If you use Marketing Automation in the right way, there is a lot to gain.
Many people today talk about Marketing Automation as an important part of effective marketing. Well that's true of course, but there's even more value to be achieved if we think a little bigger.
Before we go into detail, I want us to think outside the box we usually find ourselves in when it comes to our various roles and departments within a company. We take a step out of our usual role and our team's usual way of working and then enter an elevator pushing the button to get up high. When you go to the top and look out over the whole company, all the different teams and departments, what does it really look like? What do you and all the parts of the company do?
Most likely, you will see that you and all the different teams are working in their habitual patterns and that it looks the same at individual level. If you then look more closely, you will probably also see that an incredible amount of time is spent on things that do not generate the results that we think and hope for. This way of working is common in both large and small companies today.
It can be anything from salespeople sitting around making cold calls all day without getting a single meeting. Or the marketing department manually posting content on social media daily, putting in ads without knowing the ROI.
We can also see that the sales department works in its own way and the marketing department works with its own things. In the sales department, booked appointments and closed deals are usually measured in numbers. The marketing department looks at how many people have seen the ads and how many people have visited the website.
In many companies, the marketing department is ONE person trying to keep up with everything and the marketing budget is relatively small because marketing is not a priority (or is just seen as a necessary evil). Maybe you recognise this?
So what is Marketing Automation for?
Marketing Automation is about streamlining both the sales and marketing department but also other parts of your business. By looking at the whole business and identifying which parts are taking up time and resources, you can then more easily automate and improve different flows and ways of working. Marketing Automation gives you the opportunity to save time so you can focus on the right things and see in black and white what your various activities are giving back in terms of new business, for example.
Marketing Automation also brings together a coordination of sales and marketing processes that will benefit the whole company. For example, marketing efforts can generate concrete leads that go straight into the salesperson's CRM. The salesperson can then go in and see exactly what the potential customer has done on your website. For example, the sellers can see what blog posts a person has read and if they have looked at the pricing page. This way, the salespeople can more easily get a good entry point with the potential customer when they follow up with a phone call.
In this way, the sales team will also be able to meet more easily with relevant and qualified leads. In the CRM system, salespeople can create their own pipeline that has the steps: booked meeting, customer qualified, offer sent, negotiation and then deal won. Once a deal is won, they can also automate so that a welcome email is sent out to the new customer. It is also possible to set up a fully automated onboarding process for new customers.
Marketing Automation and more sales!
A big part of sales is about getting an existing customer to invest more with you, i.e. additional sales. Instead of sales people remembering to be proactive and contacting existing customers periodically with new ideas, sales and marketing can develop custom content with lots of new tips and tricks that are automatically sent to contacts at selected times.
In this way, you make the work of sellers much easier. Then, of course, the salespeople should also contact your existing customers, but this is a complementary way of making additional sales more effective.
How do we know if sales and marketing efforts are working?
Very often we hear from companies that they don't know what the marketing is worth in terms of dollars and cents. They say they can count how many people have seen an ad, how many have clicked through, how many have visited the website and how many have filled in a form. Historically, this has been the case. So it's hard to measure. But today, with Marketing Automation, we can see where a lead has come from and follow it all the way to a deal.
Even if the sales process is long, we can go back and see if the deal came from an organic search on Google or if it came from an ad on LinkedIn. How cool is that! In this way (if we measure over a longer period of time), Marketing Automation allows us to see exactly what our marketing has generated in dollars and cents. With this we can make sure we are investing our money in the right things and in ways that give good results over time.
Today I would almost say that it is a company's duty to know these things. Because we live in a world where we cannot afford to waste our money on the wrong things or on activities that do not give us the expected result. Can you afford it?
If you want to learn more about what a lead is worth, read this blog post "What is a lead worth?".
How do we get started with Marketing Automation?
If you want to get started with Marketing Automation, you first need to get the whole company on board with the whole concept before you get started. Everyone in the company, from managers to employees, needs to understand what it means and the value of starting to work in a more automated and strategic way with their sales and marketing.
Here it might be a good idea to invite a company to give a presentation to a selected group at the company, explaining how Marketing Automation works and what the benefits are. For example, we at Contitude would be more than happy to do this for you.
Once you've got everyone on board, you'll need to set aside a budget for this. You will need to buy a Marketing Automation system which will also be implemented. Here we recommend that you find a digital agency to help you choose the right system and implement it for you. There are many different systems out there and it is a good idea to talk to a digital agency that works independently of the choice of system and that guides you through this so that you can more easily make the decisions that suit you best. Because all too often we see companies that have bought in far too large and powerful systems that are then not used in the best way.
