Small businesses have lower annual incomes, fewer employees (usually less than 50) and limited resources. Not to mention, small businesses are constantly under pressure to compete with larger enterprises with much larger marketing budgets.
In the competitive world of today, if a small business wants to sustain in the market, the only way this can happen is if it can achieve more with less.
Therefore, technology and automation are the two methods businesses can employ to achieve more with less; it can help them cut costs and increase efficiency. Unfortunately, many small businesses still don’t understand the necessity of marketing automation that could help them spread their thin resources optimally.
A business cannot survive without marketing its products and services in today’s time and age. It needs to showcase its products to the right consumer market for success. On a daily basis, marketing personnel engage in repetitive tasks that includes sending emails, crafting engagement strategies for social media, creating subscription lists, writing blogs etc. Each of these tasks takes time and effort – both of which can be minimized with the help of marketing automation software.
However, the magic of marketing automation is not confined to everyday marketing tasks. The main goal of the software is to generate leads, nurture them in a highly personalized manner and convert prospects into customers and first-time customers into delighted, loyal ones. This sounds complicated, time consuming and expensive; but in reality, it is the very opposite.
In short, the top functions that marketing automation offers to organizations are;
Amazon is a great example of this;
Marketing automation is growing leaps and bounds with each passing day. A report published in April 2017 states that 49% B2B companies are using marketing automation. Moreover, 91% users agree that marketing automation is vital to company success and growth.
Image source: emailmonday.com
As mentioned earlier, small businesses are weighed down with many predicaments. At the small business level, it is not a priority to automate marketing practices, budget constraints being the main reason. 25% UK companies have revealed that they face marketing challenges due to budget limitations.
However, marketing automation can benefit small businesses even more than large enterprises by giving them a chance to compete with the big fish in the industry.
According to Nucleus Research, marketing automation resulted in sales productivity increase by 14.5% with a 12.2% decline in marketing overheads. Hence, with the help of marketing automation, small businesses can decrease costs while increasing productivity levels thereby optimally utilizing their marketing budgets.
Below are some reasons why small businesses should adopt marketing automation;
Marketing automation helps close deals and leads to final consumer purchases. Hence, the time gap between a consumer expressing interest in a product and the purchase is significantly reduced with the help of marketing automation.
Organizations claim that the process of converting leads into customers is much faster with marketing automation. Aberdeen Group State of Marketing Automation 2014 research states that 88% companies are successful in converting leads to sales with marketing automation. These statistics will surely help small organizations achieve their sales targets faster and more efficiently.
With the help of marketing automation, a small company can better leverage its employees and can experience a much needed boost in productivity levels. This is because a software can take care of marketing tasks that are repetitive such as sending emails to customers, conducting surveys, developing strategies to enhance customer experience, overseeing online advertising etc. HubSpot offers a wide variety of tools that can automate many of these processes.
Moreover, the software provides innovative solutions for mundane tasks. This gives the marketing team an opportunity to concentrate on other tasks that require human skill and attention.
Hence, small businesses can benefit a great deal by using marketing automation. In other words, business can now get much more out of existing resources.
It is vital to engage customers at every step of their lifecycle in a pertinent and customized manner. However, customer retention is a constant struggle for companies. Marketing automation has a solution for this business dilemma as well. One of the main functions of marketing automation is to turn leads into customers and first time customers into loyal ones.
Marketing automation keeps customers engaged and updated via personalized emails. Using customer data, small businesses can now understand exactly what a target audience segment requires at a given moment and provide exactly that. ‘Being available at the right place and the right time’ increases purchases and thus the bottom line.
Also, advanced marketing software are able to gauge customer intentions and predict understand a customer is looking for and tries to encourage them to buy what they want in a shorter span of time. One such marketing automation software that helps with customer retention is known as Windsor Circle. It uses customer history of purchases to create personalized marketing that connects with the customer on a deeper level, thereby ensuring that the customer keeps coming back.
