The SMB Marketer’s Guide to Marketing Automation

To be honest, we?re a bit sorry to see August draw to a close (despite the impending long weekend). We?ve had a lot of fun this month, covering a topic that?s close to our hearts and allows us to delve into our not-so-distant past as a fast-growing SMB.

That?s right, this month we?ve talked all things SMB here on the Pardot blog, and we?ve covered everything from the perks of being small to the struggles of creating content with limited time and budget. Let?s take a look back at some of our top content of the month — and for SMBs evaluating their need for marketing automation, break this process into five basic steps.

Step 1: Do the Research.

?70% of SMBs spend 3 or fewer hours per week on email marketing, but 77% reported that email marketing increases their revenue.? (AWeber Communications)

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 you 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. The 10 stats in the SlideShare post below can give you a quick snapshot of the modern SMB marketing landscape — so read up!


Step 2: Define (& 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.

Maybe you?re sold on the need for automation, but maybe your boss isn?t. Particularly for SMBs with limited time and resources, marketing automation can seem like a significant investment — and it is. But, with an effective strategy in place, it can also 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. So lay out your own personalized plan for marketing automation success in this free powerpoint template — and show your boss that you?ve thought ahead.


Step 3: Plan with your Sales Team.

In May of 2014, Bredin, Inc. conducted a survey of 532 principals of U.S SMB companies. The objective of the study? To give SMB marketers a current perspective on SMB sales preferences.

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 the findings of this study to improve your automation strategy.


Step 4: Build Out Your Content Library.

We all know the benefits of maintaining a company blog, and regularly distributing valuable content to prospective buyers. But for many SMBs, this is a major case of ‘easier said than done.’

It?s (hands down) one of the greatest challenges that SMB marketers face: creating a robust and valuable content library to use with your marketing automation platform. Content creation does take time, but it doesn?t have to take as much time as you think. In this 90-second video, Pardot?s Mathew Sweezey shares four free tools that can provide you with an endless stream of valuable content ideas. Check it out!


Step 5: Consolidate Your Marketing.

When asked what you do on a daily basis, how often do you find yourself fumbling for an answer and landing on, “Well, I wear a lot of hats…”? If you’re an SMB marketer, it’s probably quite frequently.

Social Media Manager, Data Analyst, Demand Generation Manager, Operations Specialist, Email Marketer — all fixtures of your typical marketing team. But if you work for an SMB, there?s a good chance that several (or all) of these titles refer strictly to you. And while it may be fun to look at all the hats in this interactive infographic, chances are, wearing them all at once is getting to be quite a burden. It?s time to start distributing, promoting, measuring, and improving your marketing efforts in one platform, and this infographic and accompanying e-book can show you how.


Still not sure what the best platform is for you? The templates and worksheets in our Marketing Automation Buyer?s Guide can help you to set goals for marketing automation and ask the right questions when talking to vendors. Check it out!