Large enterprises have long found value in marketing automation technology, but automation is no longer just for big companies. In fact, Small and Mid-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) now make up the largest growing segment with the technology becoming recognised as essential in over 50% of the sector.
According to Base, marketing automation technology oﬀers an average return of $5 for every $1 invested and helps with critical tasks such as lead generation, customer segmentation and sales nurturing.
Of course some of these practices are possible at small volumes without marketing automation, but technology becomes essential with scale and today’s growing number of marketing channels (think websites, blogs, Facebook, You Tube and LinkedIn to name just a few). Marketing automation offers three key functions:
- Central marketing database – a place for all your marketing data, including detailed prospect and customer interactions and behaviours, so you can segment and target the right message to each customer. Zoho is a popular cloud based marketing automation solution offering a basic edition for free.
- Customer engagement engine – an environment for the creation, management and automation of marketing processes and conversations such as email marketing, landing pages and forms, campaign management, lead prediction and scoring, customer life cycle management and CRM integration.
- Analytics reports – the testing, measurement, and optimisation of marketing and revenue growth. Many businesses today are outsourcing their analytics reports to effectively track what’s working, what isn’t, and how your company can improve.
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Sources: Base, Rothman [abridged]