What is Marketing Automation?
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.
Do you need Marketing Automation?
Do you have a product and/or service that has a high cost? Does your product and/or service take more than 30 days from initial connection from a prospect to a sale(sales cycle)? If so, you should be using marketing automation. We recommend that if you are a business selling to other businesses(B2B), you should be using marketing automation.
Pretend you are a consumer looking to purchase a new pair of boots. If you look around online for boots, those e-commerce store ads will follow you around the internet for 30 days with ads for boots because they believe that you will purchase a pair of boots within the next 30 days. At first you are aware that you need a new pair of boots. Once you start browsing, you are considering your options. That consideration phase typically takes up to 30 days for a consumer. Then comes the decision. This is an example of a business to consumer(B2C) buyer or customer journey(see below). Most B2C companies don't need marketing automation, because the cost of the product/service is typically under a couple hundred dollars and the decision happens much faster.
For B2B, the cost of the product/service is much higher, typically requires more research, may be additional decision makers, which means the decision takes longer. Most of your potential customers are browsing the internet for information, research and anything else that can assist them in making a decision on their purchase. If you are the company that can provide all of the information your potential customer needs all in one place, that would be the goal. Keep that potential customer engaged with your content, your videos, your brand. Keep your brand on top of mind. That is what marketing automation does, it's your engine for your inbound marketing efforts.
Components of Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation Brings in More Revenue to Your Business
In a benchmark study by eMarketer, research found that B2C marketers who are using automation- including everything from birthday emails to cart abandonment programs – have seen conversion rates as high as 50%.
Furthermore, according to Nuclear Research, 95% of companies reported some benefit from marketing automation. They found that companies can expect to achieve an increase in marketing staff productivity between 1.5 and 6.9% and increase sales productivity by an average of 4%.
Marketing automation marketing software brings value and ROI to your numerous marketing efforts. The right marketing automation platform, combined with smart organizational and process alignment, makes it possible to connect the dots between that promotional email you sent last month, that webinar you hosted last year, and the revenue your CEO sees this week or can expect to see next quarter.
Our Preferred Marketing Automation Companies:
Our Preferred Marketing Automation Options:
For Large Sized Businesses:
For Medium Sized Businesses:
For Small to Medium Sized Businesses:
- Active Campaign
MailChimp and Constant Contact are best used for strictly email campaigns. They won't have a CRM built in to follow the life of the lead and many of the other automation features from the companies above.
What is the Cost of Marketing Automation?
Software - The cost of the software can be anywhere from $400 a month to $10,000+ a month. Most small to medium sized businesses pay around $800 to $2,000 a month depending on the features. In most cases there is an upfront on boarding fee and a one year commitment. There are options to do month to month as well, again, depending on what you're looking for.
In most cases, our marketing automation agency believes SharpSpring is a great solution for most small to medium sized businesses. Contact us today to learn more about our marketing automation solutions.
Consulting & Support - This will depend on the Minneapolis marketing automation agency you hire. They will either charge per hour, a block of ours or a monthly retainer.
Do not get marketing automation unless you have a specific marketing plan for using the software. We've come across too many companies that are using marketing automation and are not utilizing it the way it should be or they don't need the software. Support is also important. For most companies, they won't have an marketing automation expert in house, so relying on the marketing automation agency you hire is essential to handle all things marketing automation.
Marketing automation has changed our entire business. We needed something to keep our content in front of potential customers. Cale and his team have been amazing, they have helped us with questions and support along the way.
VP of Marketing
We are a small company, but we knew we needed a jolt in our digital marketing. 301 presented us with marketing automation options and we couldn't be happier.
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