As a local, small business owner, you work with vast amounts of customer and potential customer data to execute campaigns across multiple channels. You create personalized communications with helpful information to turn prospects into qualified leads that are more likely to convert into sales.
So, you probably know the pain of having to hack together different tools and systems to get all this done. You need one system to find and target your audience, one to run your campaign, one to analyze the results, one to pass the leads to sales, and maybe even a few more. It can be messy, hard work, and incredibly frustrating. And by using all of these different systems to get the job done, you could not only be wasting time and money, but you may find that multiple systems leave far too much room for errors and dropped balls.
Marketing automation can help, though. And even better, an all-in-one local marketing software platform, with marketing automation as an integral part of it, can really take your business to the next level. With the right all-in-one platform, you can use one system for all your marketing tasks. Marketing automation also streamlines your processes to reduce costs, improve productivity, and boost efficiency.
What is Online Marketing Automation?
The nutshell definition is simply this:
Online marketing automation is technology that can automate your interactions with your audience and marketing to them across multiple platforms.
You’ve probably already used email automation sequences to send a welcome sequence to new subscribers or used a different sequence to welcome new customers and recommend other services/products they might like, but there’s far more to marketing automation than that. You can build landing pages quickly, present the right, tailored content at each stage of the buying process, qualify leads, and trigger marketing actions depending on customer behavior.
In this article, we’re going to look at the benefits of marketing automation and what you can do with automation, as well as taking a look at how Surefire Local’s all-in-one platform can help you grow your business.
The Benefits of Marketing Automation for Local Businesses
Before we dig into the many benefits of online marketing automation, let’s start with some statistics showing what other marketers think of it and what results they are getting:
- “Emails sent by marketing automation software drive 18 times more revenue than irrelevant email blasts.”
- “Businesses using marketing automation have seen their quantity of leads rise by 80%.”
- “77% of marketing automation users found conversions have increased since implementing.”
- “76% of companies see a return on investment within the first year of implementing their marketing automation software.”
All from Softwarepath’s Top 25 statistics about marketing automation software.
Those are some pretty impressive stats. Marketers clearly find marketing automation useful and get good results with it. So, what are the primary benefits?
1) Save time
Starting with the obvious one, you no longer have to spend time manually posting on social media, sending text messages, updating directories, or sending emails. You can reduce manual work and become more efficient, freeing up time and resources to invest in other areas of your business.
2) Achieve your goals more quickly
When more of your marketing is automated, you can use the time saved to do the type of marketing that only you can do and to work on your business rather than in it. With more time that’s not spent on repetitive tasks, you can regularly look at where your business is now and where you’d like it to be, and there’s time to set goals and plan how to get there and time to implement your plan.
3) Personalize your marketing
As the owner of a local business, you no doubt pride yourself on knowing most of your customers and remembering their preferences. However, as you grow and gain more customers, it’s just not possible to do that from memory anymore. With marketing automation software, you don’t have to remember everyone’s details and preferences, but you can still market to them using the personal touch with clever automation and data that tracks your customer details and the actions they have previously taken.
This software can keep a record of your customer interactions, including when you last spoke to them and what the call was about. While that’s handy in and of itself, where marketing automation software really comes into its own is that the software can trigger actions to reach your customers with the right content and information, depending on where they are in your sales funnel. And you can still reach them with personalized information, for example, by using dynamic content in your emails that targets them and provides information to guide their next step towards making a buying decision.
4) Use your data effectively
With marketing automation software, you can use the data that you collect about your customers to tailor the content that you create to ensure it hits its mark. You can ensure that everyone from the marketing department to sales and customer service can see the right data and information at the right time, so when a customer calls, your teams are on top of it and not fumbling in the dark for who they are talking to and what to say.
You can run reports on your marketing campaigns and tactics to help you identify trends and patterns to inform your strategy. And you can see what is working and what isn’t, so you aren’t throwing good money after bad. With quality statistics and reports, you know exactly where your leads are coming from, what emails they are opening, what they click on, and more. There’s no longer a question about if marketing has produced a return on investment or if it contributes to the bottom line. You can see how your marketing is working and how much it is contributing, and you can reduce marketing costs because you’re able to make strategic decisions that are backed by data.
5) Schedule ahead
Instead of having to be glued to your desk while you’re posting on social media or sending out email campaigns, you can set up posts, emails, and text messaging well in advance and do other things to grow your business while your automation software does the hard work for you. You can update your blog, post to all of your social media platforms, and update your Google Business Profile (GBP) regularly without having to do that yourself on each platform. Just think of the time saved when you don’t have to individually log into your website, GBP, and every social platform you use every time you want to post.
How can Surefire Local’s All-In-One Local Marketing Intelligence Platform Help?
With our all-in-one software, you have one log-in that connects you to everything you need to do for your marketing. You don’t need to sign in to email programs, social media sharing platforms, and a host of other pieces of software just to do what you want to do.
You don’t have to pay for multiple pieces of software either or try to force them to work together. Everything is right at your fingertips for a smooth, seamless, effortless experience that just does what you need it to do. And automation is built into our platform, connecting all facets of your online marketing strategy together in one place.
With the Surefire Local Marketing Platform, here are just some of the things you can do:
- Keep your business directories current. You can edit information, post new promotions, upload photos, and get reviews on our platform, and all of your business directories will update automatically. Our platform covers 80 different directories and instead of typing your info 80 times, you simply type it once and let our platform do the rest.
- You can take guided actions with a To-Do Manager that is populated by artificial intelligence. Our AI analyzes current performance and activity to identify areas that require your attention.
- Send email marketing and text message campaigns to leads generated via your online marketing activities (like paid ads).
- See how you’re doing with in-depth reporting on how your strategy is working, including cost-per-lead, market share of local search, and your total star rating across all review sites.
- Upload and share photos and new promotions across all your listings at once.
With our software, all the information everyone needs is available on the one platform ready for marketing, sales, customer service, and customer experience teams to use it. Everyone can see information about your customers and what they are interacting with. This is vital information for every one of those departments. Both sales and marketing can use the information to look at what works and to see how they are reaching potential customers. They can see what content is having an impact, what questions are being asked, and what language and terms customers are using.
For marketers, this helps them to generate new ideas for content, to shape content and tailor it to your audience, and to understand what tone of voice and language to use to build a closer bond with customers.
Sales can easily see what questions are being asked and what objections people are raising, so they can prepare answers to them, and they aren’t caught out in sales meetings. They can also see the customer’s journey through the sales funnel and information on each customer, which allows them to tailor their sales pitch to suit.
For customer service and customer experience staff, again they can prepare answers to questions and build your knowledge base, they can see the latest contact with the customer and ensure they don’t ask questions that the customer has already answered or give them information they’ve already had.
With all departments working smoothly together, you give a much better service to your customers and convert more quality leads, simply from having the right data available and the right content delivered at every stage of your sales funnel.
Request a demo of our local marketing software platform to see how you can save time and money, and grow your business without the frustration of using multiple platforms. Get in touch with our friendly team to book.