We Want Leads! Understanding Marketing Automation

     

Published: February 10, 2020

Marketing automation is all about making computers do the heavy lifting when it comes to reaching your current and potential customers. The idea is to have repetitive tasks done by software to save you time and resources so you can focus your efforts elsewhere. The concept is a good one and we use automated tasks every day to schedule social media posts, distribute emails, and optimize ad campaigns.

Marketing automation can come in the form of software packages for specific tasks or from companies that offer to handle the bulk of your automated marketing for you. Of course, every good strategy has a few pitfalls to keep an eye on. Here’s what you need to know about automated marketing companies to make sure you’re getting the most for your budget.

Know Your Goals
Before trying your hand at marketing automation or enlisting the help of a company offering to handle it for you, you must start by knowing what your goals are. Keep in mind that “getting more customers” is not a goal! Instead, you want something that is specific and measurable so you know exactly when you’ve achieved it. For example, “get five qualified leads” is a better goal. Add an end date and you’re ready to go.

The reason this is important is that the majority of these services will cost money; some are even hundreds of dollars per month. We know that small businesses don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend with no return on that investment, so it is critical for you to be able to measure exactly what the result of that spending is and whether you’ve reached your goal so you can be sure it’s worthwhile.

Know What to Expect
If you’re diving into a software package, you can usually tell what to expect from reading about what it’s meant to do and how you use it. When choosing a marketing automation company, however, knowing what to expect might be a bit unclear.

One of the most important things you should expect from any marketing company is communication. Remember, the automation part applies to specific marketing tasks, not to you! It would be best for you to meet with someone at least once a month, preferably the same person who is working on your account. Beware of any company that does not offer you a specific and single point of contact! You should be assigned an account manager or a similar representative who is dedicated to your business. If you have to call a toll-free number and talk to the next available representative to learn about your account, it’s a very bad sign.

During your monthly meetings, you should expect to hear about the performance of your campaigns, how that performance compares to previous months, and what changes and adjustments are going to be made to improve the results or have them demonstrate why the current method shouldn’t be changed. Do not budge on this expectation! If a company is expecting you to fork over a monthly fee and refuses to give you 30 minutes a month to check in on their progress and future plans, there’s a good chance they’re not being upfront and honest with you.

Demand Leads
The job of marketing automation is to deliver leads to your door. That’s it. If you are not receiving qualified leads as a direct result of your marketing automation (and spending!), then it’s not working and you’re throwing money away.

Pushy salespeople can be intimidating and slick talkers can convince you that you’re doing the right thing, even if it’s not working out. However, the proof is in the bottom line. Are you getting leads? Enough? Are they qualified leads? No amount of engagement statistics, click rates, email opens, or any other figure matters if you’re not getting leads.

You’re the Boss
Remember, you’re in charge of what happens to your marketing and to your money. Don’t be intimidated by fast-talkers, especially if you’re unfamiliar with digital marketing and marketing automation. A good sign is someone who is happy to take the time to make you feel comfortable rather than leveraging your discomfort into a sale.

Speaking of people who are happy to talk about different marketing tactics, explain how things work, and generally take the time to make customers feel confident about their choices, we can help with your marketing automation! Start by sending us a quick message telling us what your goals are, and we’ll take it from there.

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