How to Decide if Marketing Automation is Right for You

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As one of the most popular technologies used today, a marketing automation platform allows you to automate, streamline, and measure a variety of marketing tasks and workflows. Marketing automation assists in generating high-quality sales leads through features such as content personalization and behavioral targeting. A marketing automation platform allows you to nurture and extend the relationships you create with your customers using lead scoring systems and triggered campaigns. When used correctly, marketing automation can increase sales, keep customers interested in your brand, and dramatically improve your overall ROI. But how do you decide if a marketing automation platform is the right fit for your company’s needs?

Learn more about the three questions you should ask yourself before making the switch to marketing automation.

  1. Can my team handle the management and maintenance of a marketing automation platform?
    One of the biggest advantages of marketing automation is its operational efficiency: you can set up processes to run automatically alongside your marketing activities. However, the management of these operations demand a considerable amount of time and resources. Marketing automation programs can require weekly or daily maintenance to ensure that your information is updated and that all leads are being properly leveraged. Your team will need time and resources to build email templates, landing pages, and follow-up emails, which can strongly impact your campaign schedule. You will also need to optimize email content, segment audiences, and set up a lead scoring plan. Although one of the biggest conveniences of marketing automation is its ability to save time, it can require a dedicated team to strategize, manage, and maintain the platform effectively.
  2. How much of my marketing budget should I allocate to this new investment?
    Marketing automation encompasses a variety of different features and capabilities. B2B companies rely on marketing automation for lead scoring, lead nurturing, and lead lifecycle management. B2C companies utilize marketing automation for cross-selling, up-selling, and instilling customer loyalty. Marketing automation can also be expensive. Pricing depends on multiple factors such as desired features, database contacts, or message volume. Monthly plans for less sophisticated platforms such as Infusionsoft can range from $100 – 200 per month. Larger, robust platforms such as Marketo and Pardot can provide comprehensive features that range from $3,000 – $3,500+ per month. Although marketing automation can drive dramatic ROI within a reasonable time frame, it can be difficult to justify such an expensive investment. Make sure that a platform’s price fits within your budget before committing to any type of marketing automation software.
  3. Am I thinking about the customer’s journey?
    Many businesses purchase marketing automation but fail to use it to its fullest extent. When selecting a marketing automation platform, it is essential to consider how you will leverage certain features in each phase of your customer’s journey. Marketing automation platforms are highly effective with companies that have a long sales cycle: these type of prospects require multiple touch points along the funnel. You can leverage automated messages to nurture leads over time or utilize lead scoring to track each individual’s engagement. It is critical to decide which features are the most important to your overall marketing strategy. Examining how a platform fits those needs can help you maximize both budget and resources.

Although a marketing automation platform can require a substantial amount of time and resources, these technologies can help you deliver engaging, relevant, and personalized content to the leads that matter. If you decide that marketing automation is a good fit for your business, the work does not stop there: creating a strategy behind the initiative is the next step in the process. Making sure that you set clear goals and measure results on a regular basis will help you make the most out of your marketing automation platform in the long term.