The Truth About Marketing Automation Benefits

Do you understand where marketing automation benefits can add value to your business? Vendors are great at pitching the nirvana of their software; but do you know how much of it is real or how it applies to your company? We examine six common claims by vendors and the truth behind them.

1. More Customers to my Website

Claim:

Marketing automation helps attract more customers to your website.

The facts

True. Marketing automation offers the following powerful features: blogging platforms, website optimization for search engines, scheduling social media updates and creating offer pages for pay-per-click.

Pitfalls

  • You will still need to generate content to attract customers (like blogs), marketing automation won’t do it for you.
  • You will need a person focused on using the software. You can’t just set and forget.
  • Your staff will need training to leverage the software. Most marketers are not trained in hands-on use.

You will still need expertise in search marketing, inbound marketing, social marketing etc. Marketing automation won’t provide any guidance on tactics or strategy.

2. More Leads from my Website

Claim:

Marketing automation benefits by helping capture more leads from your website.

The facts

True. Marketing automation offers the following features: creating marketing offers and landing pages to capture details, creating auto-responders and creating compelling calls-to-action to convert website visitors to leads.

Pitfalls

  • If you don’t understand your customer, your conversion rates will stay low.
  • You will need to test and monitor which offers convert leads. You can’t just set and forget if you want your conversion rates to improve.
  • You will still need creatives to design for you. Although marketing automation makes it easy to create landing pages, it won’t make you into a designer.
  • IT will likely be required for installation of tracking on your website. For large companies, this will delay roll-out.

3. Nurture Prospects and Customers

Claim:

Marketing automation benefits by nurturing the 70 percent of buyers who are not ready to buy at a given time.

The facts

True. Marketing automation is great for lead nurturing  and offers the following features: list segmentation, personalized email setup and reporting, personalized landing pages and calls-to-action, lead qualification workflows and lead scoring and A/B testing for emails, landing pages and calls-to-action.

Pitfalls

  • You will likely need to define or fix your lead process. Marketing automation won’t fix a broken process; it will just accelerate the issues.
  • Without an excellent understanding of your customer’s buying journey, nurturing will not provide good results.
  • Your staff will likely need training on how to effectively use A/B testing, lead scoring and personalized content.

4. Convert More Prospects into Sales Revenue

Claim:

Marketing automation helps marketing and sales to convert prospects into bottom-line revenue.

The facts

True. Marketing automation benefits sales reps by helping them close more business. It does this through lead-qualification workflows, lead scoring, sending of leads into the CRM for sales follow-up and automated reporting on all marketing activities to sales reps.

Pitfalls

  • Your marketing-automation software needs integration into your CRM. Don’t expect sales to adopt a new tool. Sales will also require training.
  • Without definitions and SLAs around qualified leads, automating the hand-over of leads to sales will be troublesome.
  • Some marketing-automation software will require help from your IT resources to integrate into your CRM.

5. Increase Upsell to Customers

Claim:

Marketing automation helps you to upsell to customers and gain referral business.

The facts

True. Marketing automation can be very effective for upsell by offering list segmentation, website and offer tracking, customized emails and landing pages and reporting.

Pitfalls

  • Good-quality data is essential for effective marketing to customers, but marketing automation won’t give you a strategy to keep your data fresh and clean.
  • Excellent CRM integration is essential for creating effective segmentations, but some vendors have limitations which prevent access to the necessary data.
  • You will need a customer retention and upsell strategy, and the expertise to implement it into your marketing-automation solution.
  • You will need to implement customer-retention tools such as NPS. It isn’t pre-built into the software.

6. Better ROI Marketing Insights

Claim:

Marketing automation helps marketing executives get much-needed insight into which marketing programs are working and which aren’t. It gives CMOs the metrics they need to speak confidently to the C-suite about marketing’s revenue impact.

The facts

True. Marketing automation offers marketing analytics and reporting.

Pitfalls

  • You need to run all of your campaigns through the software to get accurate visibility. However, some vendors do not support offline marketing or tracking of particular online channels.
  • You need to track marketing expenditures in the software. However, this is often a manual process and some vendors lack this functionality for all channels.
  • Sometimes, only lead or opportunity counts can be measured, not true ROI, due to technical or feature limitations.
  • Your lead-management processes will likely need to be improved to allow accurate ROI marketing insights.

Hopefully, you now understand marketing-automation benefits and the features required from your software.

Most importantly, you can now figure out which marketing automation benefits your company can actually realize, by considering your particular situation.

Learn more about our company and the services we offer that will be able to assist you with your personal marketing plans.

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