HubSpot’s State of Inbound reports are widely viewed as among the most comprehensive surveys of marketers around the world. This year’s report, State of Inbound 2017, asked more than 4,000 marketers, among other things, to name their top marketing challenge. At the top of the list was lead generation, followed by proving the ROI of their marketing and securing the budgets they need to be effective. Coming in fourth was “identifying the right technologies for our needs” (tied with website management).
The Challenge of Finding the Best Marketing Automation Tools
Why is it so difficult for marketers to identify the marketing automation tools which can help them do their jobs better? According to Matthew Toren, the cofounder of YoungEntrepreneur.com, the problem is lack of accurate information:
“Finding the right technologies was the fifth biggest concern for marketers this year. Oftentimes, this is because feedback on technology is scattered. When you’re looking for a tool, software, or piece of technology to solve a specific marketing problem, where do you go to find it?”
Step One is to Identify the Problem
Image source: 8000 Hours
You wouldn’t shop for a new laptop unless you first determined your old one wasn’t working, or wasn’t effectively doing the things you wanted it to. The same applies to shopping for automation tools. The first step in finding tools which will help you drive sales and grow your business is to determine where there are gaps in your marketing strategy, or current strategies you could more effectively leverage if you could automate them.
That said, here are 4 of the most effective marketing automation tools, and the specific marketing challenges they solve:
Streamlining Email Marketing
Companies tend to list email as one of their most successful marketing channels. With email usage worldwide projected to reach 3 billion users by 2020, businesses frankly have to maintain the use of email marketing to reach their target market if they want to scale.
Email marketing tends to take time and devotion, but with the ability to streamline certain aspects and set future tasks on autopilot, it’s a marketing department compatriot.
64% of marketers say they saw the benefits of using marketing automation within the first six months of its implementation. Email automation refers to the ability to create emails beforehand and set them to send automatically whenever a potential customer executes a certain action.
Increasing Lead Generation
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service. Some examples of lead generators are e-books, calculators, coupons, and other online content.
Imagine knowing what every lead does when interacting
with your brand.
With these marketing tools, it’s not just easy. It’s automatic. The moment a lead shares their email, you’ll know who they are, where they work, and what pages they visited – all in real time.
When they view an offer or check your pricing, you’ll be ready to follow up right away. And with simple but powerful analytics, you’ll learn more about what’s working and what’s not – like which traffic sources or pieces of content are driving the most conversions.
Enhancing Lead Nurturing
Let’s start with some scary stats. According to SiriusDecisions, 98% of MQLs never result in closed business.
Additionally, 54% of sales reps won’t make quota. All this despite record investments in marketing automation and sales enablement tools.:
- Leads who are effectively nurtured produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities. (Source: DemandGen)
- Effective lead nurturing generates 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. (Source: DemandGen)
- Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)
- Relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. (Source: Juniper Research)
- 82% of prospects say lead nurturing content targeted to their specific industry is more valuable. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
Image source: Easy Automated
An effective nurturing process actively moves the prospects you’ve created through your marketing and lead generation efforts, through a sales development process to the point where they become paying customers. Lead nurturing utilizes both marketing and sales tactics to increase the predictability and velocity of revenue growth.
It should be noted that nurturing is far more involved than sending blast emails or monthly (or weekly) newsletters. Nurturing is more purposeful, following a clearly delineated process.
- Educate: In the beginning, a lead nurturing process focuses on educating customers and delivering your commercial teaching point-of-view.
- Inform: Teach your prospects how to make better decisions and advance their initiatives.
- Engage: By sharing relevant content, gain the engagement of your prospect and begin the conversation.
- Convert: Be clear about how your prospects can engage with you and how to start.
Getting Traction with Inbound
For industry insiders, HubSpot is the unquestioned inbound marketing thought leader (it was, after all, HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan who first coined the phrase in 1999). Hubspot is useful for all marketers, but especially for those relatively new to inbound.
With its full suite of inbound marketing educational blogs and software, HubSpot renders some of the more arcane aspects of inbound (like SEO, content curation and analytics) easy to understand—and use. Its intuitive tutorials, campaign wizards and user-friendly dashboard are an added plus.
If there are 2 things the lion’s share of marketers wish they had more of, it would undoubtedly be time and money. The money part probably means a persuasive presentation to the company CFO—but there’s an easier solution to the time challenge—marketing automation tools like these, which do a lot of the heavy lifting on the most time-consuming marketing tasks.
Whether yours is a startup business or an established company, digital marketing can be a challenge, one you can often meet with the guidance of an experienced digital marketing agency. At React, we offer targeted, effective inbound solutions that can help your business grow.
To learn more about the ways our video and animation, web design and development and social media services will help you build brand awareness, achieve your key marketing objectives and drive sales, contact us today.