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9 Signs that indicates it’s not the right time to invest in marketing technology
Have you ever looked at all those beautifully personalized relevant messages that keep hitting your inbox and their subject lines persuades you to open the mail and click on that call to action.
More often than not, you must have thought something similar kind of marketing is what your company or business would need to generate those leads in the digital world.
You then start to explore the internet to see what kind of software, features, investments, industry case studies will help you make that decision to progress in that direction.
It’s quite simple to recommend others on how good that marketing automation software investment will do for your company but in reality, it’s much a tougher decision when the onus is on you. There are certain questions, doubts, and inhibitions that will keep coming up as you go deeper in your research to find the apt technology to support your marketing activities.
However, there are certain elements that you must consider before you take that decision to invest in a marketing technology. Here are the signs that you should look for to understand that your time is yet to come to leap into that direction, maybe what I am saying might sound like a risk averse, play safe, don’t do something different kind of a suggestion, mostly given by your close relatives when you disclose your next big plan. My intention is not to discourage you, rather be prepared to take that big leap and when you do, you don’t fail.
So here are the signs to look for which will clearly indicate that you need more time to profit from that marketing automation investment.
#1. You don’t have a website strategy and you have never thought website can be your lead engine
If you are the type of person who has invested in a website only for the purpose of having a digital presence then you are not alone. There are millions of businesses like that who have their website since the beginning of a digital era and haven’t got a single lead from it except for people applying for job posts or spam comments. If you have never taken your website seriously, it’s time you re-look at your strategy and follow the best practices for website design, content, and navigation before taking that plunge.
#2. You don’t have a CRM system or haven’t yet planned to invest in one
If you don’t have a sales system and your sales folks are still using excel files to key in their data and report their progress, it will be unlikely that any system connected to it will succeed in deriving business benefits. Marketing Automation tools become profitable or derive the ROI only once it gets integrated into the CRM system in order to impact the overall sales and business of the company. Silos in these systems is a big price to pay with no guarantee of ROI.
#3. You don’t have the discipline to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns
If your team has been running marketing ad-hoc or haven’t put a process to effectively measure the outcomes, it becomes difficult to evolve into an automated marketing system which invariably depends on the workflow or the process that you or your marketing team has set up. Therefore, it is important that there is a clear process in place in terms of strategy, Design or deployment of your marketing campaigns.
#4. You are more offline and want to focus on your Events, TV commercials, Magazine Adverts or Print Ads to generate leads
In case your strategy for this year is going to be more offline than online, my suggestion, is that you avoid investing in a marketing tool, since it’s going to be a lot of integration offline data into the system unless of course you have set up a process to pull all your offline customer data into a system for follow up and lead generation. For example if you have a TV Commercial with an exciting offer and a clear call to action, which helps generate inbound calls to your sales, or inside sales team and somehow you are capturing that customer data and there is someone who is dedicated to following up, it makes sense to automate the whole process , if not , you need to put that system in place to be able to get maximum impact with your marketing technology investment.
#5. You don’t have content or thought leadership material that helps your customers solve their problems
It is very unlikely that you have a business and you don’t have a content or a conversation material that solves your customer problem. Every business thrives on solving their customer problems, therefore, I am assuming that you would have enough content and material that will encourage your prospect to consume and come back to you when the time is right for him to compare or purchase. Content is at the base of the pyramid of marketing automation. Having said that, content only may not be just enough, you need a few things to come together.
#6. You don’t either love technology or are unaware of the possibilities of what it can bring to the business table
If you have not witnessed the impact of technology or you don’t love to discuss or think about it, you may not be yet ready to fulfill the promise of marketing automation. People who are doing well using these technologies have always believed in leveraging technology to make better products, reach the right audience, retain customers or plainly said to run a seamless business.
#7. You don’t have marketing team or a person dedicated to generating leads digitally
If you are one man company or a ten or hundred person company, what matters is there is one single person at least or a team of marketers who are responsible for generating leads and business online. It is important that there are marketers with a technical bent or attitude to execute and implement digital strategies. Unless you have this sorted out, it could quite painful process to leverage the marketing technology investment.
#8. You have an extremely high-value business with a small (1-100) database to cater to
Exceptions are always there, in case you are a person who runs the business with a very small group of people and your deal value crosses 100 Mn $ or so, it may be little difficult to realize the true value of your marketing technology investments.
#9. You are looking at instant success with marketing technology
Last but not the least, What do you think you’ll achieve with your marketing automation software? Instant opportunities? The phone ringing off the hook? More business than you know what to do with?
Sorry for this disillusionment, but that’s not going to happen.
Marketing automation will get you results, but not immediately. According to HubSpot, almost 50% of companies using their software saw an increase in sales within 7 months (link is external).
It’s often compared to a gym membership: you’ll only get results if you use it regularly and work up a sweat!
Let us know if you think otherwise or you agree or disagree with me. Put in your comments if you have an experience with marketing automation to share.