Owning and managing a business of any size is demanding even in the best of times. It’s a meticulous balancing act that requires keeping a sharp eye on everything from IT and human resources to managing accounts payable, receivables and business development. And if you’re planning for growth, marketing is no small consideration and can be a full-time job itself. So, how can you maximize your time while getting the best results for your marketing investment?
Marketing Automation, Inbound-style
This is where it gets interesting. More and more companies today are turning to inbound marketing and marketing automation to expedite their awareness and prospecting efforts. So, what exactly is marketing automation? It’s just as its name implies — using software to automate time-consuming tasks that used to be done manually — jobs such as blogging, social media, emails, landing pages and more. It’s a powerful tool that elevates your ability to target prospects and nurture them through the buyers’ journey into paying customers.
Marketing automation is smart and makes sense for a lot of reasons. Here are just a few:
It’s a real time-saver.
There was a time when companies hired one or several people to write emails, post on social media, develop pitches to prospective clients, create prospect lists, and reach out to them individually. It was expensive and time-consuming. Marketing automation eliminates a lot of the drudgery, enabling you to create, schedule and post to websites and social media effortlessly, send out emails to numerous prospects simultaneously and receive accurate reporting with a few keystrokes.
It allows for personalization.
Here’s something to consider: Personalized emails result in open rates that are six-times higher than non-personalized emails. Yet nearly three-quarters of companies don’t use them! These are lost opportunities that result in money left on the table. Marketing automation tools make personalizing emails simple and cost-effective. You can target individuals with content and special offers that relate to them specifically, rather than taking an ineffective, generic approach. Automation software such as HubSpot or Marketo allows you to attract visitors, nurture leads, and close deals while adding ‘personalization tokens’ to email blasts. These tools are easy to implement and make the process simple and effective. There is power in personalization!
It provides closed-loop data.
Tracking the results of multi-channel marketing initiatives using multiple tools can be a nightmare. The manual-work of tracking campaigns, leads and sources – and getting them all to match up could easily amount to tens of hours each month. A marketing automation tool eliminates cumbersome juggling between platforms and lets you track multiple activities (SEO, paid search, social, email and landing pages) within each campaign. You can also view comprehensive analytics of your traffic, clicks, leads, conversions, and other important customer data — all in one place. You get the big picture on one dashboard, rather than hop scotching among numerous programs.
It’s all about the leads.
In a growing business, leads are your lifeblood. Marketing automation makes generating leads effortless and highly efficient. Say you have a special offer to send to prospects. You want to move these leads down the funnel. Today you can simply create the offer, and the marketing automation software helps you to build the landing pages and forms and develop customized, personalized emails — all while integrating your social media post and paid search campaigns. Targeted, personalized marketing automation makes it smart, simple and cost-effective.
Automated workflows mean more sales.
Chances are your sales reps spend more time managing leads and opportunities than they do speaking with prospects. Tools like automated email workflows changes that equation, giving salespeople more time to sell by streamlining repetitive processes. An automated system also handles tasks like assigning leads, updating opportunities, managing a pipeline and reporting. This frees your sales personnel to concentrate on revenue-producing opportunities. Sales is all about, well, selling; automated workflows put selling first.
Reaching prospects where and when they are most likely to respond positively is what smart marketing is all about. It’s the only effective way to grow your business. Inbound marketing and marketing automation are a great leap forward in reaching customers with targeted, personalized messages that yield measurable results. At Brainstorm Studio, we’ll show you how easy it is to integrate a marketing automation program for your business, and work with you to ensure tangible results now, and down the road. Contact us today for a free inbound marketing evaluation.