On a call with a colleague recently, I mentioned that Big Leap Creative has become a Hubspot Certified Partner. We were talking about businesses staying relevant, looking ahead. I love to mountain bike and one of the things you are told as you navigate tricky single track that winds through the woods at relatively fast speeds is to spend a percentage of your time looking ahead 25 yards or so, even while you’re watching the ground go under your front wheel. By looking up and ahead, you keep the near future in mind and are able to make adjustments.
I share that story because what started as a traditional media relations firm has evolved with minor tweaks to stay relevant and help our clients do the same. It’s no different than what any business in any industry has to do.
The funny thing is, my friend/colleague felt like Hubspot, i.e., marketing automation software isn’t necessary. You don’t need it to accomplish your goals. You can use tools to do everything Hubspot does.
Investing in marketing automation software is a big commitment. The cost alone is not inexpensive; add to that the cost to train and implement and the learning curve, and it’s no small decision. So the question is, is it worth it? and do you as an organization need marketing automation software?
First of all, of course you can accomplish what you need to without Hubspot or any other platform. Likewise, you can build a house without a table saw.
But why would you? Using tools at your disposal just makes more sense. In the case of marketing software, it allows us to do a number of things such as:
- Shorten the sales cycle: I’ll bet a million dollars your sales team is repeating the same information every single day. By taking that information and creating a drip campaign for leads that fit certain criteria, you free them up for other more valuable tasks while you nurture some leads in your sleep, helping them to make a decision faster than your sales team can keep up.
- More integrated reporting: Let’s admit it now. You might be creating valuable and meaningful reports with your tools you have cobbled together but your marketing software has everything integrated and it’s going to give you far more valuable data on individual leads than your Google Analytics attached to Mailchimp and WordPress and Facebook insights can ever give you. I will have to write a separate post on this later because I could keep going. It gives you the information you need to make evidence-based decisions in your marketing and sales efforts, customer service and product development.
- Become more efficient by making repetitive tasks automated: Certain tasks such as thank you, or follow ups, or daily communications.
When is it time to invest in marketing automation software?
So it does a lot of great things but how do you know marketing automation software is for you, or for you, now? Marketing automation software is particularly suitable in the B2B space or B2C with higher price points and longer sales cycles.
You should already have a foundation of inbound in place: Your website is attracting organic search traffic and converting leads. You have a growing database of contacts. Perhaps your sales people are struggling to keep up with the influx. You sense you are missing opportunity. You hate that feeling, just like we do. You want to take more control and scale your efforts in the coming year.
Also, you need people. You should have a team in place – it might be your in-house marketing team or an agency you hire. The more people-hours spent on it, the more successful you’ll be. We’re talking at least 10 hours/week.
How much does marketing automation cost?
You can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to several thousand dollars a month for the technology itself. And that depends on the size of your organization, it’s database and how many features you need. For something like $200, don’t expect advanced segmenting features for your contacts, lead scoring or dynamic content. But it’s a great place for smaller businesses to start and grow into upper tiers.
Onboarding fees: Hubspot requires an onboarding fee that starts at $600 but increases to $5000 depending on the package you purchase. (Good news is, that fee is waived if you work with a certified partner like us.) Infusionsoft’s optional on boarding costs start at $1500.
It’s a tool; not a strategy
Simply investing in the technology is only the beginning.
So, my answer to the question “Do you need marketing automation software?” depends on your willingness to commit to a philosophy of inbound marketing and content creation; your desire to scale your lead generation efforts; and your understanding that you can buy a tool, but you still have to build that house.
If you are considering automation software, I’m sure you have more questions than can be answered here. Contact us to ask them:[ssba]