The word automation seems to be driving changes in many industries, but how can marketing within a small business benefit from marketing automation? Here, we offer some tips and advice to get started on a marketing automation strategy for your business. Marketing automation involves using software to automate and take over some of the manual, repetitive marketing tasks. Helping small businesses to target customers better, use automated messages across a wide range of channels and enable better tracking and analysis of results.
Initially, you should look to understand your customer journey fully and what converts them to customers. Map out their journey and use it to automate the solution. As a minimum requirement, your tool should enable some essential functions, and with each tool offering unique features, this is something expert guidance can help overcome.
How Marketing Automation Can Help Your SME
Automation tools can help in many different ways. For example:
Design and automate your marketing workflows – Some have automation templates that allow you to slot in your entire customer journey; choosing one that supports your business workflow appropriately is essential.
Send targeted email campaigns – Choose a tool that enables you to segment your audience and personalise emails to each segment. Drip campaigns broadcast emails to nurture and engage leads. You will also benefit from being able to monitor performance and use insights to drive future campaigns.
Integration – Your marketing automation tool must not be a ‘standalone’. It needs to work well with the other tools in your armoury, things like Google Calendar, Google Analytics and others.
Optimise integration – This may mean changing your team structure, stopping using outdated systems and moving more slowly to start. As you learn, you can ramp up your efforts. Slow and right is better than rushed and wrong.
When is the right time to automate marketing?
We at Problogineer would always say ‘before you think you need it’. Why? Because it will allow you steady growth and time to learn and perfect the art whilst you can still manage numbers. If you are generating leads at a steady rate, have a lead-nurturing strategy that works, and time is becoming the only barrier to improvement and growth. If your answer is yes, it’s time to consider marketing automation.
Marketing and sales teams will benefit from greater unison. You will better target and convert audiences with less effort. Yet, the service the customer receives will be more personal, engaging, timely, efficient, and effective. Start by fully understanding your audience and how your customer can benefit from a better journey. Once this is in place, you will be better able to identify the features you need from a marketing automation tool.
Of course, budget will play a part in any marketing campaign, and our blog on marketing that won’t break your budget could be a good place to start. Our small business coaches are always on hand to work with you to achieve great results and help you to get the best for your small business, whether it’s finance, marketing or moving towards more digital and automated business solutions.