Marketing automation tools remain a hot topic for marketing teams, and with good reason. According to numbers compiled by Emailmonday, it’s estimated that 49% of companies currently use automation as part of their marketing strategy, with the percentage ticking up to 55% for B2Bs. It’s no wonder, then, that marketing automation adoption continues to grow, expected to top $25 billion by 2023, according to Forrester. To put that in perspective, the spend on marketing automation was just $11.4 billion in 2017.
Impressive statistics, to be sure, but maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Since Google trends data continues to reflect all-time highs in searches for “marketing automation,” there’s clearly a sustained interest in it, but maybe a little mystery, too.
Let’s take a step back and explore just what marketing automation is, and how it can benefit you.
The concept of “marketing automation” isn’t necessarily easy to boil down into a few sentences, but Techopedia offers a fairly concise definition:
Marketing automation is the use of software and web-based services to execute, manage and automate marketing tasks and processes. It replaces manual and repetitive marketing processes [emails, social media, certain website actions] with purpose-built software and applications geared toward performance.
There are three basic categories of marketing automation:
While the third category has been leveraged by mega-brands like Procter & Gamble, General Mills and other giant marketers, workflow automation technology has become much more accessible to small businesses and midsize organizations. Still, the vast majority of businesses will derive the greatest impact from tools and processes available from marketing intelligence and business development.
Why? Marketing intelligence and business development focus on the top line, which is where most businesses need help today.
There’s a lot of data to prove the benefits of marketing automation and lead generation. For example, companies that use automation to manage their leads can expect a 10% or more bump in revenue within 6-9 months. Likewise, businesses that nurture leads — say, with targeted email campaigns — make 50% more sales at a cost that’s 33% less than non-nurtured prospects.
Seriously. Read that again.
In addition to the obvious financial impact, marketers say that the biggest benefit of automation is saving time. These benefits will only compound in coming years, since 67% of marketing leaders currently use a marketing automation platform and an additional 21% plan to implement one in the next two years.
In a nutshell, here are some of the most powerful marketing automation benefits that businesses can expect:
Some indirect benefits of marketing automation that we’ve witnessed with clients extend to the impact on their corporate culture and team attitudes. Sales professionals, for example, discover just how much more rewarding it is to work with warm qualified leads as opposed to cold calling from low quality purchased lists. Plus, those leads can be integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) software and populate a lead’s record with relevant information.
For example, did a lead visit a landing page and download an eBook about the benefits of your product or service? Did they read a blog about how to choose a vendor? Having that kind of customer data is virtual gold to your sales team and can be the fuel that starts a conversation. Another benefit to sales is that they get less pushback on pricing because the leads are of higher quality.
For anyone interested in learning more about the marketing automation software options available, your research should start with insights found in reviews. For example, G2|Crowd, a third party software reviewer, ranks HubSpot, Omnisend, Marketo, Pardot, RD Station, Act-On, ActiveCampaign, Sendinblue, and others among the top performers.
As a Platinum HubSpot partner, we can attest to its ease-of-use and ability to get results. If you’re getting started with marketing automation, keep going, it’s worth the effort. And if you haven’t started yet…what are you waiting for? We’re happy to introduce you to the world of inbound marketing and automation. Just reach out.
Topics: Marketing Automation