So you recently implemented inbound marketing at your company. Welcome!
My fellow inbound marketers and I are excited that you’ve taken the plunge after what I know to be an extensive research process.
I’m pretty sure that while you were doing that research and deciding if inbound was the solution to your lead flow problems, one intense (and relatively daunting) term kept popping up.
Marketing automation (MA).
One dive into this world probably rendered you speechless with all the software companies vying for attention, demos, and not to mention what could possibly be a substantial financial investment.
You probably looked at MA and said “forget it, we can get by without it.”
But if you’re serious about your inbound marketing endeavors, marketing automation is going to be what makes or breaks your campaigns.
Think about your inbound marketing efforts as a car (typical, I know, but stay with me).
If content is the fuel and strategy is the engine, then marketing automation software is the axel.
And I know some of you are like “axel, wtf?”
But an axel connects the wheels and holds the weight of the car. Also importantly, it transfers engine power and torque from the transmission to actually make the wheels (and thus the entire car) move.
Marketing automation connects your assets and uses the energy from your content and the power of your strategy to make your inbound marketing efforts move.
Wow. Pretty insightful, right?
But if you still need convincing about whether to invest in marketing automation, check out the 5 telltale signs below.
You need marketing automation if:
1. You’re a small team responsible for all of your marketing efforts.
Inbound is a huge undertaking – don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Having a small team in charge of email marketing, creating landing pages, workflows, lead segmentation, content creation, and social media distribution usually presents a task list too robust to keep track of – especially if you’re just starting.
You need something that will streamline your content, strategy, and assets and make your campaign launch and analysis as effortless as possible.
2. You have an untapped database.
So you already have a database but you don’t know how to put it to good use. You need to start by segmenting your database by personas and marketing automation software is a great way to get started.
Don’t have enough data on your leads yet? No worries, sending your database content they’re interested in and enticing them to fill out your forms is a great way to capture that important info.
3. You’re in serious need of sales-marketing alignment.
This is a problem most companies have.
If your sales and marketing teams are not aligned on what defines an MQL or SQL (marketing qualified lead and sales qualified lead, respectively), you’re never going to provide each other the necessary info to be successful.
This is where lead nurturing and automated workflows come in.
Agree on your MQLs and SQLs and enroll your leads into workflows. Once they engage with you enough, you’ll be able to determine what leads to hand off to sales and what leads to nurture more.
4. You have a high price point and a long path to purchase.
If your B2B solution has a high price ticket, like $350K, chances are it’s going to take a while to generate the qualified leads you need to adequately fill your funnel.
This is because large B2B purchases generally require consideration from a buying decision team comprised of various internal stakeholders whom all have different needs.
Marketing automation can be the perfect solution for this through its lead nurturing capabilities but remember: inbound marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
5. You’re experiencing a marketing tool overload.
Do you have 8 different tools to provide all of the functions for your inbound marketing efforts? Well, marketing automation can help you decrease that by rolling a number of functionalities into one.
Think of it as a marketing one-stop-shop.
I hope this piece compels you to consider making marketing automation the axel to your inbound marketing efforts.
Experiencing any challenges while trying to adopt marketing automation at your company? Be sure to leave them in the comments below so we can talk about them!
Also, I created a resource specifically aimed at helping sales and marketing teams get aligned on lead definitions, goals, and performance. It's a Sales-Marketing Alignment checklist and you can get your copy by clicking the button below!