How Can Marketing Automation Work For YOU?

CNBC’s ‘The Profit’ Marcus Lemonis says:  Every company needs this!

But what is it?

And how can Marketing Automation help your business, reduce costs, increase profits and ROI and ideally also ‘give’ you more time to focus on your-day-to-day matters?

 

 

Article Content:

  1. What Marketing Automation Can Do For You
  2. Increase Revenue From Marketing Leads By 175%
  3. E-mail Marketing vs. Marketing Automation
  4. How to Increase E-mail Open Rates By 256%
  5. Marketing Automation Case Studies
  6. How to Gain 10,000 Leads With Marketing Automation
  7. Marketing Automation Solutions
  8. How to Start With Marketing Automation
  9. How to Increase ROI By 350%
  10. Which Automation Software to Use

Article Content:

  1. What Marketing Automation Can Do For You
  2. Increase Revenue From Marketing Leads By 175%
  3. E-mail Marketing vs. Marketing Automation
  4. How to Increase E-mail Open Rates By 256%
  5. Marketing Automation Case Studies
  6. How to Gain 10,000 Leads With Marketing Automation
  7. Marketing Automation Solutions
  8. How to Start With Marketing Automation
  9. How to Increase ROI By 350%
  10. Which Automation Software to Use

Before we dive into it, let me briefly show you what other people are saying about Marketing Automation and some numbers, so you can see for yourself that Marketing Automation can probably help your business to great extent. Just click on the headlines below:

SALES HAS COMPLETE VISIBILITY!
“Sales has complete visibility. By the time sales engages, the buyer is educated and ready to make a decision. Sales knows exactly where to begin the conversation.”

Alan English, Senior Brand Manager, Stanley Black and Decker

MARKETING AUTOMATION CAN HELP
“Marketers know their ultimate job is to increase revenue. Marketing automation can help by generating more and higher quality leads, which will eventually turn into new customers.”

– Glenster Report

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BUSINESS MARKETING HAS EXPLODED …
“Business marketing has exploded in scope and complexity making it practically impossible for marketers to efficiently and effectively reach target customers without a fully implemented marketing automation system.”

– IDC Group

See A 150% Increase In Online Sales

Case Study:

1. Revived dormant clients
2. Got more repeat purchase
3. 150% Increase In Online Sales

Toby Marion, Owner Golden Gate Wine

Greater marketing ROI

Case Study:

1. Greater marketing ROI
2. Better collaboration with sales
3. Increased efficiency

Read:  Swiss Education Group Case Study ›

The quotes and cases studies above give you a first glimpse of why Marketing Automation is important and why you should be thinking about automating your business now, plus what the benefits of Marketing Automation software can be for you.

Marketing Automation can be done with a software that helps you to automate your marketing and sales tasks to generate more leads, close more deals, and measure marketing success so you can tell the ROI for your different marketing campaigns.

Marketing Automation helps you to do the following:

  • Generate more leads
  • Qualify and prioritise leads
  • Nurture leads to a sales-ready state
  • Manage your email marketing campaigns
  • Report the success of your campaigns

Marketing saves time and resources with an easy-to-use platform that makes it simple to manage your campaigns in one single solution. Your campaigns run on autopilot while you spend time on things you need to do to become more successful.

Here are some more explanations on what Marketing Automation is:

“Marketing automation is software and tactics that allow companies to buy and sell like Amazon – that is, to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers. This type of marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for companies, and provides an excellent return on the investment required.” by Hubspot

 

Hubspot is one of the leading providers for marketing automation software, so yes, you would think they say something like this.

