Ireland Together’s member and Contact Surge Co-Founder, Ronan Martin talks about the opportunities of marketing automation for small businesses
Marketing automation is a fundamental tactic employed by medium and large businesses to scale their marketing efforts in a targeted way.
While small businesses are increasingly moving online to future-proof and grow their revenues, marketing automation has not yet become a mainstay of their digital strategy. Truth is, marketing automation is not as complex or scary as it sounds.
Here are 5 big reasons why small businesses should be thinking in terms of automation, and how to get started.
1. Targeted Communication
Marketing is one of the few areas where being reactive can yield better results than being proactive. Or put another way, good marketing communicates the right message at the right time for the customer, not the convenient time for the marketer.
This is the core strength of automation campaigns. They use the plethora of data that you collect about your contacts, and from your website visitors, to build campaigns that fire when certain conditions are met.
Every purchase or website visit is an opportunity to build a clear picture of what your contacts really want. From there, you can build marketing campaigns that target each segment with messages and offers that lead them to the next stage in the buyer’s journey or to a repeat purchase.
2. Hands-Off and Scalable
Devoting enough resources to marketing initiatives is one of the main challenges for small businesses. In many cases service / product delivery and sales opportunities take precedence, and lead generation becomes an afterthought.
Marketing automation solves this issue by running continuously in the background, with minimal maintenance and optimization. There is an up-front time investment to set up campaigns, but once they are live your marketing automation software will take care of the rest.
Automated marketing can work with 100 or 1,000 contacts – meaning you can supercharge your growth without having to worry about increasing marketing spend.
3. Maximize Return on Your Assets
A common mistake in online marketing is to invest heavily in SEO and PPC advertising, and expect leads and sales to happen automatically. But for every conversion you achieve, many more are bouncing right off your site.
With marketing automation you can ensure that you’re making the most of all traffic coming to your site, and engaging with contacts in the most effective way.
Your CRM data and your website are two of the biggest marketing assets you have. When you bring them together you can generate the greatest return from both assets, as well as other investments you’re making in marketing.
4. Increase Customer Retention
Whether your business works on a subscription based model or repeat purchases, the customers that already know, like and trust you are the best source of a stable revenue base.
Luckily, you’ll have more data on customers than on any other segment, and you can leverage this to deliver truly personalized communication. When done right you can build loyalty and advocacy leading not only to increased retention / repeat purchases, but also to referrals – an important source of new business.
5. Competitive Advantage
Because marketing automation is a pretty advanced marketing technique most of your competitors are still not taking advantage of it. This opens an opportunity for you to step into the uncontested space and gain a competitive edge.
There are some barriers to entry to ready a business for marketing automation, such as automation expertise, GDPR-compliant data and lots of it, and the right tool to execute on automation strategies. If you can overcome these barriers they will act as deterrent for your competitors and inhibit them from catching up.
With so many benefits, SMEs that don’t explore marketing automation are really missing out. To get started, reach out to our team of automation specialists at ContactSurge and start your free trial. Once you see the impact that these techniques can have on your business you’ll wonder why you didn’t start years ago!