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MetaCX CEO Scott McCorkle discusses the value of launching a SaaS business with company-building experts.
If you’re using a product-led growth approach, you understand exactly how difficult it can be to use traditional CRM to launch your marketing automation processes. After all, those solutions were created to cater to sales and marketing led approaches, and the strategy is completely different for your product-led growth.
What is marketing automation? The marketing automation definition has not changed, though the method to achieve optimal automation has evolved with the product-led growth strategy.
Marketing automation is the use of technology and tools to make your marketing efforts automatic. For traditional sales driven marketing efforts, this meant additions, such as software that allows your marketing departments to get rid of repetitive manual tasks and market to multiple channels easily. New platforms also made this process far more practical, allowing social media campaigns to reach many audience members at once and direct them down the sales funnel.
Marketing automation allowed small startups and solopreneurships to gain traction because they no longer needed a large, dedicated sales and marketing department to compete with larger entities with bigger budgets. Software solutions can be used to develop workflows that automate the process, eliminating the need for manual entry or oversight. For smaller businesses, this was essential because they could reach a larger customer base than ever before with a much smaller staff to oversee the process.
For product-led growth companies, marketing automation is necessary because there are fewer salespeople. The traditional sales and marketing personnel are replaced by marketing automation software that allows your audience to find and test the product through free trial.
Marketing Automation Software
Marketing automation tools are plentiful, which makes deciding between the different types of marketing automation software slightly more complicated. While a large choice is excellent, it can also be confusing because there are so many options for every budget. There are well known names, like Marketo and HubSpot Marketing. There are also free marketing automation tools and open source automation marketing software.
With all of these options, how do you choose? The type of marketing automation software you invest in should be determined by your company type and needs. Budget is often a consideration, but the ROI should be just as important. You should also include the time it takes to implement and train staff when you estimate your investment in a new marketing automation software.
When choosing a new marketing automation software, you should research how well the solution integrates with the rest of your marketing technology stack. Does it work well with your current CRM? Will there be issues in implementation with your content management system? These are important considerations for the efficiency of the initial implementation, as well as how the software performs over time.
Some tools you might look for include options for lead management and lead nurturing, tools to manage campaigns across multiple channels, email marketing, social media marketing, reporting and analytics. Your marketing automation tools should help solve the pain points you’re having with current manual or outdated software solutions you currently use.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
There are numerous reasons to use marketing automation in order to improve your reach, especially for product-led growth companies. The benefits of marketing automation for customer retention are high, especially for so many companies with a business model that’s changing. Many companies are moving away from fully staffed sales departments because their customer base prefers to do their own research. Marketing automation then takes over much of the responsibilities in communication, allowing for better customer service.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Marketing Automation
Some of the obvious advantages are that marketing automation saves time, money and man-hours. It can also let a smaller company with fewer resources compete and grow at a faster rate.
There are, however, a few disadvantages. Some customers will prefer to deal with a sales person rather than automated options. You can often set triggers so that users who signal that they’d prefer one-on-one contact can be responded to in a timely fashion. This disadvantage is also becoming less and less common as more people have adapted to fully automated solutions.
Marketing Automation Objectives
Reaping the benefits of marketing automation is only possible if you have a solid list of objectives prior to implementing any solution. You can’t fix a problem without understanding the pain point you’re fixing.
Ideally, you need to assess your current process and pinpoint the areas that need to be improved. From there, you can set goals to reach with new marketing automation initiatives.
Digital Marketing Automation
When you hear about marketing automation statistics and marketing automation concepts, often the subject is dealing with online and digital marketing automation efforts. Online marketing has become a large portion of most companies’ budget and concentration but it’s not the only channel available for automation.
Using a multichannel automation approach allows you to include every type of marketing, including direct mail, billboards, radio advertisements, and in-person events. Digital marketing automation is often easier and more efficient because there is no manual input and the channels often feed directly into your funnel. However, using an omnichannel approach means that you will be able to use every piece of information about your customer base, whether they visit in person or view your product from outside your digital offerings.
Email Marketing Automation
Your email marketing automation strategy should be an important centerpiece of your overall digital marketing plan. In fact, email automation is one of the earliest forms of marketing automation that reaped massive results, and it still works today. You can use services like Mail Chimp to automate your communications to your list. You can set and customize a lead nurturing email workflow. And you can gather the data gleaned from previous actions to direct and redirect your email marketing efforts for the best possible outcomes.
For product-led growth companies, email marketing automation is a key part of the process to convert users and upsell products. It allows your automated process to easily maintain contact in a unique and personalized way which is more likely to increase your open rate and action.
CRM Marketing Automation
You have many choices when it comes to your CRM. You might lean toward HubSpot CRM or Salesforce Marketing Automation. You might consider any number of options, from industry specific to a wide range of prices. Your CRM marketing automation choice is an important one because it is the core for all of your other marketing tools. It’s the warehouse that stores all of your data and allows you to organize, use, and analyze the information you’ve gathered in the most productive way.
If you’re a product-led growth company, Telemetry offers the only CRM built specifically for your strategy. This means that you’ll be able to seamlessly automate the process to segment your audience. You’ll be able to nurture new users who will become trial or free members. Eventually, through automation, you can nurture these leads to conversion and long term customer loyalty.
Marketing Automation Companies
Marketing automation is an intricate specialty that is constantly changing. Many smaller companies handle their automation in-house or rely on a marketing automation guide (or several) to help them develop best practices. Often, it can be a much better investment of your time and resources to contract with marketing automation services.
Marketing automation companies offer specialized and expert knowledge on automation. This means that they will often be able to pinpoint problems and solve issues in far less time than you might be able to do on your own. They can also help augment your own team on a project by project basis or might be a great resource for training and updates to keep your marketing automation efforts running smoothly.
Marketing Automation Examples
If you’re just starting to explore marketing automation, it’s a good idea to research the types of marketing automation campaigns that have worked in your space. You can research overall information. For instance, if you’re a b2b company, you might research generic b2b marketing automation examples. This can give you some inspiration and possible ideas for ways to organize and use your own automation efforts.
A more advantageous way to research is by pinpointing competitors in your own space to see what’s working for them, when possible. Using this method of learning from other company’s mistakes means that you can decrease the trial and error phase and reap better outcomes at a faster pace.
Marketing Automation Jobs
When people hear the word, “automation” they often think that it means the loss of jobs. The truth is that there are many marketing automation job titles that were created because this technology needs to be overseen by specialized people. For professionals, that means the marketing automation salary is far higher than entry level or lower skill positions which the technology replaced.
When looking through recent job listings, you’ll see entries such as “marketing automation manager position description” and “head of marketing automation job description.” These roles call for some education and training, but they do mean a much higher position in the company and better experience for your resume. Marketing automation jobs offer an exciting environment with room to grow, within the company and in the field.
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