Generating leads is easier than understanding and converting them. However, marketing automation is able to deduce the web pages that a lead visits, emails they open and products that interest them. This vital information can be put to great use by displaying only that content to a lead in which they showed interest. This way, you can nurture leads and convert them into loyal, returning customers. Infusionsoft is a great software, built especially for small business aimed at boosting sales by gathering leads
Former campaigns, whether on ground or social media, need to be evaluated for their successes or failures. This task, albeit important, ties up useful resources in calculating tedious numbers and analyzing data.
However, marketing automation software such as TEO (TargetEveryone) can do this job efficiently for the company. TEO uses measurable data to track expenses of a campaign as well as the ROI. It also monitors and analyzes the response rate received following a campaign to deem whether it should be continued or not.
These are just a few ways small businesses can take advantage of marketing automation. However, if used to its maximum potential, the sky is the limit.
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer. She loves to read and write article related to health and lifestyle, sometime on health-tech as well. She is crazy about choclates and you can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia
Your business has an outstanding website that serves as a major connection between you and your customers. On your website, your customers can learn about your company, products and services. They can ask questions, make purchases and review your products. All of this interaction provides you with valuable information about your customers that you can use to better your marketing, customer service and business.
How do you collect and organize all this data? One of the most effective ways is a Customer – or Contact – Relationship Management system (CRM). This system will collect and organize all the data from your customer interactions so it can be easily accessed and utilized. Integrating your CRM with your website will make this data collection faster, more accurate and easier to use. Here’s how.
When using a CRM, your customer information is updated instantly, so you know your data is always current. You don’t need to worry about the delay caused by manually gathering information and updating databases.
Customers will likely have questions or requests regarding actions they took very recently on your website. When faced with this situation, up-to-date data provides an obvious advantage. There’s no question about whether you have the most recent information and can communicate effectually with your customer. This will lead to quick response time and better customer service.
Large amounts of contact data can become overwhelming, especially when multiple people are collecting that data through different systems. Consolidating all of your information using a CRM will keep you organized especially if you are running lead nurturing campaigns.
Using a CRM eliminates the need for your employees to search through multiple systems gathering data about a customer. When searching through unconsolidated systems, employees may be faced with duplicate or even contradictory information due to human error and system differences. All of this slows down your employees and reduces the speed and accuracy of their communications with contacts or customers.
Storing your CRM data in the cloud gives all your employees access to that data from anywhere. Having a single, fast, accurate and accessible source of customer information can do wonders for your client communications.
When using an integrated CRM, your employees don’t need to spend their time manually gathering customer information from your website and moving it into a database. This saves them time that they can use on other productive tasks and saves your business money.
Automating your information collection also removes the possibility of human error in the transferring and copying of data. Using a CRM in conjunction with marketing automation increases the accuracy of your contact information, as well as allows your employees to be more productive.
Using an integrated CRM gives you access to real time, accurate information about your customers and how they use your website. This will allow you to get a clearer picture of who your customers are by allowing you to analyze the entirety of their communications with your business. You can then better predict what they might purchase next and what their needs are as a customer.
This ultra-accurate description of your customers allows you to more effectively target your marketing campaigns to them. You can also track how well these marketing campaigns are performing via the information you obtain through your CRM.
When you receive a customer request for help, a quote or other information, your CRM can automatically determine which employee to send that request to based on the data collected about the customer.
Automating the process of choosing which employee to transfer a customer request to speeds up the procedure, which makes for a happier customer. That customer is more likely to make a purchase.
Not only does the right employee receive the customer’s query quickly, but they also get access to all the customer data collected through your site’s CRM. This knowledge about the customer allows them to better help the customer and provide them with the information they need, as well as determine what services or products they might want to purchase.
Few things make your customers happier than knowing your company is dealing with their requests quickly and effectively. A CRM speeds up and improves the accuracy of your customer interactions. It can also assist you in the actual act of communicating with them by doing things like sending automated messages to let customers know their request is being resolved.
