If you’re part of a firm doing B2B or B2C business online, you’ve definitely heard about marketing automation. You’ll probably want to implement marketing automation to enjoy the ROI that it has to offer, but you may have encountered this problem:
Marketing automation is not cheap, so how do you justify the monthly spend to your boss that knows nothing about the technology and just looks at the bottom line?
In the past, we’ve discussed why you will never regret purchasing marketing automation. However, taking a step back, you may first need to convince higher-level decision-makers that investing in a marketing automation platform is a wise and profitable decision for your firm.
In fact, a 2014 survey found that cost was predictably the number 1 obstacle towards implementing a marketing automation system, but the overwhelming number of firms who had begun using marketing automation maintained or expanded their efforts due to the benefits they saw.
In that vein, here are 4 ways to sell marketing automation to your boss.
1. Focus on hard data like ROI
Nothing succeeds like success, and nothing is going to be a more convincing case in favour of implementing marketing automation than data. If you want to convince a skeptic that marketing automation will be profitable in both the short- and long-terms, you will want to show that it will help meet key performance benchmarks, as well as providing a robust return on investment.
Fortunately, marketing automation software makes this easy to do. So, even before you implement a marketing automation plan, you will want to look at comparable businesses in your field and identify:
- how marketing automation has given them an advantage over your own firm
- what a typical ROI looks like, and
- how marketing automation will help you hit your KPIs.
This is hard data that you can use for pitching marketing automation to those higher up the ladder.
The biggest marketing automation platforms, like HubSpot and Pardot, offer plenty of material (including white papers and videos) to help you understand what kind of ROI you can expect. Pardot, for instance, offers an ROI calculator on its website. This is solid information on which to build your case when it comes to marketing automation justification.
2. Tout the simplicity of marketing automation
Marketing automation platforms sport many attractive features and one of the best is how simple they can make complex, repetitive tasks. In an earlier post, for instance, we talked about how many solutions marketing automation offers to both marketing and sales. In fact, many firms find that marketing automation platforms reduce friction and increase co-operation between these two departments, since automation solves so many shared problems. Pardot and SharpSpring performed particularly well in our own usability test.
For the marketing department, automation streamlines everything from lead scoring to the planning, implementation, and launching of marketing campaigns. Sales representatives, on the other hand, complain that as much as one-third of their time looking up information on prospects. Marketing automation takes care of these and countless other woes that both departments face. For example, one study found that companies could reduce their advertising budgets by 15% through automation.
When you’re pitching marketing automation, even and informal and non-scientific survey of your marketing and sales departments will provide numerous pain-points that your departments could see solved through the implementation of marketing automation.
3. Lead With lead scoring
One of the most praiseworthy features of marketing automation platforms is how they make lead scoring easier than ever before. How much is your firm spending on cultivating, contacting, and following-up on leads? The good news is that most of these areas are encompassed by the functionality of marketing automation technology—that means that once you’ve paid for a platform, you don’t need to spend that money elsewhere on leads.
4. Count on conversion
Finally, you can convert you boss into a believer by looking at how easy marketing automation makes converting customers. Thompson Reuters, for one, reported that its marketing automation platform lowered lead-to-conversion time by 72%. One study found that leads which had been nurtured (a basic feature of marketing automation software) made 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
Once your firm has started using marketing automation, it’s clear why the different platforms make conversion easier. Marketing automation technology helps everything from personalising your appeals to keeping leads warm, from upselling to moving leads through the sales pipeline through triggered campaigns.
Did you find yourself in a position where you had to pitch marketing automation to superiors at your firm? What made a difference in your case? Reach out to us if you’d like to know more ways to increase your firm’s prospects through marketing automation—we’d love to help!