Is your business experiencing decreased conversion rates? Excessive manual effort? Weakened positioning against major competitors? These are all symptoms of an illness that no doctor can cure. Fortunately, marketing funnel automation can help.
Marketing funnel automation refers to the software and technologies that are put in place to help marketing departments deliver effective content on a variety of online channels (i.e., email, social media, websites). Last year, only 25% of B2B Fortune 500 companies were using marketing automation. Since then, that amount has increased by 112% — the fastest growth any CRM-related software has experienced in the past 5 years. Additionally, revenue in this industry is expected to grow by 60% in the coming year. Evidently, this trend is becoming harder and harder to ignore. If implemented correctly, your business can see huge improvements in operational efficiency and revenue growth.
Currently, the industries with the highest marketing automation adoption rates are software and internet companies, telecommunications companies, and computer and electronics companies. A study by Mintigo illustrates this break down further:
Although these numbers indicate that currently the more tech-related industries are the ones using marketing automation, these percentages are subject to volatile change in the coming years. As more businesses recognize the need for marketing funnel automation, the percentage of marketing automation adoption among the business services industry will likely fluctuate upwards.
Despite the rapid growth and major successes businesses are experiencing, not every business is ready for marketing automation. Marketing automation does not guarantee success. It is an on-going process that requires a comprehensive strategy that draws on the many different elements of your business. You need to have the right processes put in place and the right people in charge of it to ensure its effectiveness. This article will help your business determine if it is ready to adopt marketing automation.
Is your marketing strategy struggling to sustain a high conversion rate? Are you putting equal, if not more, amounts of effort into your segmentation efforts, but still failing to see positive results? Marketing funnel automation takes half the effort and can deliver twice the results if used properly to deliver relevant content to your market segments. Before you can use marketing automation to craft a personal, online experience for your prospects and customers, you need to determine the buyer personas you want to target. If your company has already established and organized these different buyer personas, marketing automation might be for you. Check out our previous article on “5 Overlooked Steps for Effective Email Segmentation” for a better understanding of establishing buyer personas.
The change in buyer behavior over the past decade has left marketers with no choice but to alter their approach to accommodate individual buyers’ needs. As improvements in technology continue taking place and the internet continues to dominate, power has shifted from the sellers to the buyers. Buyers now expect more personalized content. Rather than manually trying to sort and analyze data, marketing automation makes this personalization process easier.
Like everything else in marketing, the shift towards marketing funnel automation starts with strong content. Once you have identified your buyer personas, you can then target them with relevant content. Your content will be the fuel for moving your prospects further down the buying cycle. You can begin by producing content intended to educate and engage your leads, but eventually you want to turn them from educated readers into educated buyers. Marketing automation will assist you in leveraging content as a means of lead nurturing, and ideally get your prospect to take your intended action later down the road.
Marketing automation will also help accommodate a growing market. As your customer base grows, so does your business. Trying to use manual efforts to sustain personable relationships with your customers is both a huge time commitment and a hazard for high cost errors. Automating and closely monitoring this process will reduce the likelihood of errors, such as the possibility of sending an email blast to the wrong segment.
Marketing automation can benefit B2B companies by providing a means for lead nurturing and lead scoring.
Lead nurturing. A study by Marketo reveals that only 20% of leads are sales-ready during their first visit. Marketing automation is part of the disciplined process required to ensure you develop that lead and keep them moving further down the buying cycle until they are ready to make a purchase. If done correctly, marketing automation has resulted in 50% more sales leads at a 33% lower cost per lead.
Lead scoring. Lead scoring will enable your business to differentiate the true potential buyers from those who you are wasting time and money on. Marketing automation will enable you to integrate your CRM system with an automated sales process that follows up with leads as soon as they are classified as “hot”. Tying back to the previous section regarding understanding your target market, you want to deliver these hot leads content that is as relevant as possible. Businesses who implemented this type of integrated system experienced 28% better sales productivity, and 33% higher revenue growth than those who did not implement lead scoring.
Marketing automation can also be used to benefit B2C companies, by providing a means for cross-selling and up-selling.
Cross-selling. For anyone who is a frequent user of Amazon, you have probably noticed how once you make a purchase, you begin seeing similar products advertised on the side of the page or in your emails. This is no coincidence. This is an example of a feature of marketing automation, known as cross-selling, which aims to sell additional, typically supplementary, products to customers.
Up-selling. Up-selling refers to the approach of a salesperson trying to get the customer to spend more money by buying the more expensive variation of a product. For instance, a sales rep might try to get you to purchase the 32GB iPhone, as opposed to the 16GB. Marketing automation serves as an online sales rep and is what allows Amazon to automatically present these options to you prior to checking out.
Regardless of B2B or B2C, marketing automation provides ROI analytics. In addition to providing the insight necessary for determining which marketing campaigns are working and which aren’t, these analytics are what will help determine the variables effecting your revenue growth. One of the major things holding businesses back from implementing marketing automation is a lack of support from the sales teams. Many of them do not see the long-term value in measuring marketing campaign success and are hesitant to make such a large investment in these systems. What they fail to realize is the integral role that marketing automation could play in increasing profit potential. Implementing marketing automation can transform your position in the company from a cost center to a revenue creator.
CRM systems are no longer cutting it. The reason for this is that they do not target customers the way marketing automation does. As more businesses begin adopting marketing automation, the competition is becoming fiercer. Businesses who are not meeting the same standards that those using marketing automation have set are going to experience a decrease in open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. As a matter of fact, 63% of companies that have outgrown their competitors in the past year are using marketing automation. Marketing automation allows your company to do more than just send email blasts. It enables you to build relationships, coordinate with other marketing/sales tools, and engage buyers on their own time.
Is your business using marketing automation? If so, what benefits has it seen? Let us know by commenting below!