CRMs also allow you to track customers’ reviews. This lets you see what your customers think about their experience with your company and determine your company’s strengths and weaknesses. You can quickly respond to customer complaints as well positive feedback, which keep customers happy and engaged.
Perhaps the most enticing reason to invest in a CRM is the boost in sales it will help you achieve. In fact, studies show that a CRM can lead to up to a 29 percent sales increase.
Because of many of the benefits listed in this post, an integrated CRM will lead to higher conversion rates on your website.
Having an effective, easy-to-use website is becoming increasingly important in today’s business world, and so is using the data from online interactions to improve your business. These interactions can provide you with a wealth of information about customer habits, likes and dislikes and possible future sales opportunities.
Using tools such as a CRM helps you get the most out of this data. Integrating that CRM with your website helps you get the most out of both your site and customer information and, ultimately, will improve your business.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
How does your company define marketing success? What if you could figure out a way to target your best leads and save time while doing so?
Workflow was invented for this very purpose. It’s easier than ever to stay organized with your marketing campaigns. Organization will help you to stop wasting time on the leads that won’t become customers for your company. The best leads will be easier than ever to contact. Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will be more accurate and detailed than ever. Workflow allows for higher sales for the companies that are willing to invest in it.
Perhaps you’ve never heard of workflow before in the marketing world. You’ll be delighted to discover three ways in which workflow can take your marketing efforts to the next level. You’ll realize that your current marketing efforts do pay off, but you can do better. Use workflow to optimize your marketing campaigns for success.
Data-driven marketing targets specific customers in a variety of ways. You’ll be able to place your prospective leads into several different pipelines depending on the data gathered on any specific demographic, including behaviors and their previous interactions with your business. Warmer leads will be given the attention they deserve. These are the prospects that are more likely to become customers of your business. With better organization you will easily figure out how to appeal to your warm leads with targeted nurturing. This increases your likelihood of making a sale.
Your current marketing campaign might involve sending one large email to all of your best targets. You hope that each prospect finds something meaningful to them in your sales letters and emails. But the leads will likely understand that it’s a boilerplate message aimed at casting a wide net.
Some of your leads will definitely be ready to buy before the others. The warmest leads in your CRM system need more communication than the others. The sales funnel allows you to send more communication at timed intervals to your best candidates. These potential customers are actually looking forward to hearing more from you, and they will anticipate regular communication until you close a sale. If your company doesn’t communicate with your marketing leads enough, you might lose that sale completely.
It’s absolutely essential that you know as much as possible about the prospects. Does your target prospect respond to more emails on the weekend? Your workflow can set up your accounts to send the emails at specific times with specific messages. Every lead wants to feel like you understand them. Your marketing campaigns will experience greater degrees of success than you thought possible. You’ll never go back to the old methods of marketing again. The engaged prospects will open up to your organized sales process even more.
Workflow can decrease your sales cycle by up to 23 percent. Imagine what you and your marketing reps could accomplish for your company if you had 23 percent more time on your hands. You could spend more time contacting the right prospects that will lead to more sales. Time is money in any industry, and that’s even truer when it comes to marketing. You want to hit your numbers and make bigger goals for your marketing. The ambitious use of workflow will enable you to reach for the stars with your newest marketing campaigns.
You will need to train your new marketing reps on the uses of workflow. Eventually you will need to help your people see that workflow is an extension of the CRM system. New marketing reps will find greater success than they could have possible imagined in your company. You’ll have the best of both worlds when you combine talent with workflow systems. The sales will pile up while the profits of your marketing campaigns soar to new heights.
The most successful marketing campaigns now use workflow to set the tone for everything else to fall into place. You will be amazed at the fast, effective results of your new marketing campaigns. Workflow is one of the hottest new tools in marketing. You’ll save time and money while breaking company records with your marketing efforts. If you’re the marketing manager, you’ll be seen as a revolutionary person at your company. Workflow is designed to redefine the way you perform your vital marketing campaigns. The future is now.