Many businesses find the concept of marketing automation appealing and want to jump right in with an improved strategy. However, a number of these companies don’t fully understand the financial implications — dedicating someone to the project full-time, or even just three-quarters of the time, is a big investment, not even considering the expenses for paying for software and development of content.
Although it is undeniable that marketing automation has significant advantages, it can also be a waste of money if you are not yet in the position to benefit.
1. You Have Enough Content to Automate
First of all, it is important to understand just how much content you will require for marketing automation. Ideally, you will have content for every persona at every stage of the buying cycle and in a range of formats (blog posts, videos, and podcasts, for instance).
This is a huge amount to plan, design, and create, and you should already have at least half this content to make marketing automation worthwhile.
2. You Have an Allocated Budget
You must be able to afford the costs of software, a dedicated team of staff, and content creation tasks. The exact amount you can expect to spend will depend according to the number of contacts in your database and the number of emails you intend to send per month.
It is important to note that trying to cut costs in any aspect will most likely result in lower quality content and less conversions, which can end up costing you more due to a reduced ROI.
3. You Are Unable to Reach Your Revenue Number
You should have already completed the analytics and determined the number of inbound visits, conversions, nurtured leads, and wins you need to reach your revenue. If you are currently falling short, marketing automation is the right solution, as it will allow you to deliver the right type of content to different groups of prospects at specific points in the buying cycle.
4. You Are Already Investing in SEO
SEO is essential for continually gaining qualified leads and a constant flow of traffic to your website, as marketing automation cannot work if you lack leads and prospects whom you will convert. Plus, connecting the content you create for email campaigns, newsletters, and articles to your website adds to optimization efforts, further improving search engine rankings to send you yet more visitors.
5. You Have CRM Software
CRM software is a much smaller investment and a precursor to the more complicated marketing automation. You can think of skipping CRM to dive straight into marketing automation as like trying to learn to ride a bike without training wheels. Before you even consider marketing automation, you should have set up CRM software with all the details about your customers and prospects.
Once you have fulfilled all the above criteria, you are ready to benefit from marketing automation. However, if you fall short in any point, you should first focus your attention on solving this shortcoming before employing marketing automation software.
Do Your Research
SharpSpring, a marketing automation services company, and Acend2 collaborated to conduct interviews with over 300 small-midsize businesses to benchmark their automation strategy and expectations.
MarketCrest has presented the results in a free ebook to help CEOs determine if they are ready for the investments and if so, provide benchmarks on strategy. The research results are available on our free Resources page.
MarketCrest is a Marketing & Consulting Services firm focused exclusively on strategies that drive revenue growth. Simply put, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance.
MarketCrest also provides Marketing Automation and CRM solutions, and services for clients. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult with a marketing strategist.