Take a moment and think about your day-to-day marketing activities: How much time do you spend on small, repetitive tasks like scheduling emails or social media? How about more specific tasks like nurturing leads? Or worse—how much time and effort do you spend chasing after a customer who will never be ready to buy your product?
In the marketing world, there’s no time for wasting time. Luckily, the industry has evolved and found ways to not only eliminate mundane tasks, but also build more detailed customer profiles, create consistent brand messages and improve the prospect nurturing process. The answer to all of this? Marketing technology.
As noted in our latest guide, “5 Steps to Soar to Marketing ROI Stardom,” marketing technology will not only save you time and money, but also lead your brand to ROI greatness. Whether or not you are already using this technology, there are ways to enhance your experience and make the most of your efforts.
Ready to get started and find the best tools for your business? Here’s what you need to know:
Perform an Audit
Before you can make the most of marketing technology, you must assess your current processes. Xoo Tip: Perform an audit at least once a quarter! An internal audit will help nail down your tech strengths, weaknesses, and revenue-sucking gaps. In simpler terms: What is working? What is not working?
We suggest focusing on these areas:
- Lead scoring and grading
- Touchpoint analysis
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Internal communication
- Are you achieving conversions?
- Are your leads getting nurtured? How long does it take to get them through the funnel?
- Where are your ROI gaps? Can you analyze past campaigns and see where your money provided value versus where it didn’t?
- Can you scale your business operations to other clients or projects?
Once you know your specific gaps, then you can select the tools that will come to your rescue.
If your gaps are lead assignment and touchpoint analysis, then a CRM tool is your best friend.
A CRM system will actually be more than your best friend. Think of it as your psychic, financial advisor and relationship guru. CRM, which stands for Customer Relationship Management, is an invaluable tool that can improve your relationship with current customers, nurture new leads and identify ways to better market your product. Businesses of all sizes and in all industries can benefit by adding a CRM system, like Salesforce, to their mix.
Along with the ability to automatically group your leads by factors such as geographic location, personal demographics, and industry, CRM platforms provide additional benefits:
- Keep track of your customers
- Most CRM systems provide a way for sales teams to view their contact’s previous brand interactions such as emails received, emails opened, and documents downloaded. This allows the sales team to effectively continue the conversation and communicate with a prospect based on that prospect’s previous activity.
- Store all customer information
- No need to go searching for the right document or spreadsheet—CRM systems can house a prospect’s personal information and purchase history. Additionally, CRMs can be configured to provide custom reporting on almost any data field. Having this historical information is extremely useful when transferring a lead or customer between salespeople, or even across the organization.
- Align sales and marketing
- A CRM platform helps establish a more perfect union between sales and marketing. Both teams can track their customer engagements in order to better coordinate actions. Having an SLA, or service level agreement, can help sales and marketing agree on what actions each group should take based on a prospect’s activities, interests, or actions. Real-time reporting can help sales and marketing measure their ROI and identify areas for optimization.
While many of these tasks could be done manually, CRM systems help companies save time and organize data more effectively. If you foresee growth within your business (and we hope you do!), hop on board now. Having a structured CRM technology in place will not only help your organization grow to scale, but can reduce onboarding and ramp-up time for new clients and employees.
If your gaps are email distribution and lead nurturing, then email automation is your best friend.
Marketers know just how crucial an email strategy is to reaching campaign goals. In fact, email is only becoming stronger and more personalized—requiring a robust system to keep up with the landscape and drive revenue.
The most strategic companies leverage marketing automation systems, like Pardot, to create and send email campaigns based off their customer’s actions. Just think: if one of your subscribers has recently upgraded to a newer or paid version of your product, do they receive an email immediately? Or do you have to manually send it? Email automation bridges the distribution gap—plus a lot more.
Here are some other benefits of using a platform for email automation:
- Track a lead’s behavior
- How long did they stay on your landing page?
- What did they do next?
- How long did it take?
- Target a specific audience
- Target by demographics, geography or other predetermined qualities
- Segment your audience
- Segment your client list based on who is an engaged customer, who needs nurturing, and who is no longer a target
- Organize your campaign
- Create a calendar for your campaign and schedule exact days and times you want emails to send
- Measure open rates
- Determine the effectiveness of your content by analyzing data provided by the automation platform
We’ll admit, there’s a lot of work upfront—but a marketing automation agency can take the brunt of the work. And if you choose an email automation platform with a CRM connector, you’ll truly be able to bridge the gap between sales and marketing. With that assist, you’ll have the ability to dig deep into your marketing and sales data and determine which strategies are driving the best results.
If your gap is social media management, then social media automation is your best friend.
Social media is a world of its own. Keeping up with the non-stop activity and latest platforms (as well as staying relevant) can seem impossible from the outside. That’s where a social media automation platform or CMS (content management system), like Hootsuite, Sprout Social or Buffer, can ease some the burden.
Take note of these key features:
- Pre-schedule posts
- Share posts to multiple platforms at once
- Monitor all accounts in one dashboard
- Respond to comments and questions
- View analytic reports and results
- Optimize campaigns by following reported trends and influencers
In a consistently time-crunched industry, marketers can save time and have a greater social ROI by automating a decent portion of their social efforts. However, no matter how much you streamline your processes, make sure to remain engaged and responsive to customer actions and demands online. Like all things automation, the goal isn’t to eliminate your involvement but rather allow you to work more effectively and efficiently.
It’s time to take your digital strategy and execution to the next level. With the help of marketing technology, and our tips in the guide 5 Steps to Soar to Marketing ROI Stardom, you can fill your gaps, address pain points and create an ROI-driven plan.