However, a MarketingSherpa study indicated that companies using lead scoring see an ROI of 138 percent, and according to a Focus Research Study, 75 percent of companies using marketing automation will see ROI within the first year of implementation, with 44 percent seeing results within the first six months.

focus-research-ma-ROI

So now that we know that apparently there is value in Marketing Automation, why do business managers actually use Marketing Automation? See this graphic from Pardot, another top Marketing Automation software company to show the most compelling reasons for using Marketing Automation:

Most compelling reasons for marketing automation - Pardot

A quote by Techopedia on what marketing automation is:

“Marketing automation is the use of software and Web-based services to execute, manage and automate marketing tasks and processes. It replaces manual and repetitive marketing processes with purpose-built software and applications geared toward performance.”

And SearchCRM says:

“Marketing automation is the use of software to automate marketing processes such as customer segmentation, customer data integration, and campaign management. The use of marketing automation makes processes that would have otherwise been performed manually much more efficient, and makes new processes possible. Marketing automation is an integral component of customer relationship management.”

What is Marketing Automation… in 60 seconds

How Marketing Automation Works…

SiriusDecisions, says that “the number of b-to-b organizations using marketing automation is accelerating”. Based on SiriusDecisions’ research, we estimate a 20 percent penetration rate of a potential $3 billion marketing automation platform software market which will grow to approximately 50 percent. 

Below are 2 more short videos, showing the reasons why more and more companies are using marketing automation software and what its benefits are:

Marketing Automation 101

Marketing Automation with Office Autopilot

Here is more detailed explanation from Marketo, another one of the leading marketing automation companies about what they think marketing automation is:

“Marketing automation is a category of technology that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.

 

Marketing automation software is used in many modern marketing processes, for businesses of all types including B2B and B2C organizations.

Marketing automation helps marketers streamline their lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing and lead scoring, customer lifecycle marketing, cross-sell and up-sell, customer retention, and marketing ROI measurement.

Some of these practices are possible at small volumes without software, but technology becomes essential with any scale and with the increasing number of channels marketers are required to manage. In particular, these processes all require:

  • A central marketing database. A place for all your marketing data, including detailed prospect and customer interactions and behaviors, so you can segment and target the right message to each customer. Think of this as “system of record” for all your marketing information.
  • An engagement marketing engine. An environment for the creation, management and automation of marketing processes and conversations across online and offline channels. Think of this as the “orchestra conductor” for your customer interactions.
  • An analytics engine. A way to test, measure, and optimize marketing ROI and impact on revenue. Think of this as the place you go to understand what worked, what didn’t, and where you can improve.” 

Here are two guides that explain in more detail what Marketing Automation is and how it works. The one on the left from TechnologyAdvice, the one on the right from Marketo:

Marketing Automation Explained

Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation

Setting up marketing automation for your business might seem like quite a task but it is necessary and worth your time. Once you have your marketing automation software set up it can be like a cash machine producing a more consistent income.

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WITHOUT MARKETING AUTOMATION, YOU ARE JUST GUESSING…
“Without Marketing Automation, you are just guessing, just hoping that people will take the bait and be ready to buy your products. Statistics show that buyers don’t do that. A well-constructed marketing automation strategy makes it a reality.”

John McTigue, Kuno Creative

The companies mentioned above offer you the full range of marketing automation tools and you might think that at these costs you might be fine with just your existing e-mail marketing system. If you want to achieve the maximum return on your investment in Internet marketing you will however go beyond just e-mail marketing automation. I will show you some lower budget companies further down but I’d like to give you some information first on why you need more than just e-mail marketing these days:

E-Mail Marketing vs. Marketing Automation

E-mail marketing delivers one of the highest ROI of any marketing tactics, while being relatively inexpensive. But when you feel your marketing campaings are too limited to what your email marketing platform can deliver and you start thinking about using marketing automation instead of e-mail marketing only, consider these questions:

  • Do you know who’s visiting your website?
  • Can you be alerted when a hot lead visits?
  • Can you segment individual visitors by which pages they look at?
  • Can you target email campaigns to those visitors?
  • Is your sales team happy with the leads you send them?
  • Do you know how many marketing-generated leads close?
  • Do you have a process for your sales team to “recycle” leads that aren’t ready to buy?
  • Do you know what percentage of revenue marketing generates?
  • Are you getting leads from social media?
  • Are you spending lots of time managing multiple tools and correlating the data they provide?
  • Would it be useful if your CRM and email were tightly integrated?

