Any organization looking to grow will need to spend money sooner or later to make that happen. Think about buying computers for your staff, renting office space, leasing vehicles. Or have an agency build a decent website, develop your brand or run powerful campaigns.
We encounter a lot of companies that want to grow, but unfortunately have rather limited budgets to make it happen. Because there’s a whole lot more to invest in than just marketing.
But here’s the good news: it is possible for almost every company we encountered so far to either:
Simply put: marketing automation is a combination of software, systems and processes that help you streamline your marketing efforts and make them more efficient. This is all done from one single platform that connects all possible channels, enabling you to run all your campaigns from one single platform. You could for example send automatic emails based on the behavior of your target audience, or run a series of tasks after someone filled in a form. Automation goes far beyond just emails or social media, as we’ll point out later on.
Depending on your business, there could be a huge list of scenarios in which automation can speed up things. In this day and age, the cost of labor is very high, and finding the right people for your business is hard. With these challenges in mind, automation can play a big role in saving your business from rising costs, and in achieving some growth along the way.
You may have looked at marketing automation platform pricing before. And if you did, perhaps you thought it was (too) expensive. But research and experience show that it’s actually the other way around: even though there is a price tag, automation platforms actually enable you to cut a lot of costs in your organization.
A logical consequence of implementing a CRM platform and automation, is that you’ll be able to reduce a lot of manual labor. If you’ve been using a CRM before you’ll know: manually inputting or updating data in your CRM takes a huge amount of time. Think about all the hours you spend just manually updating lifecycle stages, interactions with your contacts, creating (and forgetting) to set tasks for update calls, and so on. A huge amount of tasks you are doing manually can very easily be automated. And because of this, a big chunk of your labor cost can be significantly reduced as well.
And there is more. On top of all that, automating a bunch of tasks will drastically reduce the amount of errors that are now made by humans. As human beings we tend to make mistakes. Mistakes can cost your company a lot of money. Think about a wrong email that angers a customer, so they dump you in favor of a competitor. Or forgetting to perform a manual task that makes you lose a huge deal with a potential customer. Unlike a machine, we are not designed to perform the same tasks hundreds and thousands of times in the exact same way. That’s where errors seep through the cracks of your systems. Errors that your team will no longer be making, because you can just automate them.
Another major beneficial factor effect when you automate your marketing (and sales) is that your processes get streamlined. Before automation, lots of companies do have detailed processes for their business, which is always a good thing. And those processes often work very well in fact. But the advantage of automating things is that your processes will get more streamlined than before. It’s simply a fact that some steps in a process just take time and manual interventions. Automating this will cut out manual work and speed things up.
Your overall efficiency in your marketing efforts is going to increase as well. Because of the factors we already mentioned, you’ll get more marketing done with the same amount of people, at a lower cost: increased efficiency in other words. The budget and time you save this way can be spent on other things, like more time to define your strategy or think of great campaigns, or more time and budget to bring your content marketing to a higher level. And all of this will result in even more marketing ROI.
A vastly underestimated problem in many many companies, is that they use a large number of different tools to do marketing. We looked up the numbers: an average SME uses no less than 27 tools. That’s a lot! Now lets say that you pay about 30 Euros on average for all those tools. Most will cost more, some will cost less or perhaps nothing. 27 * 30 = 810. It could be much more than that if you added extra users or if you need enterprise features.
The point is: all of these quickly add up to rather high monthly costs, without the benefit of having everything in one platform. And more often than not, the decision to use these tools is done on business unit or team level. It’s almost never a decision taken by a central procurement department or the management team. That means that almost nobody in the organization knows of all those tools and their respective cost.
You can avoid all of this unclarity and surprisingly high costs by implementing an automation platform.
Just like any other investment you do with your organization, a marketing automation platform too needs to yield a healthy ROI. Otherwise it’s unwise to invest at all. We can confidently say that you’ll get that ROI for sure, and statistically, almost 80% of organization earn the ROI within the first 12 months of working with an automation platform.
One very clear way in which you will increase ROI is by running personalized campaigns. An automation platform has at its core a CRM with lots of data about your target audience. You can use these data to personalize your campaigns, and it’s not just emails by the way. You can also use these to offer personalized experiences on your website for example.
By personalization, we mean more than just using people’s names to address them. You can also create highly targeted segments in your platform based on their purchases and demographics, and offer them highly tailored content via different channels. You’ll of course need to have well detailed buyer persona’s for your organization. Check our worksheet if you want to create these.
It goes without saying that by personalizing and targeting your campaigns really well, they become much more effective. Doing this takes some effort, but it’s very much worth every second you pour into it.
No business survives without conversions. Those are crucial in your sales process. Automating your marketing and sales processes will help you increase your conversion rates significantly. Statistics show that 77% of automation users see increased conversions. If you conversion rates go up, then even without attracting more visitors you will still get more customers and sales. One thing you can implement that really impacts your conversions, is lead scoring.
And you certainly heard someone say that keeping a customer is easier and cheaper than generating a new one. Automation helps you keep your clients satisfied, ultimately resulting in a higher customer retention. One way automation contributes to customer retention is you’ll be able to communicate with them more consistently. Also your team can spend the time savings from manual tasks in more personal contacts with paying customers. All of this will give them a better user experience: it shows your involvement also after the deal is signed, and it gives them the opportunity to give you feedback on your performance. This will enable you to deliver better products or services in the future.
We are firm believers of the importance of data for your organization. A CRM platform and all the automation features it has generate a lot of data. Data enables you to make better decisions. And better decisions lead to better results. Here are a few examples of how data lead to serious cost savings:
When automating your marketing processes, you’ll gain some cost savings right from the bat. But the cost savings effects are often more long-term. Statistically speaking, organization on average get 20% more productive when they automate. But setting up the platform onboarding your teams and training end-users takes some time. Cost savings related to a smaller team will only become clear in the long term.
Marketing automation is also something you build up step by step. Next to the quick wins, you’ll see some cost savings only after a while, when you start gaining momentum. After a while, the small cost savings you have realized from the start will start adding up and reinforcing each other as well.
You’d be amazed at some of the cost savings we’ve helped companies realize over the years. In all honesty: we’ve been quite surprised at the results ourselves a more than one occasion.
As we mentioned already, when you use an automation platform you’ll need less staff to do the same marketing as before. Hence, you’ll need less hiring and training to keep your marketing efforts on the same level. For some marketing jobs, you may not need to hire anymore because the software is taking care of it for you.
Another aspect is that you won’t need to train your team anymore in doing some marketing tasks. It can just be handled by the platform. And chances are that your platform of choice has an extended library of tutorials or even an academy in which users can quickly learn a few new things when they have a moment to spare.
Of course the benefits of marketing automation extend beyond only cost savings. It helps growing companies in scaling up their operations to facilitate growth. In any case, marketing automation helps companies of any size reduce their overall costs for marketing, but also for sales in fact. Ultimately, this leads to a more profitable and more sustainable business. The exact ROI for your organization will be different from anyone else’s. You can calculate yours with this calculator. If you take time to look into the ROI and cost saving effects, you’ll get a clear idea just how much automation really helps you save money for your business.
Ready to save your company a lot of money by automating your marketing and sales? Get started with our FREE marketing automation guide!