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Marketing Automation: Why You Need It and Where to Start
Owning a small business is a galactic undertaking. Technically, you are your own boss, but it sometimes feels like the customers are calling the shots. Beyond pleasing your consumer, you have to manage operations, innovate new ideas for growth, monitor financials, and ensure your marketing like a professional. The list mentioned above is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to running a small business. The point is, you’re likely wearing a lot more hats than you thought you’d be. Chances are, you are not only the owner of the company but the entrepreneur and business manager as well. Staying afloat can be tough. That’s precisely why you need to leverage as much automation in your business as possible.
In the book by author Michael Gerber, The E-Myth Revisited, he explains that 80% of small businesses fail because of their lack of organization. According to Gerber, “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business–you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you work for a lunatic!” Gerber teaches you how to ensure this doesn’t happen by developing a business that is based on systems. The idea is to imagine your business as a national franchise. The fact that franchise companies are more successful lies within their system for business operations. Big brand companies have a well-drawn out system for every process in their business. This is especially true when it comes to marketing the company.
The fact of the matter is without a good marketing strategy; you won’t grow your customer base. Franchise companies and corporations are well aware of this. Which is precisely why they contribute millions of dollars from marketing campaigns, to social media management, and everything in between. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “but those super-sized companies can afford the staff to manage their digital marketing strategies,” and you’d be mostly right. While larger companies may have the staff, with advancements in automation, you can run with the big dogs.
Every element of business has evolved to keep up with the advancements in technology. Digital marketing tools are no different. In today’s age, the customer is checking more than emails and watching television commercials to decide where to spend their money. Social media has become a powerhouse for attracting consumers. With the advent of google ad words, SEO, influencers, and social media campaigns, there are a lot of options for a business to use when extending their reach. The exciting news is that all of those systems and more can be automated.
There are plenty of benefits to be had with digital marketing tools. But before you start shopping, you first have to consider your needs. Once you determine what your approach will be, you can then begin to search for an automation service that fits your situation best. There are a plethora of online digital marketing services these days. It can be really easy to fall into analysis paralysis when searching for a service. Consider the criteria below when searching for your new marketing software;
- Relevant Features. In your search for a marketing automation service, you need to take an in-depth look at the features they offer. Abstain from software solutions that have gimmicky or unnecessary tools. Ensure you are selecting a program that will provide you with the features that are most pertinent to your marketing needs. Many services offer package deals that contain different functions. Be sure to look at the features and prices extensively to help make the best decision.
- Analytics Tracking. Tracking the return on investment (ROI) is hugely important when it comes to marketing. You’ll need to track how you spend your marketing dollars by how much revenue is generated. Collecting, organizing, and then analyzing marketing data is a daunting task. Make sure that when shopping for marketing software that you choose one that has a marketing analytic system built in. This will allow you to get great insights on your marketing without the headache.
- Plug-N-Play Integration. The last thing you want is to start all over in making a website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other digital media platform you use to connect with your customers. Ideally, you want to select a software program that can integrate seamlessly with and applications you are using now or in the future. Many marketing software companies provide a limited free trial. Take advantage of this to the fullest! Utilizing the free trial offered will allow you to test the software and ensure it syncs with all of your current systems flawlessly.
- Mobile Integration. Business has evolved with technology, and the consumer has done just the same. Gone are the days where our internet consumption was segregated to the desktop computer. In fact, mobile and tablet devices are used to access the internet 52.98% of the time versus desktop computers according to www.gs.statcounter.com. The point is that you need to able to execute your marketing campaign on more platforms than just computers. Be sure to investigate if the marketing software service you choose offers a mobile-ready system that allows you to manage campaigns, interact with customers, automate postings, and tracks mobile usage analytics.
As a small business owner, you’re like the ringmaster of a circus. You are spinning plates, doing magic tricks, announcing the next act, all the while trying to get butts in seats. Marketing is a career in its own right, but it doesn’t have to be your full-time job. There are plenty of good options out there that can help automate your marketing system. In doing this, you can free up more of your time to focus on other things, like yourself! Hopefully, now you have some insight on how to get some help through marketing automation services. Now, get out there and grow that business!
If you need help with your marketing automation, drop Matt & Simon a line on [email protected]
- Gerber, M. (n.d.). The e-myth revisited.
- StatCounter Global Stats. (2019). Desktop vs Mobile vs Tablet Market Share Worldwide | StatCounter Global Stats. [online] Available at: http://gs.statcounter.com/platform-market-share/desktop-mobile-tablet [Accessed 15 Feb. 2019].