Why Use Marketing Automation?
How much of your day/week/month/quarter is spent on strategy, long-term thinking, financial analysis, market evaluations, and more? How much is spent on getting tactics done?
For most of us in B2B marketing, a good chunk of our day is spent repeating the same mundane but necessary tasks. Your business can’t grow when you spend your time there.
You know how to delegate. Marketing automation is the ultimate delegation for:
- Social media
- Lead tracking, nurturing, and scoring
- Payments (if it applies to your situation)
Set up your software to do these tasks when and how you need them.
The marketing automation process increases efficiency and revenue while decreasing spending and overall effort.
- Save time: Let the software reach out to someone who downloads content so your team can focus on being creative!
- Decrease costs and increase revenue: With fewer staff required to follow up on regular tasks, you save money and increase productivity when they can work with qualified sales leads!
- Align sales and marketing: With more qualified leads produced efficiently, sales has more opportunities to close!
When you invest the time up front into defining what you want to do and how, and marketing automation takes over managing the day-to-day mundane tasks, you free up that valuable creative time for your team.
Case Study: You Are Here
You found this blog post. Although this piece of content is like a tiny snippet among 1.3 million search results when you search for “b2b inbound marketing," you found it. That worked out well for you… and us.
Happenstance didn’t get you here. Golden Spiral builds onto our marketing automation system every day. Why? Because it’s smart. We save time and money by automating the processes that need to be managed every day in our business.
Let me pull back the curtain even more. Our desire is that you’ll read — or skim — this article and decide to learn more by downloading our Complete Guide to Marketing Automation for B2B Tech. When you do, we’ll ask for a few pieces of information and in return, we’ll send you a PDF that will walk you step-by-step through how to get started and which metrics to set up to track. In addition to the download, you’ll receive an email with download links for your future use. You’ll also begin receiving our weekly newsletter of insights called The Angle. If you interact with us more by reading more articles or downloading more resources, you might get other emails from us hopefully nudging you to the point where you want to talk about hiring us to help you with a project or strategy. All of these things happen… automatically.
The emails and workflows took many hours to write, program, and set up. But they work for us 24/7 and will process thousands of contacts this year. That’s a return on your investment of time.
How To Succeed with Marketing Automation
Automation should be part of a strong marketing strategy, not a replacement. If you start an automation effort with poor planning, you will get poor results. And frustration. And questions about missing your KPIs.
Marketing Automation is a serious force to propel you forward. According to Act-On, automation helps companies fill their pipelines with 31% more leads than those who don’t use it. Automation makes marketers 20% more productive. If those two statistics don’t thrill you, think about this one: a report showed that for every dollar companies currently spend on automation, they’re receiving a return of more than six dollars.
Once you’ve decided to dive into the world of automated marketing, take a step back. Before you go further, revisit your marketing strategy to ensure you’re ready.
- Do you have measurable goals? Your KPIs should establish what a successful marketing campaign looks like. Email open rates, demo requests, conversion rates. Set up these goals to be tracked in your chosen software.
- Do you have buyer personas? Anticipate the questions buyers will have about your product — and craft your answers now. At a minimum, you’ll need 2-3 personas defined before moving forward with your inbound strategy. Our proprietary process to build a Buyer Matrix leads our customers to more deeply understand their audiences than ever before. Understanding your Buyer Matrix will turbocharge your audience interaction in your platform.
- What content will you offer? Your automation platform can help draw your leads through your entire funnel. As you build different pieces of content to meet the needs of your leads at different stages in your funnel, you can house them — and connect them — in your platform. Build workflows that will draw them from content piece to content piece to content piece.
Power Your Product Launch
As you prepare to launch your next product, put the power of marketing automation to work for you. Many of the prep activities for adopting marketing automation are similar to those in a product launch strategy. A well-planned, well-executed launch includes a pre-launch tune-up of your CRM, content, lead scoring sheet, email strategies, website, conversion tools, and more. Product launches and marketing automation both require sober mindedness and effective planning. Take the time and energy to write and execute your strategy well. Download our complete product launch guide to put your entire plan together.
Software Selection and Implementation
Use the valuable goal, personas, and content information to evaluate the >50 marketing automation software products available. The most common and most recommended are HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot. Golden Spiral uses HubSpot, but we have clients who use multiples platforms, and our developers and designers work in each of them. Find the platform that best fits your needs, budget, and strategy. The major platforms have excellent demos and sandboxes that allow you to play with your own data in their ecosystems.
Consider each package’s functionality, ease-of use, progressive design, integrations, support history, and training/documentation, among other criteria.
To ease implementation, take care to evaluate your landing pages and lead scoring. Clean and purge your CRM database before importing it. When your first automated campaign kicks off, watch carefully and tweak your well-crafted messages to make sure they hit their intended targets. Your list hygiene will help you prevent sending emails to Brad when your contact is named Emilie.
Don’t make the mistake of purchasing marketing automation software without a plan. Most packages come with a hefty price tag and you’ll want to make the most of your purchase.
Basic Types of Automation
A successful marketing automation plan requires numerous varied and dependent pieces that work together. While it saves you countless hours down the road, it can be a heavy lift to set up. But the results make it worth it.
Social media automation alone saves hours a week. Schedule your posts on a weekly or monthly basis and they’re automatically executed. You can even monitor competitor activity and track referral traffic.
As mentioned above, email nurture campaigns execute seamlessly and without manual intervention. Welcome your visitors and content downloaders, gather information, and meet their needs through an email series. Set up your platform to notify a sales rep when a potential buyer reaches that critical point of personal contact. Reach out to lost customers, request reviews from satisfied clients, and explore numerous opportunities.
All of that happens automatically so that you and your team can do what counts.
The First Thing to Do After Reading this Article
Download the Complete Guide to Marketing Automation for B2B Tech and share it with one or two key members of your team. Then, make a decision about what you’ll do next.
You know your business, so grow it. Leave the task work to marketing automation.