Should my business use marketing automation?
Marketing Automation Software is not right for every business. While there are platforms for every size company and every size budget, no amount of vendor comparison can result in success if your business model doesn’t work well with the technology. That being said, for many companies marketing automation is a proven catalyst for growth.Marketers say that the biggest benefits of automation are saving time (74%), increased customer engagement (68%), more timely communications (58%) and increased opportunities including up-selling (58%
So what type of businesses should be considering marketing automation technology?
Medium to long Sales Cycle
Typically, businesses with medium to long sales cycle are a great fit for marketing automation technology. If there is a medium to long sales cycle, potential customers will be doing research well in advance of their purchase in an effort to educate themselves before they buy. With a strong content marketing strategy, marketing automation can help manage these leads as they progress through the buying cycle.
Through long-term nurture campaigns, timely distribution of helpful resources and ongoing communication businesses with long sales cycles can ensure they stay top of mind when a lead is ready to purchase and can help accelerate the sales cycle by serving up content aligned with where the buyer is in their decision process. Marketing automation makes all of these tasks easy and largely automatic with features like lead scoring, that help the sales team spend their time on the leads with the most potential.
Complex, multiple or high cost products or services
For businesses with multiple products and services (at multiple price points) marketing automation can really benefit this type of business. Amazon is a company that uses marketing automation to automatically offer and advertise related products, communicate regularly with their customer base in a personalised but scalable way, and promote discounts or products that are likely of interest to previous customers.
Higher investments imply a longer sales cycle because buyers require more time to make a decision and evaluate all their options before committing. This means there is a lot of potential for educational content and ongoing communication throughout the buying cycle. Marketing automation facilitates and automates this process so lead flow is more reliable, more predictable and more highly qualified.
B2B or B2C – depending on the business model
There is a common misperception that marketing automation is only for B2B (business to business) companies. In reality, marketing automation can be used very effectively by B2C (business to consumer) companies too. Ultimately, it comes down to the business model. B2C companies usually have larger databases, are more focused on using marketing automation software to develop and maintain relationships with prospects and customers. They are looking to encourage multiple product or service comparisons and ultimately secure more loyal customers.
SaaS (software as a service) companies benefit particularly well from an effective marketing automation strategy. According to ClickZ, “76 percent of the 17 largest SaaS companies in the world use marketing automation”. The sales cycle for SaaS companies has some unique needs that are easily addressed through marketing automation technology. Dynamic content, ad management and retargeting campaigns are extremely valuable for cloud-based software companies in addition to scoring leads, behaviour-based marketing and website visitor tracking that are widely used by many adopters of marketing automation.
To determine if your organisation is a good fit for marketing automation technology, start by examining your business model or contact us to assist you with this. Marketing automation may be the solution you’ve been looking for.