Whilst Marketing Automation is not a new technology it is still new to many people. The uptake of it has been relatively slow and it has been plagued with some common objections. Many of these are perfectly valid, bad experiences and platforms designed to be sold rather than to sell have left many small businesses with a negative impression of Marketing Automation as a whole.
Traditionally cooperation between the Sales and Marketing departments has left something to be desired. It’s very easy to blame poor sales on either; a fact lost on neither of those departments. Sales complain about the quality or quantity of leads being fed to them. Marketing complain about Sales not closing leads. Instead of two departments working closely in a streamlined manner it quickly becomes an adversarial relationship. With the proper lead tracking, nurturing and scoring it becomes much easier to see which parts of the process need improvement and should make the life of both salesperson and marketer easier.
1. The cost is too high/when will I see decent ROI?
Marketing Automation platforms vary widely in terms of price and features. From a few hundred pounds a month to thousands of pounds per month. Picking the correct Marketing Automation software and company is key to seeing ROI, but more on that later. Seeing an increase in revenue doesn’t always follow immediately after beginning to use Marketing Automation software. However SharpSpring have found that after 2 years 80% SMEs who adopted some form of Marketing Automation said they now felt it was an integral or critical part of their business.
2. We don’t have the time or staff to dedicate to this
I won’t lie, setting up Marketing Automation takes time. There is an initial investment of time you will have to put into it. Productivity is absolutely key in SMEs. Increasing productivity and utilisation allows you to increase revenue whilst hopefully only slightly increasing costs. Hiring new staff can be one of the riskiest moves a small, growing business can undertake. The end goal of Marketing Automation is to allow a single person to do what it would take 5 employees to do manually. This is why it’s an investment of time, not a waste of time!
3. We’ve tried it with ‘Company X’ and we didn’t see any value
Picking the right Marketing Automation platform and company is critical to the success of your Marketing Automation efforts. HubSpot is undeniably the most widely known and used platform, it is also the most expensive. With Year 1 costs exceeding £20,000 if you can’t secure a special deal it is not within the reach of many SMEs. Platforms like SharpSpring have learned from the mistakes of HubSpot and focused on what SMEs are asking for. At a much more modest Year 1 cost of £3,500! Take time to research all of the options out there and talk to customers using the platforms if you can. Each platform has some negatives and some positives, finding the one that is the right fit for your business is worth the time it takes.
4. It all looks too complicated!
Getting your head around all of the components of a Marketing Automation platform can be difficult. The key is to start slow, walk before you can run. Setting up simple lead nurturing campaigns will help you to learn the platform whilst also bringing value to your customers. What’s great about these kind of campaigns is that they can be saved and used many times over, no time is wasted. In reality you’re always building a bigger and bigger portfolio of great content you can bring to your customers. As long as you think carefully about your strategy then everything should be moving together, in one direction.