What is Marketing Automation?

There was a very popular old story by Herman Russell that went viral back in the early 1900’s. It was called Acres of Diamonds, and it was about a farmer who went on a long, harsh journey to find diamonds, only to find that he should have dug into his own back yard. His yard that was full of diamonds!

The story is still told today, as relevant as ever, as a lesson that teaches us to appreciate what we already have, rather than wasting time and energy on journeys, tactics, methods, etc. that don’t pay off.

Acres of Diamonds reminds me of a conversation I had with a broker. At the time, his goal was to generate more leads, but he already had a database of 2500 leads who had never been contacted!

That database of leads was like a field full of diamonds in his own back yard, just waiting to be discovered, mined and refined – the value immense.

So why didn’t the broker contact anyone in his database rather than launching new marketing campaigns to bring in new leads? The answer is that it would simply take too long – to figure out who to contact, what their new rate and savings could be, not to mention just creating the emails or making phone calls and trying to remember who is interested and following up appropriately. It was just frankly too much manual work to be worth his time.

Going through his customer database to figure whether they were “hot” leads would take someone up to an hour per record – that would have been 2500 hours of manual work!

Do you have this problem? Are your files overflowing with contacts that you’ve never contacted? Do you lack the tools and time to follow up with new contacts (or hot leads) who may be interested in getting a quote from you?

If this sounds like you, I have some good news for you: Marketing Automation is the solution to these and other marketing and sales follow up problems!

How does Marketing Automation fit in to your business?

If you have people coming to your business, you should have marketing processes in place to keep them thinking about you and coming back for more of your products and services.

Businesses use a wide variety of tools to help them with sales and marketing tasks: Microsoft Excel files, Outlook calendar reminders, Word mail merge functions, post it notes, and more.

But, what if you could make some of your sales and marketing tasks automatic? Things like sending email blasts, having sales people make calls to follow up on leads, sending out direct mail, asking for feedback, or managing your social media accounts?

If you did, you’d have more time to focus on your day-to-day business and delivering great customer experiences.

It will probably make you extremely happy to know that there are software tools that can do all those sales and marketing tasks–and more–automatically!

Enter Marketing Automation…

Marketing Automation is when businesses use a software system to capture and track data about leads (potential customers), automate manual marketing activities (such as follow-up), and generate in-depth reports to track your marketing and advertising efforts.

Why Do You Need Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation helps nurture leads (potential customers) from browsers into buyers. At nyche marketing we map out 4 stages of a lead, which we call our Lead Management Lifecycle:

It starts with lead attraction (fulfilled by our Living Websites system). You need to find ways to get a pipeline full of leads consistently coming into your business.

Once you have leads coming in, the next step is lead nurturing. You need to determine what follow-up you will do to answer questions, educate, and showcase your expertise to this lead.

Then there is lead qualification. Do you or your sales staff know when the lead is ready to make a buying decision? How do you know if this the right potential customer for your services?

And finally, there is lead conversion, where you work on closing the deal and getting a yes (or no) from the potential customer.

Steps 2 (lead nurturing) & 3 (lead qualification) are perfect business scenarios for the use of Marketing Automation.

Why Should you Nurture a Lead?

Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience as much as a 451% increase in qualified leads. – The Annuitas Group

The reason why you want to nurture a lead is to help move move people along your buying process or sales cycle.

Consider this example:

A person needs a new roof. How can you nurture this lead? You can give them a checklist to use when searching for roofing quotes, which is a free thing they can download. Now that you have their email, you can continue the conversation – you can then follow-up with project stories/case studies, testimonials/reviews, before and after pictures, and more education and company information that will help you build trust between you and the prospective customer.

This could be happening automatically while your estimator meets with the homeowner and assesses the costs of a new roof.

When someone knows, likes and trusts you, they’re more likely to buy from you.

The primary benefit of marketing automation according to B2B marketers is the ability to generate more and better quality leads. –Pepper Global

By the time this homeowner gets your quote they are primed and ready to buy from your company.

