Marketing Automation Tools: Should Your Small Business Trust Them?

marketing automation tools

Small business marketing can be difficult on a good day. On a bad day, it can seem downright impossible. How do you generate leads? How do you qualify them? Which customers are ready to buy now and which need more prompting?

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an omniscient, all-powerful tool that would do it all for you?

Enter marketing automation tools.

These solutions can find and track potential buyers, make high-intelligence decisions on when and how to contact them, weed out the bad leads while nurturing the good ones, and give you a crystal-clear picture of customer behavior.

Could your in-house marketing team do all of this (and more) on the daily? Probably. Would they have time to eat, sleep and/or breathe every day? Probably not.

But for all the good marketing automation tools can do, many small businesses remain hesitant to use them. One barrier is the price tag – professional plans can easily run hundreds of dollars a month with set up fees in the thousands. For others, it’s not the cost but the concept. You’re effectively putting your marketing in the hands of your computer, and while you’re still in control, that computer will be making a lot of important decisions on your behalf.

So, should you put your trust in what is, at heart, expensive artificial intelligence? Let’s take a look at the benefits of marketing automation.

What Can Marketing Automation Do for Your Small Business?

Done correctly, marketing automation can be a boon for your small business. A good automation tool can make your whole team more efficient. The marketing division will spend less time marketing and the sales division will spend more time making their pitch to people who are actually ready to buy.

You’ll also be able to improve your personalized content through segmentation. With marketing automation, you’re suddenly able to see that Susan in Scranton reacts better to email campaigns while Steve in San Jose prefers being targeted on social media.

Tired of poring over your analytics and trying to find the secret to life hidden in seemingly random numbers, graphs and percentages? Marketing automation can automatically generate reports that reveal insights that a human can understand.

Have you ever wished you could take a peek inside your potential customers’ brains? Marketing automation tools can make that a reality, tracking the customer’s behavior from the first touchpoint to the final sale and beyond.

Should You Give Marketing Automation a Go?

The benefits are clear. Marketing automation can increase efficiency, save time and improve your overall marketing strategy. But is it right for your small business?

The answer is, it depends. For very small businesses with successful in-house marketing teams, the benefits might not outweigh the considerable cost. Likewise, businesses without clear marketing goals will want to clarify their direction before they pull the trigger.

As with all software, not all automation tools are created equal. Some are very, very good, some are very, very bad, and most fall somewhere in between. Before you shell out the cash, be sure to take it for a test drive. (Steer clear of programs that don’t include a demo or free trial.)

And regardless of the quality of the tool, it might serve some small businesses well while being ineffective for others.

If you’re not a fan of automated marketing and/or know that your efforts need a more human touch, feel confident in leaving it to the pros!

Are you ready to take your marketing in a brand-new direction? We’d love to help you get inspired. Let’s chat!