Business Marketing

Easing into automation: How automation can help to re-energise your business marketing activities.

According to recent studies, nearly 75% of small businesses are using some form of marketing automation, and that number will only grow in the coming years.

Businesses wanting to improve traditional methods are now transitioning to a more automated approach. But what are the benefits of adopting Marketing Automation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)?

Some of the benefits that small businesses have immediately after implementing some form of automation are as follows:

  • Cost-effectiveness: Marketing automation platforms have become more affordable and accessible for small businesses, making adopting this technology easier.
  • Time-saving: Small business owners often wear multiple hats, and finding more time to spend on marketing activities is only sometimes possible. Marketing automation tools can help automate repetitive tasks like email campaigns, social media posting, and lead nurturing, freeing up time for other critical business activities.
  • Personalisation: Marketing automation tools allow small businesses to create better-personalised marketing campaigns based on customer behaviour and preferences. Automating this can lead to higher engagement and conversions, ultimately increasing revenue.
  • Data insights: Marketing automation adoption provides small businesses with valuable insights into customer behaviours. These additional insights can help them make more informed marketing decisions and optimise their campaigns for better results.
  • Competitive advantage: Businesses that adopt marketing automation will reap its benefits, but those that don't risk falling further behind in efficiency, customer engagement, and revenue growth.
Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio

Overall, the benefits of marketing automation for small businesses are numerous, and technology is becoming increasingly accessible and affordable, and we expect to see continued growth in the coming years.

But what is marketing automation, and how can it benefit your small business? 

Marketing automation uses software and technology to automate marketing tasks and processes, this can be done with everything from email marketing to social media, lead generation and customer segmentation. For small businesses, marketing automation can be a game-changer. It can help you save time and resources and free up your team to focus on more strategic tasks. It can also help you generate more leads, close sales, and improve customer retention.

Photo credit: Tima Miroshnichenko

Here are just a few of the ways marketing automation can add value to your small business:

  1. Automation can help you to focus on more high-level strategic tasks, like developing new marketing campaigns or creating more targeted content. Automation can further assist you in saving money by reducing your reliance on paid advertising. For example, you can use automation to create targeted email lists of potential customers and then use those lists to run targeted email marketing campaigns, helping you reach your target audience without having to pay for costly advertising.
  2. An important outcome for small business and marketing teams is generating leads; automation can be a powerful tool for increasing sales and marketing qualified leads (SQLs and MQLs). For example, you can use automation to create targeted lists of potential customers based on their interactions with your website or social media channels. You can then use those lists to run targeted email or social media campaigns to convert potential leads into engaged customers.
  3. Automation can help you close more sales. In addition to generating leads, marketing automation can help you close more deals. For example, you can use automation to segment your leads into different categories based on their interests or needs. You can then create targeted marketing campaigns to convert those leads into customers.
  4. Automation can help you improve customer retention. Finally, marketing automation can also help you improve customer retention. For example, you can use automation to send targeted emails or social media messages to your current customers. These messages can promote new products or services or offer special discounts and deals. By keeping your existing customers informed and engaged, you'll be more likely to retain their business in the long term. Several marketing automation platforms are available, each with its features and pricing structure.

Photo credit: Anna Shvets

Starting your automation journey: Tools and resources

Suppose you're just beginning your journey into marketing automation or looking to take your current automation to the next level. In that case, there are several tools you can use that cater to various skill levels. These tools will help you streamline your marketing efforts, increase efficiency, and improve business outcomes.

  1. Zapier: Zapier is a user-friendly, web-based service that allows you to integrate and automate tasks across different web applications. For example, you can automate saving email attachments to Dropbox or adding new Google Contacts to your Mailchimp list. Zapier's visual interface makes it easy even for beginners to create workflows, also known as 'Zaps'. To start, check out their Getting Started Guide, which offers comprehensive tutorials and helpful tips.
  2. Make is a modern productivity platform that enables you to automate digital tasks across various platforms, including Gmail, Slack, and Trello. Set up a task to automatically post your recent blog post to your social media accounts, saving you time and ensuring consistency across your channels. Make's Help Center provides a variety of articles and guides to help you get started.
  3. Bardeen: If you're looking for a more advanced tool, Bardeen offers an innovative approach to streamlining your workflows. It integrates and automates tasks across multiple platforms, acting as a digital personal assistant. From scheduling meetings to managing emails, Bardeen can handle many tasks. Though it may have a steeper learning curve, its automation possibilities are powerful. Check out their Tutorials page to dive in.
  4. For those comfortable with a more technical tool, n8n is a free, open-source, node-based Workflow Automation Tool. It can be self-hosted and integrates with over 200 different services. This allows for extensive customisation and control over your automation workflows. Some basic coding knowledge can enhance your experience with n8n, but their Documentation and Tutorials provide a robust foundation for users at all levels.
Photo credit: Artem Podrez

By starting with these tools, you can harness the power of marketing automation for your small business. Whether you're just starting or ready to take your automation to the next level, there's a tool that can meet your needs and help you achieve your marketing goals. As you become more comfortable with these tools, you can explore more advanced functionalities and increase your efficiency and effectiveness. Remember, the journey to full marketing automation is a process that can lead to significant rewards for your business.

But regardless of your chosen platform, marketing automation can be a valuable tool for your small business. If you still need marketing automation, now is the time to start. And if you are using automation, now is the time to take it to the next level. Implement the tips and strategies in this article, and you'll be well on your way to achieving your marketing goals.

Recent Blogs