Brain Dump


Marketing Automation: Small Business Savior or Just Another Buzzword?

Automation has made countless lives easier by simplifying and streamlining the most mundane and time-consuming tasks — including certain marketing functions.

You can automate messages, emails, campaigns and social posts; identify potential prospects and leads; and create personalized workflows to deliver the right content at the right time — all while saving your own valuable time.

Eighty-one percent of companies with large marketing budgets are using marketing automation technology. But advances in technology have brought costs down dramatically, making automation accessible for smaller companies, too.

Here’s how you might benefit:

  1. Improve efficiency. Marketing automation software gives you the power to set it and forget it. For example, schedule social posts for the next month or automatically send emails to lapsed customers or prospects with abandoned shopping carts. In turn, you can free up your resources to focus on strategy and creativity.
  2. Increase conversions. Find out who your visitors are, where they’re coming from and what they need. Marketing automation technology will track your leads via web page visits, downloads, social media interactions and more. And when you know where they’re hanging out and what types of content they’re consuming, you can utilize segmentation to personalize the experiences of different groups. Remember, you foster connections — and increased conversion rates — by presenting useful, relevant content to your prospects.
  3. Make data-based decisions. A marketing automation platform gives you all of the marketing data you need, all in one place. That’s because it can collect, track and store customer behaviors, interactions, open rates and so much more, enabling you to make smarter decisions regarding your campaigns.
  4. Generate accurate reports. With all the data in your hands, marketing automation software can generate reports to give you a high-level overview of your processes — or a closer look at where things went wrong within them. This can enable you to easily identify what’s working and what’s not, so you can make adjustments for better results.
  5. Better align marketing and sales. Historically, sales and marketing teams don’t place nicely in the sandbox. But collaboration between the two can be a powerful thing. A marketing automation platform can ensure that everyone has access to the same background information, data points and results. After all, you’re all working toward the same goals, right?

Is marketing automation technology worth the investment and learning curve?
At the end of the day, your marketing efforts come down to one thing: ROI. While marketing automation can save you time and resources, it’s important to choose a platform wisely. Can you test-drive their offering in a sandbox before you buy? Does the functionality seem intuitive? What’s the length of your initial contractual commitment? How robust is their training? Do they have live support for any issues you may encounter?

If you’re automating tasks like email campaigns with landing pages, be sure to closely examine available templates. How easily can they be customized? In our (painful) experience, “copy, paste & send” is 100% a fib. Images not sizing correctly or type off-center? Be prepared to develop rudimentary coding knowledge to fix problems like these. We’ve found the benefits to outweigh the downsides if you take the time to select a platform that checks all your boxes.


Authored by: Lauren HarrisMarketing Automation: Small Business Savior or Just Another Buzzword?
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