One of the temptations of a small business owner especially in the beginning is to want to do everything themselves. It makes sense. It is your creation and you want it to run well, so the best way to achieve that would be placing the responsibility of everything in your own hands. Make the product, advertise the product, sell the product, deliver the product, and do everything else required so that it is done and done right in your eyes. This supports the argument presented by Paul Graham, investor in Airbnb, who said to “do things that don’t scale.” Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky, receivers of this advice from Graham and co-founders of Airbnb, did just that. They traveled to New York City in the beginning and went door-to-door interacting with the people who opened their doors. It proved to be successful for them as Airbnb has now hosted over 35 million guests in 34,000 cities around the world.
But for many business owners, trying to take on as many tasks as possible is probably not the best approach. There are so many items to check off of your to-do list and not enough time or money to do them. Marketing, especially, can be a large and involved part of your business. Sending the emails, establishing effective advertising, gaining sales leads, upselling—it is all too much for an owner who also has to define the vision for the company, handle employees, track finances, and so much more.
It can be scary to allow someone else to step in with their various tools, unique insights, and outside understanding. But in order to grow a business, an entrepreneur must effectively delegate, and ideally automate, the parts of their business that don't REQUIRE their leadership. That is where marketing automation comes in for the win.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is exactly what is sounds like. It utilizes “software platforms and technologies to more effectively market on multiple channels and automate repetitive tasks”. Part of marketing automation is marketing intelligence, which uses data from social media, emails, and the internet (i.e. what emails are opened, what posts are liked, what words are searched, etc.) to gather information about prospective customers and current clients. This not only makes marketing more efficient, but also makes it more personalized.
Another important aspect of marketing automation is utilizing that gathered information to build your business. After all, “The ultimate goal with your marketing is to generate more revenue for your company. To accomplish this, you need to drive traffic to your website, convert that traffic into leads and close those leads into customers” - Hubspot. Typically, this is done with email marketing, social media posting, content creation, and ad campaigns. There are multiple different websites, softwares, and companies suited to aid in the accomplishment of these goals. There are a lot of resources and methods, so you must first reevaluate your goals and then set a plan for your marketing into action. Marketing automation is a great option for getting things done well and more efficiently, but it is still a complex and large undertaking. That is why we recommend hiring a marketing automation agency.
What does a Marketing Automation Agency do?
Marketing automation agencies help ease your burden by learning about your company and its goals, and then utilizing automation technology to help your company grow quickly and successfully. Because each company has different marketing automation needs, there is a large variation in marketing automation agencies. Some agencies focus on consultation, some focus on execution, and some will walk with you through the entire process and implement it for you.
Generally, these companies want to work with and for you to scale your company. And they have lots of different techniques to do so. Here are just a few examples of what marketing automation agencies can do for you:
Data Validation and Cleanup
Custom App Programming & Webhook Creation
A lot more...
Once you have started publishing quality content and are steadily gaining organic leads, your first step is finding the marketing automation agency for you based off of your goals.
What Should I look for in a Great Marketing Automation Agency?
They should also have a plan for you. Looking at the data gathered, they should know to validate it and make it useful for business intelligence. So they should sort through the automatic collection of information about who goes to your website, who buys your product, who clicks on your Facebook ads and be able to interpret it. This information about your buyer behavior should lead to a more targeted marketing approach tailored to your company and your clients.
They should be able to back up their actions by providing compelling case studies to you to support their plan. It is also good if they have examples of clients of theirs who have seen growth and success throughout their collaboration with this agency. Every decision should have a reason behind it, so the marketing automation agency you choose should be able to explain their timeline, their advertisements, their media posts, and more, as well as, bring about the results you want.
Lastly, you should look for one who cares—about you, your company, and most importantly your goals. They should take the time to understand what you want for your business, as well as, get to know the strengths and skills of you and your team. This will allow them to better prove their knowledge of the automation software and then teach it to y’all. A great marketing automation agency should be able to show you how they can make your team more effective, empowering them to use their respective talents with an exponential impact.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
The truth is - we have lots of opinions on marketing automation as that is what a large portion of our client base relies on us for over at 12South Marketing. We know how to do marketing automation right and we want you to find an agency who grows your company well. Whether you find an agency to consult you or build out your entire process - having an expert team on your side can drastically improve the workflow of your business. Take some tasks off your plate and allow a marketing automation agency to tackle them for you. It could lead to creating better content, building your client base, developing your brand, expanding your social media presence, serving your customers better, and ultimately accomplishing your business goals. Now is the time to supercharge your business growth!