In the third blog in our series, There’s More than one Marketing Goal, we are taking a close look at the benefits of using an automation platform to drive sales and marketing activity.
We had been planning to write about this topic for a while but in light of the current situation with staff mostly working from home and businesses feeling pressure from a potential economic low, it is especially timely to talk about how to keep the wheels turning and your customers and prospects engaged.
How can you continue to communicate your message effectively and regularly whilst using a minimum of resources and making sure that you don’t let potential opportunities drop at a time where, more than ever, you can’t afford to? Mogrify believes automation platforms could play a part in the answer.
Why does your business need an automation platform?
If you already have an automation platform you will be aware of the valuable role it can play in a business. In short, implementing a platform can help reduce costs by automating manual processes. In addition, it provides you with an excellent foundation on which to build effective sales and marketing activity.
An automation platform will allow your business to roll out multiple activities and tactics from one central hub, creating an incredibly valuable source of customer and prospect data. The platform provides proof points for marketing and sales activity and allows you to clearly identify which communications are resonating and with who.
“Some of the common marketing metrics that agencies report on include number of unique users to a website, or social media impressions because people think that likes on a post indicate success. But actually, stats like these are probably useless to a business owner. What you need to know is what activity – or combination of activity – has driven new customer conversations. An automation platform takes some of the guess work out of marketing and allows business owners to make evidence-based decisions,” says Melanie Unwin, Director at Mogrify.
Few professional disciplines are successful without some kind of data capture and feedback loop. Marketing should be no exception.
A note on sales and marketing integration
A lot of the automation efficiencies are based on the integration of activity and data in the platform. However, introducing automation can also help integrate your staff because it requires your sales and marketing staff to work together more closely. They need to align on your lead cycle and agree when a lead becomes marketing qualified and when it becomes sales qualified. By creating a lead funnel together, it increases transparency between departments resulting in marketing and sales working better together to drive the same outcomes.
However, the most important reason your business needs an automation platform is simple. Monitoring engagement across multiple mediums allows you to personalise your sales pitch – and personalised pitches win business.
Understanding what an automation platform can deliver
When implementing an automation platform, it should be done in line with your integrated sales and marketing strategy. What assets are you creating, where are they going and where could they go? Likewise, you need to nurture your lists of prospects. There is no point in having a list of contacts, no matter how long, if you are not nurturing them.
“Aside from streamlining processes, an automation platform enables you to have regular contact with your prospects and automate tailored buyer journeys. This is so valuable for anyone looking at converting prospects to customers. Whilst this can be done manually, it would be incredibly time consuming to tailor it to the level an automation platform can” says Melanie.
Some of the general functionalities that an automation platform offers include:
- Content management system (CMS)
- For uploading/ storing/ managing content
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- So you can integrate your sales and marketing to a single CRM source
- Dashboards and reports
- So you can see what’s happening
- Automated workflow builders
- So you can create ever more useful functionality
- Dynamic list building and management
- So you can filter your database in real time in the segments you need
- Sales task management
- Facilitating better integration between marketing automation and sales
- Synced mail boxes
- To help create a more full “life of lead” picture
The problem with the cool kids’ automation club (we’re looking at you HubSpot)
If you are already using an automation platform there is a good chance that it is either HubSpot, Marketo or one of their big, bullish buddies.
“Whilst the functionality of all these platforms is good, because they have gained the reputation of market leaders, they are expensive. Even set against a strong ROI, the platforms incur significant costs for small to medium businesses. So if you spend $15,000 a year on HubSpot, you need to spend 10 times this to feed it in order to utilise all the features. Otherwise you are just paying for a really expensive CMS,” says Melanie.
In addition to the cost, the rigid contract periods of HubSpot and the like are problematic, especially for small businesses.
“I’ve used many different platforms. With our clients we were finding people were sick of HubSpot. They don’t want to be charged through the nose for features and functionality that they know other platforms could do. For us the tipping point was the rigid 12-month contracts. There is no flexibility for small business owners and in the uncertain times we are currently living in, that rigidity just isn’t an option for many,” says Melanie.
Good automation doesn’t need to cost the earth
Cost should not be an obstacle to automation. Having identified that small businesses need a better, more affordable, more flexible option to drive sales activity, Mogrify have launched an alternative.
“Our automation platform can reduce costs for Marketo or HubSpot users by anywhere between 45-84%. It’s a far more viable option and it delivers everything that an automation platform should. For anyone looking to implement a new platform or for those looking to reduce ongoing costs by migrating platforms, talk to us,” says Melanie.
In addition to being a more cost-effective option, the onboarding process is very quick. Exact timeframes depend on your existing systems and processes but the general guideline for an onboard is 4 weeks.
“Having a good automation platform is so important for driving sales activity. It’s my belief, based on years of experience, that if a business doesn’t have a MarTech platform, they just aren’t taking sales and marketing seriously. And for something that integral to business success it doesn’t make sense that costs should be prohibitive,” concludes Melanie.