How to Make a Case for Investing in Marketing Automation

So planning for 2017 is in full effect, you’re evaluating new marketing tools for the new year, and marketing automation is at the top of your list (we’re thrilled to hear it!) — but your upper-level management isn’t convinced. Womp.

What do you do? How do you convince the rest of your team that the benefits of marketing automation can completely change the course of 2017 for your business?

Particularly when you’re an SMB and strapped for budget and headcount, marketing automation can seem like a pretty significant investment — and it is. But the reality is that marketing automation provides a number of benefits that are specifically geared towards helping marketers do more with less, making it the perfect solution for teams with limited time and resources, and easily justifying the investment in a new tool.

So how do you communicate this to the rest of your team, and secure the budget you need to make it happen? We believe a well-laid strategy is the best place to start any marketing initiative, so we’ve put together the resources to get you started. Let’s dive in!

Do the research.

Where to start? With some basic research. It’s a lot easier to define what you’re hoping to get out of marketing automation once you’ve assessed your industry at large. Understand how other SMBs like yours are approaching their marketing efforts, what’s working for them and what’s not, and what it’s going take for your business to keep up.

Luckily, there are quite a few interesting stats out there that demonstrate how small businesses are trying out marketing automation with huge results, but be sure to delve a little deeper and read up on businesses in your specific industry to see how they’re using the tool. To kick things off, check out the resources below and pull a few of your favorite stats to support your case.

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Address common concerns.

  • “Will we have to add headcount to support the marketing automation platform?”
  • “Will we see enough returns to justify the cost?”
  • “Will marketing automation take too much time away from other marketing efforts?”
  • “Do we have enough content to support marketing automation efforts?”

These are all common — and understandable — concerns that small businesses face when evaluating the need for marketing automation. But there are simple answers that can put these concerns to rest.

For instance, 90% of top-performing small businesses that use marketing automation report they did not increase headcount after investing in marketing automation (Gleanster). And you’re actually better off building your content library once you have a system in place to determine what resources are most impacting your sales cycle; this way, you don’t waste time creating content that isn’t going to resonate. To learn more about these and other common concerns and prepare to answer questions from your team, check out the article below.

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Pull in your sales team.

54% of companies with marketing automation capture intelligence for the sales team, compared to 25% without. (The Lenskold and Pedowitz Groups)

One of the biggest mistakes that automation users make is in thinking that marketing automation is just for marketers. Marketing automation is about the whole picture; the quickest way to success is through collaborating with your sales team and helping them to see as much value from the platform as you do.

Share the post below with your sales team, then sit down with your sales counterpart and figure out how you can use this tool to best benefit your sales reps. With your sales team on board, you’re no longer just asking for a marketing tool, you’re asking for an investment to improve your businesses entire sales cycle.

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Define (and present) your goals.

It’s one thing to tell your boss that marketing automation will deliver real results for your company; it’s another to outline how.

With an effective strategy in place, marketing automation can turn even the smallest marketing department into an army of one, and help small businesses see a lot more value from the resources they already have. Set some goals, define some dates, and lay out your own personalized strategy for marketing automation success with the free powerpoint template below — then present your plan to the rest of your team to show that you’ve thought ahead.

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Ready to start planning for success after implementation? Check out the e-book below, Five Steps to Grow Your Business with Marketing Automation, to get a jumpstart on 2017.

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