If you're going up against big players in your market, automation can save time and money while collecting big-data insights for your small business.
Let’s face it: It can be overwhelming to keep up with new digital-marketing strategies, social media, drip campaigns and all the other emerging opportunities in the world of marketing technology. There's so much to choose from, it now has its own blended term -- martech.
While the world’s biggest corporations dedicate entire teams to social-media monitoring and feedback, startup leaders must run much tighter ships. The Chief Marketing Officer often is the same person as the CEO and the CFO. Those challenges make it more difficult to stay on trend when it comes to marketing outreach -- much less effectively adopt and implement these strategies.
Still, martech holds tremendous growth potential for startups whose leaders can make time to explore it. The only caveat: People choose small businesses for a reason. Don’t begin to rely so heavily on marketing automation that you lose your personal touch.
In the bigger picture, the time startups invest in marketing automation will streamline operations and help companies grow faster (and often in profound ways). Here are a few reasons to consider making the move to integrate automation in your marketing plan.
1. It levels the playing field.
New startups often feel like minnows trying to outswim and outsmart sharks in a game of survival. Reports reveal that nearly half of small-business owners manage marketing efforts on their own, all while carrying out other duties from human resources to sales. Marketing automation helps bring some balance by offering incredibly savvy and sophisticated tools that also are incredibly easy to use and set.
Don’t know much about analytics or “lead-nurturing?" That’s OK. Companies such as GetResponse and Act-On do, and they can help reach out, clear out and make marketing decisions for you. Best of all? Those decisions happen automatically, based on specifications you set during your onboarding process. That can add hours to your day, not to mention thousands (or millions) in sales when well-utilized.
2. It creates a valuable database.
The information gathered during marketing automation goes far beyond contacts and potential customers. It's actual data -- big data. It's the type of knowledge that can help you make smarter decisions about how to move your business forward.
Marketing automation can help you determine which style of language or tone works best with different audience segments, which audiences are more likely to buy certain products and when your customers are most likely to shop. It even can help you understand where you might be losing customers who drop off during their digital journeys. Why do they abandon their shopping carts? How can you give them more incentive to complete the sale and drive conversion-rate growth?
Basically, it’s like employing a full-scale marketing agency. Except it’s a lot cheaper, and it’s always at your disposal -- no matter how small your company is right now.
3. It helps turn leads into sales.
Are you nurturing your prospects? If you’re running a startup, chances are good you don’t have time for this crucial business-development function. Nurturing your leads requires more than an ongoing touch-base or check-in. It means helping steer your prospect toward your desired goal or outcome.
Nurtured leads show a 20 percent increase in sales compared to non-nurtured leads. Marketing automation can help you manage redirects when someone has left an item in an online shopping cart and even send product discounts or other incentives if a customer fails to buy after your first reminder. It's all based on a series of simple "if/when" statements you establish when you create your campaign.
In essence, automation turns you into a savvy marketing professional with an endless number of hands to hold tight to your customers throughout their buying journeys.
4. It can save time and (make) money.
In today’s fast-paced business world, it’s nearly impossible to reach out to potential business partners manually -- at least not efficiently. Marketing automation can help here, too.
Once you create your list, marketing-automation tools can do much of the work for you. They even can help create content and determine its effectiveness for future campaigns. That means no more hiring freelancers, working with mail servers or responding to individually to every inquiry.
Martech can handle those tasks -- and a lot more -- starting around $50 per month. Once you see its benefits, you'll want to move on and allow Martech to create custom forms and landing pages as well as manage your responses to leads generated by those assets.
5. It’s scalable.
It probably goes without saying, but like many other cloud-based services today, marketing automation is scalable. You can pay based on your current number of contacts, and the service will grow along with you.
Marketing automation holds tremendous potential for any startup. Ultimately, marketing automation should help customers better understand your brand, your vision and your products. It’s one more way to extend your presence and keep the big fish circling elsewhere.