Marketing Automation software is on a tear right now, and for good reason. Organizations that deploy marketing automation can more effectively move leads from the top of the sales funnel through to leads that are more inclined to buy at the bottom of the funnel. The software scores each prospect based on a variety of factors and then automatically delivers communications via email based on this behavior.
According to a study by Raab Associates, the industry brought in approximately $325 million in 2011, an increase of more than 50 percent over the previous year. Marketo, Eloqua, Infusionsoft, SilverPop, Hubspot and a whole host of other companies are enjoying rapid growth as they sell their hosted software solutions in increasing numbers.
Wondering whether your company can benefit from automating your marketing and sales through this type of software? Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you getting enough leads into your company? If not, automating your marketing activities is part of the solution in increasing lead flow. Done properly, information is delivered to qualified prospects even before a need is clearly understood.
- Are you getting a large quantity of leads with a varying degree of quality? If your sales team doesn’t have the time to follow up on all leads, marketing automation software ensures that prospects are not only getting timely responses, they are getting customized responses based on the information they appear interested in.
- Is your company already using a customer relationship management (CRM) system? Marketing automation software works most effectively when integrated with a CRM system. It is based on the concept of nurturing leads with relevant content until the individual appears ready to buy and then forwarding that prospect to a sales rep at the ideal time in the buying process. Combining marketing automation with customer relationship management is the technical solution of integrating marketing with sales.
- Do buyers of your product or service take a long time from initial interest to ultimate buying decision? Long buying cycles provide ample time to deliver the information prospective buyers need when they are trying to determine how they will benefit from buying what you’re selling.
- Have you analyzed the information that prospective customers are looking for during the buying process? In order to make the most of marketing automation software, you need to deliver relevant information to qualified prospects at just the right time. This requires a good understanding of the buying process and the willingness to produce content that informs these prospects at each stage of the buying process.
- Are you committed to investing the time and/or money necessary to create content? We’ve seen this situation played out often. Companies make the investment in buying marketing automation software but haven’t planned out the creation of content. Content creation is an ongoing process that requires ongoing strategic planning and tactical execution. Without this commitment, save your money and don’t invest in marketing automation software.
Combining a strategic plan to developing content with an automated software solution can provide your company with more buyer ready leads on an ongoing basis. It’s an investment that thousands of companies have gotten tremendous returns from.
If you’ve got questions about marketing automation software, or stories to share about how content marketing has helped your business, we welcome your comments.