Uncontrollable growth in available marketing channels creates an ugly truth for most small businesses: marketing teams have more opportunities than they have time in the day.
One obvious implication is that small business marketers must prioritize their time spent on the most productive channels. The less obvious implication is that small business marketers need to manufacture more time. How can you do that? Marketing automation.
Let’s be clear though: Marketing automation is not autopilot for a small business’s marketing strategy. Marketing automation amplifies existing efforts, leaving you with more time to focus on current processes and new opportunities.
The basic strategies listed below are designed to give you an idea about how marketing automation can help your team manufacture time. Your ultimate automation strategy will undoubtedly differ based on bottom-line impact and internal processes.
One of the biggest trends in marketing is managing your leads post-acquisition. This goes double (or more) for marketing automation, as a well-implemented plan can make processes much more efficient (and require less manual work):
Increasingly, customers are publicly voicing their concerns and complaints instead of bringing them directly to you. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can ignore these issues. Instead, you can use automation to intelligently respond as well as proactively prevent public condemnation.
Your marketing team should be focused on creating better marketing — not managing repetitive administrative processes. It may seem like it goes without saying, but marketing automation can take care of many of your marketing and sales team’s daily processes, like resume screening and email list management.
For example, creating lead lists can be a repetitive process. However, your automation solutions can not only create leads lists but create smarter lists at the same time. By using the wealth of information you’ve gathered about a prospect, your tools can create a highly targeted list that precisely focuses on the right prospects for your product, service, or even marketing campaign.
Your marketing team needs to know which leads your sales team is converting into customers. That way, they can get you even more of those types of leads.
The integration of marketing automation tools with CRM software like Salesforce.com or the new CRM offering from HubSpot means your marketers get easy access to bottom-line campaign effectiveness. That way, a small business’s marketing team can focus their time on channels and campaigns that are converting into customers.
Marketing automation requires cooperation from every area of your business. While the impact on your marketing team’s time will be most notable, the impact doesn’t stop there.