Why Should you Qualify a Lead?

Are you sick of tire kickers just quote shopping or looking for the lowest price? You could ask them to fill out a brief questionnaire so you can give them a better quote. Their answers will help narrow down the product or service they’re really after and see if they are the right fit for your company.

If you’re a renovation company and you only have one simple contact form, you don’t know what the customer needs are unless they specifically mention what they want. With marketing automation, you can automatically follow-up and get them to answer clarifying questions.

Lead nurturing and lead qualifying with automated marketing helps save time and wasted effort for your sales team.

Companies that excel in lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead. –Forrester Research

How Can I Use Marketing Automation to Nurture a lead, Qualify for quoting and help the sales team Close Deals?

First thing you need to do before you buy an expensive marketing automation tool is plan and create a strategy.

Ask yourself: “Who are my ideal customers and what is the typical sales cycle they go through before accepting my quote? What are the areas in the sales cycle where me or my staff spend the most time? Is it answering the same questions? Qualifying the potential customer to see if they are the right fit?” Read more in our article: How do I do Marketing Automation?

Think about this scenario: A customer who wants to decorate a living room is different than someone who wants to renovate their kitchen. They both need the services of an interior designer but one wants decor & accessories, products and services for their living room and the other wants to rip out and replace their whole kitchen.

Here are some steps you could take to help these customers along your sales process:

Ask more clarifying questions to understand what specific problems the prospect has

Send some information educating the prospect about your business services

Send over some project stories and customer reviews to increase the level of trust the prospect has for your company

Ensure each interaction with your prospect is documented into your CRM system and assign a number to each level of interaction. This score will continue to increase until the score matches your ideal score of a “hot lead”

When the score meets the hot lead score, trigger your sales team to reach out to the prospect and ask for the business via a quote

and on and on … the above high level steps can include many more sub-steps to use to communicate with and encourage a stranger interested in your services to become a customer!

When most people land on a website they are generally not yet ready to buy. They are doing research, price shopping, or just planning for the future.

According to Chet Holmes, only about 10% of people are ready to make a buying decision. That means the other 90% of people are perfect for a marketing automation solution.

Imagine having a system in place to nurture any leads coming into your business, automatically, and only when they qualify themselves as ready-to-buy and the-right-fit for your business does your human sales staff take over and close the deal!

You can use marketing automation to:

Qualify incoming leads

Nurture these leads

Nurture existing customers to make another purchase or a referral

Re-engage past customers

Re-engage ‘lost’ customers

At nyche marketing we believe in relevant contact not just constant contact! We believe in the 4 Rights: sending the right message to the right person at the right time and using the right medium (text, voice call, email, direct mail).

What if You Could Drastically Increase the Quality of Your Leads with Marketing Automation?

A comprehensive marketing automation implementation involves all elements of a Living Website from the content you publish to attract your ideal customer to the landing pages to your lead magnets to your contact forms to the information you collect in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to the buying journey workflow to finally getting the prospect contacted by your salesperson when they are qualified and nurtured and ready to buy.

Imagine if your website attracts over 1000 visitors a month and a percentage of them enter into your CRM database list. Then they automatically get entered into a lead nurture workflow, which educates, builds trust, qualifies. Next, the marketing automation system automatically contacts the salesperson when the lead is hot enough to be contacted.

All without you manually sending an email or reminding sales staff to connect with leads.

Marketing Automation Summary

Marketing is “No longer a one size fits every person approach.” Marketing Automation takes marketing to a whole new level. You can be more timely, relevant and customized with less staff then ever before.

Leaders in your industry are using smart, automated ways to design and deploy systematic, triggered, multi-step marketing campaigns.

Your competitors are getting an edge using marketing automation, are you?

79% of top-performing companies have been using marketing automation for two or more years. –Pardot 

Nyche Marketing is a marketing automation agency in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We’d love to sit down with you and review our process of implementing a marketing automation solution in your business. Click here to schedule a free strategy session.

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