Marketing automation can help you run your marketing campaigns more efficiently. By automating certain tasks and workflows, you can create more streamlined communications and effectively reach more customers. Many marketing automation programs help businesses run email drip campaigns and lead generation marketing efforts, as well as generate better reporting and data, which can help marketers optimize their campaign efforts so that they are more successful and drive more engagement.
The initial investment in dollars and time for marketing automation software can be intimidating to some businesses and assessing the ROI of the automation program is a high priority for most businesses. The cost of automation programs can run businesses in the range of 1,000 a month to over a hundred thousand dollars a month, so businesses of all sizes want to ensure that they are getting enough out of their investment to justify the cost.
The key to seeing real ROI from marketing automation is in how you use it. Marketing automation can be a significant investment, and so it needs to be used wisely to drive the best return. Some marketing experts note that the best ROI marketing automation teams see is from “mature marketing automation” or something that Marketo refers to as “revenue performance management”, or a fully integrated system that manages campaigns, aligns sales and marketing teams, and more. They go on to note “The Benchmark study found that this maturity had a significant impact on an organization’s results. In fact, the most mature users of marketing automation achieve 32% greater revenue versus their plan than average companies – and a whopping 79% more than the least mature companies.”
Is your ROI marketing automation enough successful?
Here’s what to focus on to ensure that you’re getting the most ROI from your marketing automation.
Sales and marketing alignment
The ensure the best ROI, businesses need to make sure that their sales and marketing teams are working together. Marketing teams that are executing campaigns based on data – including feedback from the sales team – see the best results in their efforts. Things to align on include what defines a sales-qualified lead, what nurturing efforts look like, what the customer buying cycle looks like and how long it takes, and more.
More than just ROI, marketers need to know which business indicators are pointing to effective endeavors that are driving results. Asking how frequently you should be pulling metrics reports, for instance, and being willing to pivot from a weekly to monthly basis as the business dictates are important. Knowing which metrics to follow and optimize your campaign around is equally important; metrics can include anything from engagement like clicks and email opens to be able to effectively forecast revenue. As your business grows and your marketing automation matures, it becomes easier to recognize the metrics of success that matter for your business.
Continuously monitoring and cleaning up data is an important step in your automation efforts. Having the most up to date data is fundamental to effective marketing automation efforts. Ensuring that your records don’t have duplicates or inaccurate, incomplete info is important. Cleaning and maintaining good records will be instrumental in helping to drive ROI in your marketing automation efforts and help you see continual success.
One of the most important questions to ask before investing in marketing automation is “what is a good ROI?” In addition to the actual cost of your automation software, it’s important to calculate additional costs to truly understand your ROI needs. Other costs, for instance, pay-per-click ad spend, display ad clicks, media spend, content production costs plus any outside marketing and advertising agency fees. On average, most businesses want to expect a 5:1 ROI on their marketing efforts, earning five times as much as they’ve invested. Calculating your ROI is an effective way to understand if your marketing is working, and using marketing automation efficiently, purposefully, and intentionally can help you maximize your marketing automation ROI and grow your business and revenue.
Everything in business is a balance of cost and revenue. While the phrase “you’ve got to spend money to make money” is often true for almost any business, it’s also important to be smart and spend wisely in order to ensure the long-term success of your business. Marketing automation can absolutely help to create better marketing campaigns and help you reach more customers, likely increasing your revenue. But the question you need to be able to answer – or problem you need to figure out how to solve – is to ensure that the ROI will benefit your business enough to make the investment worthwhile. With time, focus, and a plan, marketing automation ROI will grow and truly benefit your business.