If the answers to those questions are mostly ‘no’ then it might be time to consider using marketing automation. Email marketing and marketing automation are two of the most frequently confused categories of business software. There is some overlap between the two, further adding to the confusion.

Email Marketing vs Marketing Automation Explained

At its core, email marketing is a single-channel, one-way communications platform. It allows for the rapid development and deployment of marketing messages to a specific set, or subset, of email addresses. Those email addresses may be compiled using website entries, CRM data, affiliate marketers, or even purchased lists. Generally, all recipients on the selected list will receive the same, or substantially similar, communications.

Email marketing works best for businesses that don’t have a large variety of buyer personas they’re trying to reach. It’s also one of the least expensive options for a business looking to market to the masses.

Marketing automation is a multi-channel, omni-directional communications system. It can deliver marketing information via email, social media, SMS, and other channels. It monitors and responds to customer interactions, customizing the information to their particular interests. This allows the business to target multiple buyer personas, simplifying the nurturing process early in the sales funnel.

Marketing automation is more expensive than email marketing, and works best with an existing ERP or CRM system. The larger, more expensive, systems can offer unlimited lists and interactions. For businesses that deal with a variety of buyer personas, marketing automation is a quicker, easier way to qualify leads. Given the time and expense involved in developing leads manually, it is also a great money saver.

Upgrade from Email Marketing to Marketing Automation

Below is a webinar from Marketo, that teaches you how moving from email marketing to marketing automation can help you to deliver relevant content to your audience throughout their entire buyer journey.

Key topics include:

  • The downside of doing only email marketing.
  • How marketing automation can help you create relevant, personalized conversations with your customers.
  • Why it is important to engage your audience on all channels – not just email.

Marketing Automation Case Studies

Now that we looked at some of the features marketing automation can provide, let’s have a look at some real life examples. things that companies have indeed achieved by using marketing automation. Click on the company icons to see the marketing automation case studies.

Thomson Reuters Increased Revenue Leads By 175%

Thomson-Reuters Marketing Automation Case Study

SALESFORCE GAINS 10,000 LEADS

Salesforce

CINCOM – 256% INCREASED E-MAIL OPEN RATE

Cincom Marketing Automation Case Study

ACTEVA – 350% INCREASE IN ROI 

Marketing Automation Case Study Acteva

How To Start With Marketing Automation

So, if you wanted to start using marketing automation, what could you do?   One of the key questions is which marketing automation software should you use?

Three important questions to answer here are:

  1. What to do you want to achieve with your marketing automation system?
  2. Are you using a CRM or sales system already that your new marketing automation software should be working with?
  3. What is your budget for a new marketing automation software?

Below is Gartner’s latest ‘Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs (DMH)’. The DHM mentioned are mainly solutions for the (global) enterprise market and therefore not the best software for small to midsize businesses. The Gartner DHM report 2017 explains some of the strengths and weaknesses (Cautions) of the companies.

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2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs

SiriusView: Marketing Automation Platforms 2017′

Gartner Quadrant Marketing Automation Software 2017
SiriusDecisions Marketing Automation 2017

Gartner’s quadrant doesn’t show the investment that would have to be made for each of those marketing automation platforms. Download Gartner’s ‘Magic Qudrant’ report here.

I have added the quadrant from the SiriusView: Marketing Automation Platforms 2017′ report, too. Just click on the link to download the report for more information.

Click the images to zoom in.

The G2’s Crowd Grid℠ for Marketing Automation is quite useful, too. It uses slightly different parameters for the respective quadrants and lets you choose the market segment, from Small Companies, to Mid-Size, Enterprise and ALL.

G2 Quadrant Small Business
G2 Quadrant Mid-Market
G2 Quadrant Enterprise
G2 Quadrant All

Click the images to zoom in.

