Running a business isn’t easy, especially with all the new technologies and techniques the competition is using. You need to master the art and skill of lead generation and nurturing, paid advertising, email marketing, sales funnel, as well as wrap your mind around the esoteries of the internet of things and software of a service.
But there are only 24 hours a day and as a new business owner you need to spend at least two of them catching a nap, right?
The good news is that with marketing automation software you can eliminate much of the drudge work, cut down on marketing costs and massively improve your lead generation and lead nurturing outcome. That is the trend of the business world – by 2013 79% of marketers were making use of some sort of marketing automation software to help manage their clients and leads.
You may think that that is all good and well for large, established companies that can afford to adopt new software and learn how to use it, but the fact of the matter is that this technology is massively empowering for small and medium businesses (SMBs) by levelling the marketing playing field. This fact is being increasingly realized by SMBs, with 62% having purchased marketing automation software.
The question on your mind is probably how far you can automate the marketing process. How far along the sale funnel can you go before needing to bring in a human? The short answer is that every single aspect of marketing, up to and including the customer service can be automated – so long as the proper automation software is selected and so long as it is used in a business appropriate manner. One thing to keep in mind when selecting the software that is right for your company is whether it delivers inbound marketing or outbound marketing.
Inbound marketing and outbound marketing – what’s the difference?
Inbound marketing is all about precisely drawing in potential buyers who are already interested in what you have to sell – just not necessarily in your business. It’s when someone who is your potential client goes out to look for a purchase – and that is when, and only when, you show up.
Outbound marketing on the other hand is all about cold calling massive numbers of people (including through billboards, television ads and radio ads) in order to create and raise your brand consciousness. That way, when a potential starts searching for a product he automatically seeks out your brand rather than performing a generic search.
Needless to say, inbound marketing is a better fit for SMBs. For one thing, it’s cheaper – and for another you are unlikely to be able to compete with the large, established companies for brand consciousness. Finally, SMBs depend on loyal, satisfied, long-term customers – and you are more likely to get them from making your pitch to people who are already interested, even intrigued in what you have to offer, and are prepared to be pulled in to a total customer experience which you are prepared to offer them via blogging, SEO and other inbound marketing techniques.
Are you interested in hearing about specific automated marketing and sales technologies that will help transform your business? Then stay tuned for the next article in the transformative technologies series.