Marketing automation: when done correctly, these are two words that can bring happiness to marketers everywhere. But how effective is it, and how do you know it’s working for you? There are definitely ways you, as a marketer, can decide if it is effective for your department and worth the time, effort, and cost.
Here are 5 ways to analyze whether your marketing automation efforts are efficient.
1. What Is the Total Cost of Ownership?
The total cost of ownership (TCO) are all the costs associated with the software you have chosen for your marketing automation needs. For example, you might also take into consideration employee salaries, software, and training.
Each marketing team should measure this cost in comparison to the desired outcome, which could be categorized as an increase in conversion rates, team efficiency, or staffing needs. Once you evaluate your results compared to the cost of achieving those results, your team can decide if the value outweighs the cost.
2. Does It Integrate With Other Tools?
Do(es) the marketing automation tool(s) you’ve chosen provide your team with the ability to integrate with other software tools you utilize on a regular basis to run your business? For example, does it integrate with your CRM (e.g. Salesforce) so your sales team can manage leads? If it integrates, then it will make your life easier and your processes smoother. After all, the age old saying, “time is money” is definitely true in inbound marketing.
You need to determine if the multiple tools you may be using work together. Take some time to figure out if they integrate easily and if their functionality helps your workflow. For example, does the marketing automation tool you chose cause a dupe issue in Salesforce? If so, that could become a problem.
If they do not work together, you’ll need even more manpower, which means paying more employee salaries, resulting in an increased total cost of ownership (as stated above). In short, your goal is to determine if you would be wasting valuable time doing work you shouldn’t have to and being less efficient than you could be if your marketing automation tool worked better for you.
3. Does It Increase Traffic and Qualified Leads?
Love the cool new tool? Blinded by the shiny toy? Don’t be.
You and your marketing team need to determine if your marketing automation tool of choice is increasing your overall traffic and bringing you more leads. I mean good, profit-worthy, qualified leads.
Take the time to test if your tool is allowing your sales team to receive leads that are qualified. Are the leads a good mix? A majority in one direction? In short, you need to determine if the tool will allow your team to get to your end goal: leads and profit.
4. Does It Enable a Faster Reaction to Marketing Environment Changes?
Your preferred marketing automation tool is effective if it allows you time to notice, react, and gain from your actions to the changing marketing environment. If you are so consumed by the tool and are unable to see how it fits into the overall picture of your market, your competition, and what’s shifting, you will fall behind.
Take a step back, and see if your marketing automation tool is allowing you the time you need to really manage your marketing strategy and team. Your marketing automation tool should be helping you by freeing up time to do more in your marketing strategy and optimization, not less.
5. Are There Profit Improvements?
This should be a no-brainer. Is your marketing automation tool improving your profit margin? Your marketing automation tool may be helping you integrate, save time, and lower cost, but in the end, if it’s not helping you improve profit, is it really the tool for your marketing department?
You can determine if your marketing automation tool is improving your profit by many of the steps above. Is it worth the total cost of ownership? Is it giving you more time to do higher level strategy tasks? Is it providing you more qualified leads? And is it simple and easy to use along with your other tools? If it’s making you more efficient in these four areas and your finances support this, then you should be on the right track.
Remember: while automation can be helpful in marketing by simplifying your workflow and helping you market smarter to an engaged audience, marketers must first be sure they’re transforming their marketing automation along with the rest of their marketing.
See for yourself if your marketing automation tool fits the bill, and get ahead of your competition by generating more of those qualified leads and nurturing them into customers.
Are you using marketing automation in your inbound marketing? What successes have you had?
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Auteur: Pamela Vaughan