Despite the acceptance of marketing automation at a rapidly increasing number of organizations, some small and mid-size businesses suffer from marketing automation apprehension. They are apprehensive about moving from manual processes to automated marketing systems.
Deploying marketing automation to accomplish a significant part of lead nurturing and scoring is increasingly common. So too is integrating CRM systems with marketing automation systems.
Sirius Decisions reported that market leading companies, employing strong lead nurturing processes supported by marketing automation solutions, close over 4 times the number of deals of average firms.
Why is there reluctance to starting with marketing automation when it’s proven far more effective and far superior to the batch-and-blast email systems it replaces?
Too much content?
One concern is based on the perception that too much content will be required, “more than we can possibly create.”
First, today’s buyer requires content from you before they will even consider doing business with you. Content will be necessary regardless of how you communicate it. Marketing automation provides you with better delivery and better tracking so you may see the ROI of your content development efforts.
Second; if you are already emailing your prospect base and updating your website and social network channels with content, you’ve already embarked on the right course. Adding a strategic partner or two, and building up your own internal content development resources is important no matter how you market.
A second concern is that the technology will be too difficult to deploy and too complex to learn to use effectively.
The latest generation of marketing automation systems has made it easier for marketers to operate these systems. Benefits may be gained quickly. Thanks to easy-to-use features such as on-screen prospect segmentation, drag-and-drop campaigns and forms, email and landing page templates, any marketer can quickly get campaigns and forms up and running in a short period of time with only minimal training.
Since the latest versions of marketing automation systems are designed for ease of use and don’t require much, if any, IT involvement, they enable marketers to get started quickly. And because today’s tools are nimble, marketers have the flexibility to experiment and change campaigns and tactics on the fly without having to stop and start over each time.
The real advantage however isn’t about the technology; it’s about providing tools that allow marketers to stick to basic techniques of prospect engagement, tracking and follow up and then build in greater sophistication over time.
Deploying and running marketing automation is no more complicated than what you may already be doing today, albeit manually.
One of marketing automation’s key advantages is providing a comprehensive history of each of your prospects. The history starts with their first anonymous visits to your website. You also capture and add on the full history once they become known. The history includes activity such as email opens, site visits, and any form fills or events they’ve participated in.
Just start small and start simply. Follow the processes and programs you currently have running, and build on your success over time.
In the end, generating real leads can spur growth and kick-start a company’s success. The secret is using marketing automation to help you focus on high-quality leads. You can accomplish this by creating and delivering compelling content to targeted audiences and tracking the results.