Despite what most people perceive of starting a business, the most challenging part is not coming up with an idea and starting off. Any startup is most vulnerable in its growth stage when you require minimizing losses and getting investors onboard.
In the digital age, technology is the key to minimize the effect of pain points at this uneasy stage. In the past, most software solutions were developed for established businesses to optimize the operation and automate specific workflows. As a result, there are numerous options to advance a supply chain for mid and large size businesses, allowing those organizations to improve core processes and cut down losses incrementally.
Then, we saw a rise of all-round automation software that aimed at unifying the entire IT infrastructure. At this point, the popularity of CRM solutions like Salesforce saw a considerable increase.
But for all this time, not many software vendors were developing systems that can really help small companies to get off the ground and grow seamlessly. High business risks and continuously changing environment prevented the rise of solutions for startups for a very long time.
However, it all changed, just in the past couple of years. Now, with accessible marketing automation and universal shift towards content marketing, where throwing money at the problem doesn’t cut it any longer, the playing field is finally levelled for small companies and emerging startups to compete with big players on equal terms.
Misconceptions about Marketing Automation for Small Business
Of course, you need to understand that marketing automation system is not some sort of magic wand that can make all your problems disappear at no cost and it requires no actual work. As a business, you shouldn’t expect results to come immediately.
But perhaps the biggest mistake that people make when implementing such platforms is thinking that it will generate new leads quickly. The point of marketing automation is to advance your lead nurturing and scoring processes. Very rarely you can create an actual demand with it.
There is another stupid mistake that starting entrepreneurs do is somewhat paradoxical in nature. When launching a startup – you want to scale up your business at a fast rate to pass the threshold of “burning within 1-year risk”. However, mostly due to inexperience, startups take an onboard automation system that is not easily scalable. This means, all the effort that you’ve put in accelerating your business growth was in vain.
Maybe not in vain…
But what you’ve created is actually unsustainable IT infrastructure that cannot facilitate your new faster processes and it needs to be revamped every time you expand your operation.
The most effective marketing automation platform needs to be easily scalable to support your business through multiple stages of growth.
Top 3 Benefits of Marketing Automation Platform
The gathering of information is something that many startups struggle with. Because in order to perform some meaningful analytics, you have to have an adequate audience sample size. And while in the early stages, many emerging businesses cannot get big enough data to be objective in their assessment of the product or service.
And although you cannot artificially increase the size of your audience, marketing automation lets you better segment an existing clientele and break it down against a higher number of parameters. This effectively gives you more data and allows you to understand how particular groups within your target audience react to things like tone of voice, call to actions, etc.
Having such information can help you determine, quite accurately, which parts of sales funnel are the weakest and require work and how you can provide more incentive for the clients to drive conversion.
Turning leads into sales
As we’ve mentioned before, the main strength of marketing automation lies in the lead nurturing, and not lead generation. When running a startup, it is difficult to accurately focus on nurturing process, because there is an urgent matter of keeping the business afloat and not burning down in the first year.
Nurturing leads requires a lot of ongoing work that you don’t have time to spare for. And it actually hurts your business. A proper lead nurturing campaign, if executed correctly, result in a sales increase of 20% on average. And the good thing about marketing automation is that it can help you put nurturing process on autopilot.
Obviously, it is not perfect, and setting up such campaign requires some work. But to be completely honest, it’s just a one-time-off effort that consists of a series of simple “if/when” statements.
Save time – scale fast
As we’ve written many times before, the one resource that is not replenishable is time. It is THE most valuable resource in your possession. And never does it feel as pressing as in the first year after launching a business. Suddenly you will realize that to implement all you want, you need to work at least 26 hours a day.
Any business process automation tool is designed to save time, optimize and streamline core processes within your corporate workflow. Marketing automation platforms such as 366 Degrees can help you even create content and determine its efficiency for any future efforts. This frees you up from hiring freelancers, responding to every single inquiry.
Another thing that can help you save time is integration with other software solutions like CRM and content management platforms like Vidyard. We’ve covered benefits of video marketing for small businesses in one of our previous articles.
Marketing Automation Solution for Small Businesses & Startups by OMI
If your startup requires an efficient platform for marketing automation that will facilitate your business growth and help you expand at a faster rate, then you can contact us at OMI. Our solution 366 Degrees, was explicitly designed to help small businesses level the playing field and compete with big players on the market. The features of our marketing automation platform include effective lead nurturing campaigns, multi-channel content management and seamless integration with Salesforce for small business.