Every week, I talk to business prospects and often times these talks turn into education opportunities. Most often, I find the largest misconceptions are about marketing automation. Most prospects don’t understand what it is and how it impacts closing sales.
Marketing automation remains to be the most underdeveloped sales team member! Yep, that is right…marketing automation is part of your sales team. In fact, if you have an e-commerce business, it IS your sales team. How can a marketing function as a living, breathing sales team member?
It’s ALIVE! Marketing automation is a person!
An excellent salesperson knows the hot spots for their clients. They know their strengths, weaknesses and what tools or services the salesperson has that will help their client’s grow their business. Marketing automation functions EXACTLY the same way. Automation takes the online behavior of the customer or prospects and deploys contents to them that educates them (educating NOT selling is key) on the topics they read about on your website.
So, how do we know marketing automation actually gives the customers what they are looking for?
Customers don’t spend time looking at services or products online that do not (1) interest them or (2) provide a solution to a problem they have. Marketing automation is set up to track online behavior of a customer, segment them according to their interest and market to them accordingly. Targeted content delivered through segmentation helps customers to make an informed decision and establish the service provider as a value added expert.
Think about your “A” customer or client and what their daily life looks like? What are you doing to set your company’s email marketing apart from your competitors blanked sales promotions? (Tip: Look at your email conversion rate and if it isn’t at least a 70% open rate then you have some work to do). The noise in your customer’s email inbox is as loud and noisy as your inbox. If you are not targeting your marketing exactly to THAT customer’s needs then you are THE NOISE….and eventually, they will unsubscribe to your emails as well. Segmentation and customized engagement helps you to develop a personal relationship with clients where they look forward to opening all of your digital engagement with them because they know you will be addressing their needs. Higher open rates equate to higher sales….and high profit margins.
I know what you are thinking: this is all great, Amy, but give me some numbers. Tell me what it is going to do for my bottom line. Here are a few stats to understand exactly HOW marketing automation can impact your bottom line. (Check out a really cool infographic here about marketing automation).
- B2C marketers who take advantage of automation – which includes everything from cart abandonment programs to birthday emails – have seen conversion rates as high as 50%.(eMarketer, Email Marketing Benchmarks, Feb 2013)
- Companies using marketing automation see 53% higher conversion rates (initial response-to-MQL) than non-users, and an annualized revenue growth rate 3.1% higher than non-users.(Aberdeen Group, Marketing Lead Management Report, Jul 2012)
- Segmentation, personalization, recommendations, and the inclusion of custom database fields in email copy drive 360% higher conversion than a generic email message with a personalized salutation. These are exactly the types of communications that marketing automation helps make repeatable. (Gleanster, 5 Key Milestones for the First 30 Days with Marketing Automation, Nov 2012)
Marketing automation should be a critical part of any marketing plan where a company offers multiple services or products. It will replace your sales team, but it has a strong impact on their efficiency as well and increased sales.
Want to learn a little bit more about marketing automation? Give us a call and we can educate you to help you decide if it is a good fit for your company.