Marketing Automation for Small Businesses: A Definitive Guide
For every small business owner, the amount of daily work that is required to build a business is enormous. However, with only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week, trying to deal with business development, customer service, marketing, production, financials and everything else can often feel completely overwhelming.
This is why many small business owners are continuously looking for ways to overcome time deficiency. Currently, marketing automation is one of the proven ways to do so. Marketing automation in a nutshell is the technology allows businesses to accomplish different tasks for different components of marketing at once, saving them time and manpower.
If your small business is considering implementing marketing automation, or if you have already done so but aren’t yet seeing the results you want, read on for a definitive guide to marketing automation.
What Is Marketing Automation All About?
Marketing automation is defined as “the software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.”
In other words, it is a set of tools that assist in streamlining and simplifying some of the most time-consuming and repetitive activities of the modern marketing world. These tools can range from automating the lead qualification process to formulating a center for digital campaign production.
When you are growing your small business, you want to simplify processes as much as possible, and that is exactly what marketing automation is all about.
What Is The Relationship Between Marketing Automation and CRM?
As a small business, you are (most likely) tight with resources. For this reason, you want to implement tools that not only integrate smoothly with your existing systems and processes, but that also enhance them. This is where the potentially powerful relationship between marketing automation and your CRM system can get tested.
Assuming that your CRM tool is already a fundamental component of your business and an essential element in the manner in which you track, record and access performance metrics and customer data, then its integration with a new marketing automation system should be seamless.
The additional benefit is that now, you will also be able to monitor actions from your campaigns, real-time sales alerts, ROI reporting, and much more.
In 2018, many small businesses have already discovered the advantages of integrating marketing automation with CRMs. However, if you are not seeing the results you desire, then the issue may be with the integration and the marketing automation system you chose.
What Is The Relationship Between Marketing Automation and SEO?
Marketing automation ensures that your content is continuously replenishing you with SEO benefits by streamlining the distribution of your content. That isn’t to say that it actually does the marketing, but it does scale your efforts.
What Are the Benefits of Marketing Automation for Small Businesses?
There are a number of marketing automation benefits for your type of business and, if you haven’t done so, it is high time you get to know them.
- Marketing automation will save you time and effort on customer acquisition, as your content marketing strategy will be closely aligned with your marketing and sales funnel.
- Marketing automation will help you measure results in a way that can educate you for even better future results. By using the reports that marketing automation will provide, you can collect and organize the data and track your progress. Armed with thorough information, you can work on analyzing the data and adjusting your strategy when required.
- Marketing automation allows small business to take advantage of lead acquisition, nurturing and conversion optimization tasks, despite having a small team and fewer resources.
- Marketing automation encourages personalized messages and hyper-segmented lists and even makes it easier to manage them. By putting a marketing automation solution into action, you can utilize data from prospects and leads to design personalized strategies.
- Marketing automation assists in capturing potential consumers through cart abandonment strategies. If you sell anything online, this is a fundamental benefit. Due to the ease and abundance of online shopping and research, many shoppers add items or services to their online carts and then leave before closing the purchase. Marketing automation can help you obtain and win their interest and money!
There are several strategies that you can try to nurture those potential clients, so it is something you want to discuss with your marketing automation vendor. However, small businesses that have adopted an efficient cart abandonment procedure have been adequately equipped to win back those customers’ consideration and boost their sales as a result.
- Marketing automation can also be utilized for social media campaigns. In addition to email marketing and lead generation and nurturing, your small business can use the tools provided by marketing automation software to drive social media campaigns.
After all, the more data you have, the better your understanding of the market and your customers will be. So, by accumulating supplementary data from platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, you’re improving your ability to generate more dependable conclusions.
What Are the Marketing Automation Options for Small Businesses?
In the past few years, many innovative marketing automation options have been released on the market, especially for small businesses. These solutions include several automation features such as:
- Drip campaigns
- Forms and landing pages
- Lead scoring
- Automated email campaigns
- Built-in CRM or CRM integration
- Trigger emails based on set or custom rules
- Smarter segmentation
- Built-in e-commerce functionality or integration with e-commerce platforms
- Multichannel analytics
At this point, you should be rather convinced that marketing automation is essential if you want to advance your small business to the next level. However, before you go and commit to a software, first take the time to figure out why your company needs to invest in a marketing automation platform. There is little or no point investing in marketing automation if you don’t have a plan of how you are going to utilize it.
While marketing automation can potentially bring in a vast amount of benefits to your business, for it to truly work, you must have well-prepared resources and well-trained talent committed to the operation of your marketing automation platform.
Meet with both your marketing and sales teams about what they would like to see in a marketing automation platform and ensure that they are willing to be invested in and devoted to its full implementation.
But, at the end of the day, keep in mind that the true value of marketing automation lies in how your business becomes better at building relationships that lead to responsive, engaged and faithful customers.
Tomi Saikkonen is the Vice President of Liana Technologies, Middle East. Just like you Tomi is fascinated by the possibilities of digital marketing and technology. He actively seeks out ways to help businesses and organizations across industries to improve their digital marketing ROI.