Yes, there is certainly a lot of chatter these days about marketing automation. In fact, here at TSL, is one of the most common subjects we get asked about as companies are considering taking their business and brand to a new level through inbound and content marketing.
Truth be told, there’s no magical formula for determining whether marketing automation software makes sense for your business. There is, however, a 3-step process to run through to see if you’re even in the ballpark.
The first consideration is the number of marketing tools you’re currently using to execute your marketing plan. The higher this number, the greater the points of integration needed to effectively track the journey prospects take prior to becoming customers. Conversely, if this number is low and you’re effectively and consistently delivering great results from your marketing – you probably don’t need marketing automation. The typical tools are:
- The Content Management System your site is built on (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, SquareSpace etc)
- The Email Service Provider you use to send emails
- The form builder tool you use to design forms and landing pages
- The Customer Relationship Management platform you store your prospect and client data in
- The Campaign Management tool you use to build and manage nurture campaigns with
- The Analytic tool you use to report on traffic, keyword positioning, leads and sales
The second consideration has to do with the aforementioned journey that your prospects take prior to becoming customers. If it’s a short, simple path from discovery to sale, chances could be good that marketing automation won’t help much. If that pathway is longer and more complex, marketing automation can deliver incredible efficiencies.
Finally, one must consider if they are willing to learn the tool by investing their energy, time, money, and resources into ensuring it will be a success. Here at TSL, we frankly tell all our clients that lazy people and marketing automation do not mix. This is not something where you just hit the “on” button and all of the sudden there is magic in the air. Work, effort, and consistency–just like anything else in life–are what lead companies to incredible results and huge returns on their marketing automation investment.
Want to know more? Talk to us about this – we know the best questions to ask so you’ll have a better feel for whether marketing automation is right for your business.