Making a purchasing decision at a B2B company isn’t quite as simple as clicking “add to cart” on an ecommerce website (okay, it’s not nearly that simple). As nice as that sounds, the reality is that a single purchase decision involves multiple key stakeholders, and each of those stakeholders have competing goals and interests. However, if I were a betting gal, I’d wager that the one thing all of your executives and stakeholders could get behind is saving money.
After all, isn’t it just as important to sell upper management on the money you’re saving the company with a technology purchase, not just the money you’re making it?
We often see this during the justification process for a marketing automation tool. Traditionally, marketing automation is marketed as a way to boost your sales and generate revenue. And while it’s important to talk about the revenue-generating potential of an automation tool, what about the cost-savings benefits?
Particularly if you’re a small business working with a small marketing or sales team (or with a limited budget), justifying a new technology purchase often necessitates some pretty persuasive talking points. “It’ll save us money” might be just what your boss wants to hear before giving the final “okay” on a purchase.
So, for those of you with an interest in marketing automation, we’d like to take a look at a number of often-overlooked ways that automation can help you cut costs, not just generate $$$.
When you’re working with limited resources, it’s important to use your time to its full potential. While many companies solve the problem of time-strapped employees by increasing their headcount — which can cut into your department’s budget — that doesn’t have to be the only solution.
Think about the daily tasks of an SMB marketer. From updating social channels to handling company email communications, small business marketers are wearing a lot of hats. Marketing automation consolidates and simplifies these hats (i.e. tasks), freeing you up to work on other projects that might have gotten overlooked or sidelined in the past.
In fact, marketing automation can turn even a one-man or one-woman marketing department into an army (trust us, Pardot marketing was powered by a one-woman marketing machine for years!). By streamlining your marketing processes and combining all of your disparate marketing and sales tools under one umbrella, you can save time while cutting down on resources needed for marketing projects.
Another common cost for small businesses is freelance designers or agencies. Email templates, e-books, marketing collateral, and landing pages all typically require an eye for design and copy — and many small businesses don’t have a specialized copywriter or designer to handle those needs.
In fact, according to benchmark data collected by Starfleet Media, companies outsource 68% of their content development activities, 64% of their content asset design activities, and 51% of their demand generation activities. With marketing automation’s visual landing page and email editors — along with its demand generation functionality — you can design and create marketing collateral and demand gen programs with ease, freeing up some budget typically devoted to outsourcing.
I mentioned in my first point that marketing automation can house your marketing and sales tools under one umbrella. This is a cost-savings benefit in and of itself. Think about the number of tools a company might traditionally employ to support their various marketing efforts: an email marketing solution, a social posting tool, an analytics platform...the list goes on. With marketing automation working in tandem with your CRM, you only need one ecosystem to manage all of your marketing and sales workflows. That’s a lot of expensive contracts you can flush right down the drain.
Want more information on how small businesses are using marketing automation to save time, money, and resources? Take a look at our new ebook.