As a B2B marketer, you know that marketing automation platforms can power up your marketing department by making many tasks less time-consuming, easier and more efficient. According to CMO.com, using marketing automation platforms drives a 14.5 percent increase in sales productivity in addition to a 12.2 percent reduction in marketing overhead.
And that’s just the time-saving aspect — companies that automate lead management see a 10 percent or more bump in revenue in six to nine months’ time, according to HubSpot.
Despite these wins for marketing automation, it can still be difficult to justify making such a major investment with an initially high price tag to upper management. Let alone the change in process that will come with it. Here’s how to make the business case for a marketing automation platform that will save time, increase efficiency and boost revenue.
1. Clearly outline your automation goals.
What are your specific goals and specific problems that you need to solve? Growing traffic? Attracting more sales-qualified leads? Increasing conversion rates? Outline your marketing goals and objectives and show how you’d use the marketing automation platform’s specific features to deliver results.
These goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound), such as such as "increase conversion rates 25% year-over-year" opposed to just "improve conversion rates.”
2. Do your research.
Compile statistics on the effectiveness of the marketing automation platform you’re considering and look for case studies specific to your industry to bolster your case. Reviews, testimonials and case studies are key pieces of content for your own B2B prospects once they reach the consideration stage, and it’s no different for decision-makers at your own company.
3. Explain how prospect data and analytics will be improved.
Provide a thorough breakdown of where customer and campaign data is currently coming from and how the platform will improve both data quality and analytics. Point out that what makes marketing automation platforms so powerful is that all of their different functions and features work together as one.
If you’re currently using a suite of different tools for marketing activities such as blogging, landing pages, email marketing and social media, a marketing automation platform — particularly an all-in-one solution like HubSpot — will streamline processes and reporting and provide a much more holistic view of the customer journey.
While most marketing tools can give you basic analytics like views, clicks, opens and downloads, marketing automation platforms can show you a much deeper level of detail on each prospect — how they arrived at your website, what content they engaged with, their company name and revenue and even their social media profiles.
After you assign values to various actions that prospects take on your website, automation platforms can also automate lead scoring so your marketing and sales teams are on the same page about when sales should reach out to a lead — or not.
You can also drill deep into website analytics to see individual contacts and companies by traffic source, so you can focus your marketing campaigns on the traffic sources that bring in the most traffic, leads and customers.
4. Show how the marketing automation platform will help keep customers engaged.
Making the business case for a marketing automation platform isn't solely about marketing. You don't have a business without customers, and it's also important to show how adopting this technology will improve the customer experience.
HubSpot, for example, is deploying a whole new approach to improving the customer experience and getting engaged customers actively involved in the sales process through its new Service Hub. It includes a live chat, support tickets and a customer feedback tool that helps you build new marketing campaigns based on your biggest promoters.
A marketing platform that can solve existing problems as well as provide solutions to problems your company might not have realized it had will make your business case even stronger.
5. Get your sales team on board.
Marketing automation isn’t just for marketing. Before you pitch the C-suite, talk to your sales team and show them how the platform will help them save time and close more deals. With a marketing automation platform such as HubSpot, for example, they’ll be able to:
- See how prospects are interacting with your website, emails, social media posts and other content in real time;
- Create and automate emails that send personalized messages to leads at just the right time;
- Use predictive lead scoring to prioritize outreach based on a prospect’s likelihood to convert into a customer;
- Set up and manage sales pipelines and use automated workflows to rotate leads, create new deals, create and assign tasks and more.
Need to show hard numbers on the effectiveness of marketing automation to help make your case? Take your pick of these statistics.
Ultimately, you need to convince leadership that the short-term and long-term benefits of changing processes and working with the new martech will make the risks and challenges worth it. Make sure you provide plenty of metrics and research, along with feedback from your team members and other departments, when making your case.