Marketing Automation: What it is, Why You Should Be Using it, & Why Your Competition Already is!
In a world over-saturated with digital marketing tools, how do you know which tools you should be using? More importantly what do you do with it once you’ve decided what to use? In this article, we will cover the underutilized, power-house digital marketing tool known as Marketing Automation. Prepare for lots of bullet points. I love bullet points, don’t you?
Let me start by explaining what Marketing Automation is NOT:
- Intended to take the place of traditional marketing
- “Set it and forget it” software
- Just another Automated Email Marketing Platform
Marketing Automation IS:
- Sales Analytics
- Email Automation
- Lead Scoring
- Sales Team Notifications
- Behavior Tracking
- Lead Nurturing
Work Flow Breakdown
So you’ve identified a good opportunity. Great! You’ve peaked a potential customer’s interest and had a meeting. Now what?
Hopefully you have entered their contact information into your database and have scheduled a follow-up meeting. But what else do you do? What if you didn’t properly identify next steps? How often do you follow up, if ever?
The Ugly Truth About Following Up
In Robert Clays article “Why 8% of sales people get 80% of the sales” he states that only 2% of sales occur at the first meeting. Pair that with the fact that 48% of sales people never even follow-up with a prospect and it becomes clear that companies need to establish better practices for reapproaching a contact on a targeted and strategically-timed basis.
There’s also the fact that 63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months – and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy. Are you following-up with prospects for over 12 months? Are you following up at all?
So what does this tell us? Follow-up is not just important. It’s everything!!
Enter Marketing Automation! The “Prospect Engagement” Control Center
Do you send the same email to the prospect that visited one page on your site for 30 seconds and the prospect that visited 5 pages over 15 minutes? Should your sales team treat these prospects’ level of interest equally? Of course not! All of your prospects are at different stages of the buying process and therefore, should be approached in an intentional, specific manner.
Marketing Automation allows you to set email campaigns that will only be delivered to prospects based on their behavior. For example, you have an online store and send out a $5 off coupon to your customer base.
Marketing Automation shows you who opened your email and who decided to visit your site to take advantage of the offer. You also see that of those that visited, 25% got to your check-out page and then left. This could mean a number of things: They got sidetracked (happens to the best of us!), decided to wait until pay day, thought shipping was too expensive, etc. Now you can set rules in MA to automatically send an email specifically to the prospects who abandoned their shopping cart. Perhaps that email contains a special offer discounting shipping.
The Bottom Line: You don’t send the same email to everyone! Targeted marketing makes it a better experience for the prospect and results in you closing more business.
Lead Scoring and Sales Team Notifications
A prospect’s level of interest will often determine your chances of closing the deal. We all wish we could have a crystal ball that would show us the perfect time to reach back out to a prospect don’t we? Well, marketing automation is as close as we can get to it.
Marketing Automation can notify the sales team any time one of their prospects has reacted to one of your marketing campaigns. It will also notify them when they have visited your site and then score them based on their level of activity/interest.
As a sales person at heart, I know how priceless this type of information really is. It is a great feeling to wake up to an email or text message that tells you the prospect you’ve been chasing for 3 months visited your website and is showing interest in your product or services!
Why Your Competition Is Leading the Charge
- Who doesn’t love stats? Stats are not gospel but they do provide good insight into what is working and what is not.
- Marketing Automation drives a 451% increase in qualified leads for business
- 93% of businesses successfully use marketing automation to achieve their important objectives (Marketing Automation Benchmark Survey, N-194 SMBs)
- Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than those who were not nurtured. (Source)
- Marketing Automation users have seen an average increase of sales revenues by 34%. (Source: Pardot)
So why is your competition using Marketing Automation? Because it works! You can choose to lead the charge in your field or you can scramble to play catch up later. The truth: marketing automation is not only useful tool; it is a necessity if you plan on making the most of your digital marketing. There’s only one catch, this is not a magic bullet. It is a powerful tool that must be leveraged properly.
Any tool is only useful if… you use it.
Have you ever purchased something for a friend or family member and they didn’t really see the value of it? Picture this: You purchase a brand new computer for your grandparents. You spend hours picking out just the right one. As they open it you start to tell them about the i7 processor, the hdmi output, the high-speed dvd burner, and the LED screen. They respond with “great, thanks but can we still use the google?”
You see, those features and benefits are lost on them because they are not educated on their value. They could be doing so much more than “using the google”. Marketing Automation can easily be compared to that top-of-the-line computer. It is an amazing tool that can absolutely improve the overall customer experience and lead to closing more business. However, if not used correctly it’s just a paper weight.
You have 2 Options if you’re are going to make Marketing Automation work:
#1 Commit to consistently using Marketing Automation and adjusting triggers towards what has gotten positive user behavior from your prospects.
#2 Outsource the dirty work to a knowledgeable marketing team to invest the time and provide the strategic experience to make it work
I hope this has given you better insight into the amazing tool that is Marketing Automation. If you would like more information or want to discuss our platform I would love to hear from you!