How Can Marketing Automation Help your Business Thrive?

Jill SchmiegThis is the first article in a series on how marketing automation can help you business grow and thrive. Guest author is Jill Schmieg, founder and chief strategist at Sol de Naples Marketing, a marketing services firm specializing in helping B2B companies find brighter ways to reach their markets. Learn more at www.soldenaples.com

With more than half of B2B marketers using some form of marketing automation, it is astonishing that 85% of them feel they’re not using it to its fullest potential. (Source: EmailMonday and SiriusDecisions)

So went the line of conversation at the recent Interactive Roundtable Discussions on marketing automation at this year’s TMSA Conference in Amelia Island, Florida. Over the course of two sessions totaling more than 20 marketers in transportation and logistics, four key themes in the form of concerns and opportunities emerged. They were voiced as:

  1. I’m a single person managing both sales and marketing. How can marketing automation help me?
  2. I’m struggling with what to prioritize: my website vs. marketing automation?
  3. I have marketing automation, but I’m pretty sure I’m not using it in the best ways I should be.
  4. My company wants to send tons of outbound email to promote just about everything we want to say, but our open rates and other metrics are really bad with this approach.

Let’s tackle the first theme: “I’m a single person managing both sales and marketing.  How can marketing automation help me?” 

My first instinct was to respond with a word of congratulations and envy! After all, it’s easy to align sales and marketing when there’s only one person involved! On a more serious note, there are many professionals in transportation and logistics who wear multiple hats, and the combined hat of sales and marketing is a common one. A person in this position is faced with balancing activities to not only generate and convert leads, but also, at the same time, chase really hot, urgent bids. How can marketing automation help? Here are three recommendations:

1) Use automation to perform ‘top of funnel’ prospecting for you. Put in the upfront effort and time to develop a series of email and social post campaigns. Then, program your marketing automation steps deploy the campaign series automatically on the timeline you designate. This can free you up to work on hot bids while your campaigns are running in the background.

2) Use marketing automation to help you discriminate on who to call, and who not to. Once your campaign is automated, review which prospects have the highest lead scores regularly. A prospect’s score grows as he/she engages in measured activities, like visiting your company’s website or opening an email. This puts you in a great position to follow up with prospects who are already ‘warm’ (i.e. have expressed interest in something you’re talking about) and eliminate cold calling altogether.

3) Use the information available from marketing automation to build the business case for more investments in marketing and sales. Because marketing automation can track not only what leads are engaged, but also which of those leads result in sales pipeline deals, you’ve got the information you need to prove ROI. Armed with knowing that every dollar spent in marketing and sales results in “x” amount of revenue is a very powerful C-Suite conversation you’ll now be ready to have.

Interested in exploring more ways Marketing Automation can help your business grow and thrive? Download the Marketing Automation self-assessment survey now. 

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