On G2’s page you will also find a section where you can filter which companies you want to compare with each other. So if you want to compare Eloqua, Pardot, Marketo and Adobe, you can easily do that.

You will also find reviews for each companies, which will give you a good overview over what actual users think about the respective marketing automation software. It’s a pretty useful tool. See the image below.

G2 Compare Marketing Automation Software

Capterra offers an overview over the Top Marketing Automation Software Products. You can use Capterra to find the best marketing software for your business. The site offers research, guides, and infographics about marketing automation software tools.

Capterra marketing automation software filter
Capterra popularity score marketing automation software

Capterra offers a filtering tool, too. See above. However I tried some filters and was quite surprised which companies showed and which ones didn’t show.

Capterra has also put together the Top 20 Most Popular Marketing Automation Software which it ranks via Customers, Users, Reviews and Social Media engagement.

Marketing Automation Buying Considerations

When we read about all the wonderful features marketing automation tools offer these days one might think these software platforms do everything on their own. Sadly that is far from the truth.

You need to have your plan what you want to achieve with marketing automation first. A marketing automation tool doesn’t help you much to come up with a strategy. Marketing automation tools help automate your strategy. So, the first step when selecting a tool is to clarify and document your business strategy. The strategy what you want to use automation for and what results you want to achieve with automating your marketing and business. And with results I don’t only mean ‘increasing your ROI’.

Make sure you understand the options when creating your strategy:

  • Inbound vs. outbound marketing: Outbound marketing strategies tend to focus on sending content or messages to prospects through telemarketing, direct mail, email, or other advertising campaigns. Inbound techniques focus on getting customers ‘organically’, via search, referrals, social media, etc.
  • Size of your company and customer base: Typically, smaller companies want a tool that is easy to learn and handles a wide variety of features but only handles the most common use cases. Larger companies often seek out a tool that handles more complex use cases, but in turn usually takes longer to implement and requires more training. In addition, larger companies tend to have different departments and teams and therefore might want to use several marketing tools that are designed to go deep in one certain area.
  • Industry: The requirements for B2B vs. B2C companies often vary considerably. Strategies tend to be different and so automation requirements are different. Different sales cycles, emotional buying behavior, number of people in the decision process and the database size can all influence the software that will best fit your strategy.
  • Integrations: Often the data that needs to be used to automate a marketing process is held in another system (CRM, ERP, image files, etc.). The number of data points and systems you need to integrate can increase maintenance costs.
  • Optimization priorities: Although most would agree that modern marketing is not a simple marketing and sales funnel, to understand automation requirements, consider these 3 steps:
    1. Brand presence and content management: A good first step in the marketing funnel is to make sure you can be found if someone is looking. This includes establishing a website optimized for search engines, making content available, and establishing and maintaining a social presence. Although many marketing automation tools handle this part of the funnel you might want to consider specialized tools for Search Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Media Management, Public Relations and Web Analytics.
    2. Lead capture/qualification: After you’ve established a presence, you need to capture a lead when a prospect views your content or contacts you. Most marketing automation systems provide analytics to help you optimize your lead capture process. You can also enrich and score your leads based on the prospects’ behavior across all your touch points. In addition, you may want to do some outbound lead generation as well. Here are four common places leads are captured:
      • Web: web forms and landing pages in front of your contest that users access via your website, paid advertising or other domains
      • Trade shows and events: uploading captured leads to full event management functionality
      • Emails: “cold emailing” to lists
      • Call campaigns: “cold calling” to listsNote: Keep in mind that “Cold emailing or calling” as listed by g2crowd, with modern marketing automation techniques have become quite old fashion and provide a low ROI. Nowadays we want to nuture leads to the point of ‘sales-readiness’ with the various marketing automation techniques we now have at hand (see below).
    3. Lead tracking, nurturing, and conversion: after establishing a presence and capturing leads, leads need to be nurtured and ultimately converted to a sale. Modern marketing automation tools allow you to nurture with custom content and messaging to individual leads increasing conversion rates considerably.

