Is Marketing Automation Worth The Cost?
Perhaps you’re a grassroots marketer; you’ve been in the industry for quite some time, you understand the lay of the land, and you have a wealth of resources to draw upon as you connect as many people as possible with your products.
What’s more, you get results. Your methods work and – while they’re somewhat labor-intensive – you have a demonstrable track record in launching and promoting great products, getting stunning returns, and enhancing the value of the customer over their entire life-cycle.
With this in mind, do you really need marketing automation software in your life? Is an automated strategy really necessary when things are already so sweet? After all, there are costs associated with setting up this kind of software, and onboarding the necessary users across the entire organization can be expensive and time-consuming.
I’m not here to tell you whether there is a right or a wrong answer to these questions. Instead I want to present some facts to you, and allow you to draw your own conclusions.
So, things are going well. You’re working hard but you’re getting stuff done and are receiving rewards. But isn’t there more to it than that?
What was your initial impetus for going into business? Perhaps you had a revolutionary idea that you just had to bring to market, maybe you wanted to take a family commerce business to the next level, or it could be that you simply relished the idea of putting your skills and experience to the test.
Whichever reason you had for going into business, it probably wasn’t due to a love of creating customer databases, or born from a passion for administrative heavy-lifting tasks.
This is where marketing automation comes in. By automating your processes to the right degree, you’re freeing up your valuable time to spend on other, more important aspects of your business. Why get bogged down in the drudgery of keeping everything in check when you could be doing what you love?
A Scalable Company
It’s a trajectory that many of us will be familiar with in business. We start with an idea and we set about turning that idea into a reality. At the beginning, we stretch ourselves to the limit, fulfilling as many roles as possible ourselves to keep costs down, eking every last drop out of our available resources. Then there is a shift; we reach a tipping point and it gets a little easier. Momentum builds, and we begin to achieve genuine growth.
However, growth brings with it problems of its own. As our organization grows, we find that our procedures and protocols are no longer suitable, and must be upgraded. The transition from small to medium-sized business can be a rocky one.
To achieve scalability, we need to draw upon the resources that marketing automation can provide. By utilizing growth reports and forecasts, and by using the power of automation to give ourselves some room to grow, we can future-proof our companies, and eliminate any of the growing pains and teething troubles associated with graduating between levels.
No matter how many customers you’re reaching with your strategies, there is always – always – room for improvement. Are enough consumers aware of the advantages your products provide? Are we engaging customers before the competition does? Are there other markets that we could be dominating?
Marketing automation software not only allows us to realize our dreams of expanded reach, it gives us the resources we need to push ever further, answering the questions outlined above and cornering markets we had never even considered.
A company is effectively a data factory, churning out reams of facts and figures with each and every customer interaction. A good piece of automation software gives us the opportunity to access this information more efficiently than ever before, via powerful reporting functions and capabilities.
This gives us an intimate understanding of the way in which our organization operates; an understanding which is vital as our businesses continue to grow and perform in the market.
These days, it’s not good enough simply to meet the needs of consumers across a variety of different channels. We must go a step further.
A few years ago, achieving a multi-channel experience for our customers was proving difficult enough, and required us to draw upon a wide range of resources as we sought to reach the consumer across numerous platforms. With the advent of omni-channel, this just got a whole lot harder.
Omni-channel requires more than widespread engagement; it requires seamless engagement delivered across and between different channels at the same time. As the customer skips between app, desktop website, physical store and telephone service desk, we need to be there at every step, providing a matchless experience on an individual level.
Without a solid foundation of automation in place, this is incredibly difficult to accomplish. The leading lights of omni-channel – those paragons of the discipline that we all admire – are achieving this level of omniscience with such ease that customers are beginning to expect it as standard.
Harnessing the power of marketing automation eases the pressure of achieving this level of consistency and quality. By putting the right processes in place, you’re giving the customer precisely what they want. Do this on a regular basis, and you’re on to a winner.
With such a wealth of supporting evidence, it’s difficult to counter the point that automated marketing processes make business more efficient. Time and time again we have seen business owners revolutionizing their organizations with this software, revamping their procedures and passing on the advantages to their customers.
But, questions remain. Is marketing automation worth it? Does increased efficiency, boosted reach, company-wide agility and versatility, improved scalability and the opportunity to fall in love with business all over again really justify the cost of implementing the software across an organization?
I will leave you to make your mind up on that one.
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and views.