A sizable chunk of your resources are spent on new customer acquisition.

From preparing quotes and promotional materials to crafting a Facebook campaign, the average small business spends around 20 hours a week on marketing.

But guess what? 98 percent of your MQLs will never result in closed business.

You read that right…

It’s a dismal fact indeed, but pretty much all those man hours spent seeking new business are a resounding waste of time.

So, what’s behind the striking discord between your marketing and sales departments? How is it that so many pre-qualified leads simply vanish into the wild blue yonder never to be seen again?

The answers are multiple and the list of blunders long, with one commonly repeated theme; human error.

Some companies fail to follow up with a qualified lead at the right time. Others, with the wrong offer. Others still don’t have a sales rep available to strike when the iron is hot, or perhaps they find that the lead in question wasn’t so qualified after all.

Whatever the reasons for your company’s shortfallings, if all your marketing efforts are amounting to just a 2 percent level of effectiveness, it’s time you thought about marketing automation.

From publishing your social posts to sending out email campaigns and alerts, marketing automation should be on any company’s list for 2018. Here are at least seven reasons why.

  1. Cut Down on Costs And Time

Whether you’re a bootstrap startup with a skeleton team, or a mid-sized company investing in office furniture, your goals should be the same. To optimise workflow and achieve lasting and sustainable growth.

It may be nice to see more bodies in the office, but if half your marketing team can be replaced by automation software that does the job cheaper and faster, you’d be better off reallocating your resources.

Not only will marketing automation save you a stack of cash at the end of the month on salaries, but it will generate more profit through new customers!

You can create personalised emails and offers, predict customer behaviour and even generate phone calls, avoiding repetitive manual work.

Just consider this: Something as simple as automating your social media posts can save you as much as six hours a week. Now do the maths. How much can you save by automating other marketing tasks?

  1. Discover Your Customer DNA

Marketing automation isn’t just a nice way to keep your CRM ticking along, or to reduce overhead on your marketing personnel. It’s not just a patch to put in place until you can afford to hire a qualified marketing guru either.

It’s an active way of learning more about your customers. Capturing the small details and using them to your advantage; like the last item they bought or what the purchasing path looked like.

You can use marketing automation to mine the data that you have and understand your customers better through mapping, modelling and predictive analytics. And then put it to better use than gathering dust in your CRM.

Not only can you get a clear idea of who your best customers are, but you can make predictions about future purchasing patterns and meet them with targeted offers.

Instead of going in blind, you’re armed with the data you need to make smart marketing decisions.

  1.  Create Targeted Content and Campaigns

Once you have the right marketing automation software in place and a clear understanding of who your customers are, you can create highly targeted offers, content and campaigns.

Customise the data down to an individual and be sure of crafting a deal that is relevant and targeted to them. No more sending out a blanket newsletter about company areas that have no interest to certain customers.

Say goodbye to your weekly email blast with a 1.5 percent open rate. There’s nothing as effective as a personal message delivered at the right time in the right place.

No more one-size-fits-all marketing. You can drill down to the individual.

  1. At the Right Time

While we’re on the subject, marketing automation doesn’t just help you serve up the right deals and smarter content. You’ll also get to do it at the right time.

Just think of the implications. You make soap. Your prospects love soap. But right now, they have a cupboard stocked full and don’t need to buy your product.

Now imagine reaching that customer right at the moment their last bar is about to run out. It’s a win-win for all. A sale for you and a customer that gets to stay clean 365 days a year.

Whether it’s a notification to your sales team to make a call, or a pop-up on a browser, with marketing automation you can approach when your prospect is in the market to buy.

Track your website visitors in real time and give your sales team the upper hand, seeing which pages they linger on and the products that pique their interest.

  1. Cross Sell and Upsell

Existing customers are seven times more likely to try new offers than new acquisitions. So, if you aren’t taking advantage to cross sell and upsell products and services, you’re wasting a valuable opportunity.

And with marketing automation, you don’t have to dream up ideas for cross sells and upsells; you can set rules and have your system automatically offer product X to a customer who buys product Y.

You’ll be continually improving your chances of making more sales, without having to make a single call or craft additional promos.

  1. Nurture Your Leads

Lead nurturing may not be as exciting as new customer acquisition, but you no longer need to go through your CRM manually to track previous customers and get in touch.

Marketing automation software works like the engine under your vehicle to keep continuous lead nurturing campaigns running.

Set rules to fully automate your efforts based on certain criteria, such as date, product upgrades, or occasion.

Stay in your customers’ minds without having to spend time reaching out.

  1. No More Cold Calling

If you remember a day when you’d hit the Yellow Pages and cold call a customer trying to sell them your wares, you’ll rejoice over marketing automation.

Cold calling is a thing of the past, now that you can contact a customer when they’re actually looking to buy and have a vested interest in what you’re selling.

When you understand their pain points and challenges, business nature and interests, the sale will pretty much take care of itself.

There are plenty more reasons to try marketing automation, not least because you have nothing to lose! From a 2 percent success rate, the sky is pretty much the limit! Unless of course, you enjoy cold calling, chasing reluctant customers and getting the door slammed in your face.

Want to give marketing automation a try, or get serious about your digital growth programme? Get in touch with us today. We can help you plan your strategy, track and optimise your customer journey, and give you the tools you need to help your company grow.