An increasing number of businesses is starting to adopt automation technology and it’s now expected that investments in marketing automation will reach $25 billion in the next five years.

In other words, automation is becoming an essential part of business and owners can no longer afford to wait around. Entrepreneurs and executives need to stay ahead of the curve and educate themselves on the proper use of marketing automation to propel their businesses.

To help, we have already written up extensive guides on what CRMs are and how they can help companies achieve their business goals. In this article, we will focus on the subject of marketing automation and explain how CRMs utilize automation to allow businesses to thrive.

What is marketing automation?

Generally speaking, marketing automation represents a software solution that automates repetitive and time-consuming tasks, relieving the workload on the employees. In marketing departments, automation is used to eliminate all types of manual activities, including:

  • Email campaigns
  • SMS campaigns
  • Social media posting
  • Ad placement
  • Data analysis and management

Why use marketing automation?

Marketing automation doesn’t just help you reduce the workload, it also helps increase your productivity and improve the overall work environment.

If your business relies on a list of leads, contacts or opportunities, it represents the ideal candidate for marketing automation. This means you can use marketing automation to:

  • Improve sales conversions
  • Shorten the sales cycle
  • Extend the customer lifetime
  • Improve engagement rates
  • Create a more collaborative work environment
  • Increase ROI

However, a CRM or marketing automation software can help your company in other ways as well. For example, it can reduce the amount of monotonous admin work, such as invoicing, writing proposals, etc.

In addition to that, it can streamline the hiring process by creating an email chain that will automatically recognize the best candidates and contact them. Similarly, it can improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns by segmenting your audience and creating trigger-based messages.

Further, it lets you plan multi-channel marketing automation and manage it on the go. This way, you can even create dynamic, personalized content for your landing pages and emails.

How to know if your business needs marketing automation

As with almost any technological solution, traditional businesses are notoriously slow to implement marketing automation. Despite the overwhelming evidence that automation reduces costs and creates a more efficient workplace, business owners are still reluctant to try it out.

If you’re thinking about testing marketing automation with a CRM, but you’re unsure whether or not you really need it, it’s probable that you should have tried it out a long time ago. However, it’s true that certain types of businesses are more suited to marketing automation than others.

This includes:

  • Companies that rely on predictable communication patterns
  • Organizations that have a high number of leads, contacts or customers
  • Businesses with at least $50,000 in annual revenue

Naturally, these are not requirements to use marketing automation. In fact, anyone can try it out, regardless of their company size. Still, companies that fall within one of the categories described above will experience the greatest benefits from automating their marketing processes.

If your company does not belong on the previous list, you will need to analyze your current state of operation. To help you identify the potential need for a CRM, we have collected the most common signs that mean your business is not fulfilling its potential.

If any of the following statements could be used to describe your company, you may need to consider implementing marketing automation.

  1. Your sales process is undefined.
  2. Your leads are handled irregularly and inconsistently.
  3. You’re not upselling to existing customers (or not upselling enough).
  4. Your company still relies on bulk newsletters.
  5. Your customer life cycle is relatively short.
  6. You’re still responding to all inquiries manually.
  7. Your sales and marketing processes are taking a disproportionately high amount of time that is constantly growing.

How CRMs and marketing automation interact

Now that we have covered the basics of marketing automation, let’s explain how CRMs and marketing automation interact in modern businesses.

Strictly speaking, traditional CRMs do not deal with marketing automation. They represent elaborate systems that are used to manage customer data and improve the communication between clients and company representatives to increase revenue through sales.

This means that a CRM platform assists sales people, who nurture the leads generated through marketing campaigns. Sales departments are equipped with marketing data collected in the system, which they use to guide the leads through the entire sales cycle and eventually close the sale.

Meanwhile, the primary function of marketing automation is to collect collect data and generate leads from marketing campaigns. As such, marketing automation is primarily used by marketers and marketing departments.

At their core, CRMs and marketing automation are complementary and businesses need both types of software to maximize their output. This is why advanced CRM systems, such as Simply CRM, incorporate marketing automation within their platforms to create a 360-degree view of each business and avoid the most common automation mistakes.

This way, Simply allows all employees to have access to real-time data regarding each lead, opportunity or contact.

Why incorporate marketing automation in a CRM?

You may be wondering why you should incorporate marketing automation in a CRM. Surely, it’s better to have a highly specialized program that deals only with automation and advanced software in the form of a CRM to generate the highest revenues.

While this may sometimes be true, it’s often misleading and incorrect. Moreover, it’s the wrong perspective. You should not be thinking about what marketing automation and a CRM can bring individually, but focus on what results they can bring combined.

When you integrate marketing within a CRM or you choose a CRM that comes with integrated marketing automation, such as Simply, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Reduced costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Centralized platform
  • Unified data management
  • Improved collaboration

Moreover, when you link marketing automation with a CRM, you will be able to better track your sales, ROI and revenue in real time. The improved collaboration between the different departments will lead to a better customer experience, which will result in more sales and profit. This is why marketing automation platforms integrate well with most major CRMs.

However, Simply CRM goes a step further as it contains its very own built-in automation system in the form of workflows within the platform that is priced at only $19/month.

Visit Simply to learn more about their platform and all of its unique features or schedule a free trial to try out marketing automation today.