Marketing automation is just that, the act of utilizing software to automate various marketing activities. Many marketing teams and agencies choose to automate tasks that are repetitive like email marketing, advertising, and social media scheduling. This is not just to make a marketing manager’s life easier, but to also provide a more personalized experience for their customers. Common marketing automation tools include HubSpot, Marketo and Constant Contact.
As you start to look at your budget for the remainder of 2020 and even 2021, you may be determining what areas of marketing are most important to focus on and where can you cut back as you begin to recover from the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on your organization. Although you may need to scale back on some areas, marketing automation should not be one of them. In-fact, even as marketing spend continues to fall through 2021 due to COVID-19, Forrester expects marketing automation investments will see a slight lift. This is due to the power it has to help convert what minimal leads you may have coming in at the time, even if you may have a smaller marketing staff and budget for the near future.
Lead Nurturing & Conversion Rate Optimization
If you are cutting budgets in other areas, one of the first places you may cut budget would be in advertising. With a reduction in advertising, especially ad spend focused on lead generation, comes a significant reduction in your lead volume. With what minimal leads you may have in the pipeline, it’s essential to convert them into MQLs, SQLS, and of course paying customers. To do this, you must have a solid marketing automation plan in place. This may include lead nurture campaigns where they get a series of emails with relevant content they may be interested in. These emails may also include a CTA to schedule a demo, get a free trial or contact your sales team for a meeting. All of these are typical actions that quality leads take that get them one step forward towards becoming a customer. The best part about these lead nurture campaigns is that they are automated. You set them up one time with various triggers, rules, etc. and leads will run through them. You can also set-up lead scoring to attribute points to various marketing actions like clicking an email, visiting a webpage, or interacting with a social post. Setting up an alert once a lead hits a certain score will allow you to quickly get in touch with that lead to discuss their interest in your company. You will want to review your data to see if any content or rules need to be changed to optimize your campaigns for conversions.
Turning MQLs into customers is a key piece of your marketing goals as you adjust to this “new normal”. But another critical area to focus on is customer retention. If you don’t have new leads and new customers coming in, it’s essential that you are able to retain the current customers you have. This includes keeping them happy by delivering high-quality services, but also staying in touch with them. You can send newsletter or one-time email sends to stay in front of them, but setting up automated lead nurture campaigns specifically for your customers to let them know you are supporting them during this time and what your services can do to help them as they recover is a great way to show them you care. You can also use this opportunity to potentially upsell them on other services that they may need from you during this time. You may not be increasing the size of your business at the moment, but it’s critical that you do not lose current customers.
When you are looking at where to focus your marketing efforts for the rest of this year, marketing automation is an area you should seriously consider. Not only is it effective in nurturing leads and retaining customers, but it is a time saver for already strapped marketing departments.
If your organization is struggling to put in place a solid marketing automation strategy or you don’t know where to start, talk to Nowspeed. Our team has deep experience in this area from how to create a marketing automation strategy, what tools to choose and how to implement it. Learn more about our Marketing Automation and Lead Nurture Services.