Although marketing automation has been around since the 1980s, today’s software with real-time reactions to your prospects behaviour is hugely capable compared with the simple ‘name and address autofill’ systems of the past. Contemporary systems include such features as analytics and web tracking, and are a ‘one-stop’ shop. No more flicking between different websites and different tools to produce and evaluate your results; simply log-in and everything you need is laid out before you – power at your fingertips. The strength of these systems explains why 79% of top performing companies have been using marketing automation for more than two years.
However, many companies are being tempted into buying the new systems without first putting some thought into how they can be used to save time and money in their own business. Without the in-house ‘know-how’ to design and implement the right processes, there is a big risk that the investment will turn out to be a ‘solution’ that just doesn’t work. Marketing automation is potentially a powerful tool, but it must be used with intelligence. In our experience, what commonly happens is that companies buy in the technology but are then left to devise their own marketing systems and processes. They often have to seek consultancy help to get their ‘solution’ to work effectively because they don’t have the in-house expertise for the implementation phase. If the people within a company don’t feel totally comfortable using the new IT system, then the project gets branded a failure and no improvement results.
Choose with care
There are many different marketing systems on the market, so having a clear idea about what your business needs to implement effective marketing is a good place to start, before getting bogged down in the details of comparing the systems on offer. Systems for SME’s are now available at very affordable prices but price should not be only factor to consider. At Aardvark, we start by designing the best process for a customers’ marketing and test it thoroughly. Then we help our customers choose the right technology (typically CRM or marketing automation) to automate the process. Finally we support its implementation within their business, which makes the end result both effective and efficient. We believe it’s more important to design the right process that generates results rather than simply sell software.
If you are interested in finding out more about improving your marketing or automating marketing activity, please give us a call on 01905 885 285.