You need to find a Marketing Automation system that suits your processes and is in line with your level of ambition. It's important to look at what your processes look like today and what parts you could automate to free up time and create more value for you and your customers.
The Marketing Automation system enables you to streamline existing processes and add new features that will help you sell more. Once you've mapped out the current situation and what you want to achieve, make sure the digital agency you choose can help you implement the system and set up all the processes and functions. You will need technical knowledge to implement everything correctly. It may also require integration with other of your existing systems.
What happens when the Marketing Automation system is set up and ready to use?
Okay, now that the system is implemented and ready to use - what happens? Now it needs to be filled with lots of content and ads. Here I would like to refer to an image that visualizes a funnel that the potential customer will go through. Below you can see an image showing a so-called Marketing Funnel. This is a set sales and marketing process that leads the potential customer through an interesting, engaging and decision-making buying journey. To succeed in this buying journey, each step of the Marketing Funnel needs to be filled with lots of great content and ads.
The first step in a Marketing Funnel is "Attracting" potential customers through interesting content or ads on Google or LinkedIn. Really good interest-generating content that is tailored to your customers' needs and challenges can be found by your potential customers via a Google search, for example.
If you've worked to create really good blog posts that are SEO-optimised, the chances of a potential customer clicking through to your website via the organic results on Google increase. If you want to learn more about how to write really good blog posts that are SEO optimized I suggest you click here!
You can also attract potential customers through ads you publish via Google Ads, Facebook Ads or LinkedIn Ads or similar. In other words, you choose the channel where your potential customers are most likely to be.
Step two of the Marketing Funnel is to "Engage" your visitors once they are on your website. You do this with really good, educational content that builds trust in you and your products and services. If you can demonstrate that you know a topic and that you are an expert in that area, your potential customers will feel confident enough to want to contact you.
One tip is to have a lot of text in your field and also educational videos. The visitor should be able to get almost all the answers they are looking for by reading and looking at your website. Also, feel free to show customer cases where you tell how you helped a customer solve their problem, creating really great value for them.
Step 3 of the Marketing Funnel is to "Convert" the visitors into a concrete lead that a salesperson can start working on. To succeed in this, there must be many and clear CTAs (Call To Actions) on the website.
These buttons are created in your Marketing Automation system and then added to the appropriate places on your website. This could be anything from adding a button at the end of each blog post where you can book a demo, download a guide, subscribe to newsletters or book a free consultation. In this way, you make it easy for your potential customers to get in touch with you in a way that suits them. An example of a Call To Action is the button below where you can download our guide on what to consider when choosing a digital partner.
DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE TO CHOOSING A DIGITAL PARTNER
In very simple terms, this is how sales-ready leads start to trickle into the CRM system for your salespeople to process. The goal is to start converting so many sales-ready leads that your sales reps can reduce the time they spend on time-consuming cold calling that doesn't always produce the results you expect.
Now your salespeople can spend their time on potential customers who are really interested in what you do, or at least have shown interest in some way. In this way, you adapt to the modern customer's buying journey, which in many cases begins with a search on Google or by clicking on an ad that piques their interest.
The fourth and final step is "Nurture" or processing in English. This is about the fact that some customers may not be ready to be contacted by a salesperson right away and need to be nurtured before they are ready for a contact from you. Using the Marketing Automation system, we can then set up those who convert on the website on different email loops, known as workflows.
For example, those who only sign up for your newsletter might only receive one newsletter each month and some customised content based on the pages they have visited on your website or based on what they have entered in the form on the website. Below you can see what a form might look like when a potential customer fills out the form.
Above is a picture of a form I filled in as an example. Based on what our potential customers fill in, we can tailor the content to them. If we see that a person wants to learn more about SEO, we can send them only content that educates them about SEO. This way we can be very precise in our communication with a potential customer and we can do this thanks to the fact that we work with a Marketing Automation system.
The system allows you to nurture your potential customers until they are ready to be contacted by a sales representative. All the data will also be seen by your sales reps in the system so they can easily keep track of what all your leads have done and how much they've engaged with your content.
Why should we start working with Marketing Automation?
I could ramble on and on about this exciting area. The bottom line is that there is incredible value to be gained if you start working with Marketing Automation. Of course it takes time and effort to get started but then there are only benefits!
If you are interested in talking further about this, please feel free to schedule a meeting with one of us at Contitude! We love working with Marketing Automation and would love to talk to you about it :-)