 

Marketing Automation Software Demonstration

Once you’ve narrowed your shortlist down to four or five software vendors, schedule demonstrations of the software.

Set up those demos within a relatively short time frame to help you make relevant comparisons. Make sure that all potential internal users are on the demo call, and pay attention to the following:

  • How easy is the platform to use? Ask for a trial period (even if just a few days) after the demo, to see if you can replicate some of what’s shown to you on the demo call.
  • Does the vendor seem to understand your business and your marketing needs? It’s important that you take the time to explain your business, why you need marketing automation, and how you expect to use it. This is something better done before the demo, either in an RFI (request for information) or in initial discussions with vendors.
  • If we ask a specific question, can they demonstrate the answer on the call? If the sales rep can’t answer your question, don’t wait for an email explanation; schedule a call with someone who can answer the question.
  • Are they showing us our “must-have” features? Make sure you are satisfied that everything you need is there — if you don’t see it, ask. Again, if the rep can’t show you, ask to re-schedule a call with someone who can.

Ask for a demonstration of the specific capabilities that you have identified in your preliminary discussions with the vendor, or in a more formal RFI/RFP process. Consider requesting product demos of basic tasks and core reports, such as:

  • Create and edit a new email from scratch.
  • Import a contact list from a CSV file.
  • Create and edit a new landing page from scratch.
  • Execute a simple campaign with an email, mailing list and landing page.
  • See a report showing email opens and click-throughs.
  • See a report showing web traffic and/or specific leads from an email campaign.

Finally, in addition to the product itself, ask about related services and product roadmaps:

  • How easy is it to integrate this software into my organization?
  • What is the onboarding process?
  • How long does implementation take?
  • What kind of support and training are included in the base price?
  • How do I maximize adoption in my organization?
  • Will we have a dedicated account rep available to us?
  • Do current customers utilize the full functionality?
  • What new features are you focusing on for the coming year?
  • Can we do a test run for a few days on our own (i.e., a free trial)?

Once you’re satisfied that you’ve found the right software, ask the vendor for some customer references.

(List above courtesy of Martech.com)

 

 

How do I choose the best marketing automation provider for my business?

When you are considering a marketing automation software, choose the software and company that best suits your business and your goals. Don’t think so much about the features, focus on the business results you want to achieve.

Here are some resources to help you make your strategic decision.

Most marketing automation platforms offer similar features in general according to the level of automation they are aiming for.

The benefits come largely from how you set up and use your marketing automation system. Some offer more customization and hence they need more time to set up and maintain.

If your company already uses a sales system for examples Salesforce, then it makes sense to use Pardot, its marketing automation platform. If you work with Oracle then Eloqua is probably your best bet. If your company has a strong affiliation with IBM or Microsoft, you might want to use their marketing automation platforms.

If you are not tied to anyone you might want to consider Marketo, at the enterprise level and Hubspot at the midsize to small companies level. Both companies are considered to be though leaders in their regard and offer great marketing automation platforms.

One of Hubspot’s strength is it’s all-in-one platform, and convenience. It basically means you learn one system only which lets you do almost everything you need to automate your marketing.

Marketo has probably a little more flexibility, due to its different systems but you will have to understand these different systems and how to use them together.

Marketo charges at an enterprize level, whereas Hubspot is affordable for smaller companies, too.

Below is a video that explains the benefits of Marketo and Hubspot quite well.

Marketing Automation Solutions for SMB Companies

If your budget doesn’t allow for such complete marketing automation software tools, you can use some of the automation tools that do not ask for considerable sign-up fees and at least a one year contract.

In the category of companies catering to the SMB market we like especially Clickfunnels, Autopilot and Infusionsoft. All allow for marketing automation beyond just e-mail marketing automation to a great extend at lower costs.

