more efficient. Start with the obvious ways to save time, such as scheduling a welcome email series, and build from there.
Soon, you’ll find that many of your marketing tasks can be planned, leaving you and your team free to meet an exciting and expanding customer demand.