According to Social Media Today’s “State of Marketing Automation” 2019 survey, 75% of marketers use at least one type of marketing automation tool.
Yet when you talk to small businesses, their story is flipped.
They have their own reasons for reluctance to use marketing automation tools.
They will say things like
- “We are a small business; we don’t need to automate”
- “We don’t have the budget for an automated tool”
- “We are yet far away from an ‘automation stage’”
- “If we automate, wouldn’t that mean we have to fire our existing marketing executives?”
Well, guess what?
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Busting the Myths of Marketing Automation
None of the assumptions given above line up with the actual facts (at least not the most current facts anyway!):
- Marketing automation has come a long way; it’s suitable for businesses of every size (yes, even solopreneurs use marketing automation!)
- These tools do not cost a bomb. The pricing of many modern tools is tailored to small businesses.
- Marketing automation does not need “perfect conditions”; it takes your current level of operations and makes it more efficient, faster, and better.
- Automation makes execution of marketing strategies much faster; it actually makes the job of your current marketing staff easier - but not so easy that you’d have to fire them!
Why is Marketing Automation so essential for small businesses?
Marketing automation is not a next-gen technology; it is being used in some way, shape, or form by every business that executes a marketing strategy.
Let’s look at some reasons why Marketing Automation is so important for small businesses.
1. Unified customer data
To understand the customer journey, you cannot afford to have fragmented data. With marketing automation, there will be no more switching apps, opening files, or looking up manuals because all types of valuable data is stored in a single software.
- Referral source tracking
- Website activity tracking
- Data about how each user is interacting with your email campaigns i.e. which links they click and which artifacts they download.
This is called a “bird’s eye view” of the customer. It helps you create a highly accurate and predictable marketing strategy.
As a result, you can predict the user’s behavior, segment them accurately, and conduct targeted (and personalized) marketing campaigns.
2. Increased productivity
With all the time they save, your marketing team can focus more on value-adding marketing activities and leave the repetitive tasks to the automation tool.
3. Better marketing communication strategy
Your customer communication strategy also becomes more personalized - both in terms of content and timely delivery.
With the help of marketing automation software, you can target each lead based on their location in the customer journey. You can also send email content that is personalized so they can relate more, thus leading to higher email open rates and click-through rates.
4. Higher return-on-investment (ROI) with increased cross-selling and upselling
As businesses get richer customer data, they can combine it with behavioral triggers. This means that they can predict when a whole segment of users will make a purchase in the future and nudge them when the time comes.
If the new purchase is valued higher than the previous purchase, it is called upselling.
If the new purchase is in a different category of products, it is called cross-selling.
Both techniques increase the customer’s lifetime value (CLV) and the company’s gross revenue, ultimately translating into higher return-on-investment (ROI).
There is solid proof for it too: Businesses using marketing automation got 50% of their sales from existing customers vs. only 30% for businesses that did not use marketing automation.
The new customer acquisition cost is always more than the cost of higher sales from an existing customer. So if you don’t use marketing automation software, you might virtually be at a loss.
5. Better alignment between Marketing and Sales team
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the leads that the sales team gets had a tag of how “ready-to-buy” they are?
When the marketing team collects a fresh (cold) lead, the marketing automation software for small businesses starts scoring the lead based on their behavior and their interactions with the company’s online assets. This lead score, when combined with other behavioral data from the software, tells the sales team exactly how far along the lead is in the customer journey.
So, when the sales team approaches them, they already know which ones are hot leads and which ones are just warm leads (i.e. they need more nurturing).
This aligns the sales team with the marketing team’s work and creates a more trustworthy relationship between them.
Small businesses must have marketing automation software
These are just a few of the marketing automation benefits.
If you are serious about marketing your product/service online and capitalizing on your online presence (social media or otherwise), you need to start using marketing automation software.