Clickfunnels is an all-in-one marketing automation software to build professional sales funnels which convert website visitors to customers. It allows for sophisticated automation with Actionetics and integrates with the free Hubspot CRM.

Infusionsoft has many different modules and a large number of providers it integrates with. It also has a visual funnel builder. I think its slightly more difficult to set up and use than Clickfunnels. Autopilot is more of an all-in-one solution, too, with great automation features.

See the videos for these software systems below.

CLICKFUNNELS – Customer Success Story

AUTOPILOT – An introduction to Autopilot

CLICKFUNNELS’ – ACTIONETICS

INFUSIONSOFT – Small Business CRM & Marketing Automation Software

Reading Material

There are tons of interesting and informative, some even inspiring, pages, reports, white papers, case studies, slide shares, etc. on the Internet. I think Hubspot, Marketo and Pardot provide some of the best information for larger businesses. Just go to their company webpages and you’ll find their information. We use Hubspot since the clients we can provide the most value for, tend to be midsize companies, not so much large, global enterprises.

For smaller companies and people just starting out the information Autopilot, Clickfunnels and Infusionsoft are putting out might be more relevant and you might be able to relate more to the success stories these companies show. We switched from Infusionsoft to Clickfunnels since our clients usually are more at ease with all-in-one solutions. These are usually just more convenient since they are faster to learn and easier to use.

As reading material I would like to recommend a book that the founder of Clickfunnels has written. It has got a funny title but the book is a must read if you want to understand what marketing automation in the form of sales funnels can do for you.

The book is called DotCom Secrets and you can get it free if you buy it from Russell by clicking the image on the left below (it’s not free on Amazon). You just cover the shipping of the book. I keep the book near my desk as a handbook.

Russell’s Free ‘Dotcom Secrets’ Book about Sales Funnels

Grant Cardone’s Review of the Dotcom Secrets Book

Note: If you click the left image above and you get his book through my affiliate link, rather than going to Amazon, you will see how Russell uses funnels he’s writing about in the book. Which is pretty insightful.

Take Action

Action Removes Doubts!   J.W. v.Goethe

It does matter that you use a system which suits your business plans but don’t get stuck on which system is the absolut best for you now and in 20 years. It is important however that you start automating your marketing as soon as possible.

Just set up a document, e.g. a Google doc and jot down what you want to automate. Go through the different options of marketing automation as mentioned above and see what ideally you want to see automated, too.

Schedule a call with us or come on one of our free online webinars where we teach marketing automation strategies, go through some software tools, give tips on how to increase the ROI of your automated marketing campaigns and answer questions.

Schedule a call for Marketing Automation Services

Schedule a call with us now to discuss your requirements and we will be happy to customize a plan for you to automate the online marketing of your business.

Free Marketing Automation Webinar

Webinar about Marketing Automation Services

Most businesses have this in common: the desire to achieve higher profits, faster growth and better ROI.

So how do you get started? In this webinar, Karl zu Ortenburg, CEO of A-M-I shares the following corner stones of marketing automation with you:

  1. What is marketing automation and how can your business benefit using it?
  2. How to generate profitable traffic to your website?
  3. How to generate real leads with our marketing automation formula?
  4. How to convert contacts into customers and close more deals?
  5. How to improve the efficiency of the sales funnel?
  6. How to reduce the length of the sales cycle?
  7. How to provide the ROI on marketing automation activities?

I hope the information above is helpful to get you started automating your business.

If you need any help in making a decision just let us know. You can either send an e-mail to customer.service[at]a-m-i-ltd.com, chat with our support team or schedule a free call with one of us (please see the call scheduler on this website).

Karl zu Ortenburg
CEO A-M-I
‘Visitor to Customer Automation’

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Karl zu Ortenburg: husband, dad, rainmaker, marketing automation expert for lead generation & conversion automation solutions. Has worked with fortune 500 companies to midsize business owners and smaller entrepreneurs. Publishes about Marketing Automation and AI.