Article

Simon Johnson
Simon Johnson 19 February 2019

Building the Business Case for Investment in Marketing Automation

Marketing automation software can yield a significant return on investment, helping to increase revenues and decrease costs, while also improving customer experience.

Investing in a new marketing automation platform will typically require a business case to secure the necessary budget from the company’s finance department. The points below summarise some of the potential benefits of a marketing automation platform for your business. 

Increase sales

  • Faster sales cycles resulting in better business performance.
  • Higher-quality leads for the sales team to pursue.
  • More targeted spending on highest-performance channels and programmes, leading to revenue growth.

Reduce costs

  • Better alignment between sales and marketing.
  • Reduced cost per lead due to the increased ability to segment, target and personalise.
  • Reduced need for involvement of IT and data analysts. 
  • Less time spent pursuing sub-standard leads.

Improve customer experience and loyalty

  • Better segmentation and personalisation to increase relevance for recipients.
  • A more consistent experience for prospects and customers across sales and marketing channels.
  • More brand advocates, fewer ’unsubscribes’ and critics.

Better measurement and data intelligence

  • More accurate reporting, and integration with digital analytics.
  • Better marketing attribution, due to integration of data across different channels.
  • Increased ability to build single customer view.
  • Visibility into the performance of campaigns, personas, and buying stages.

Brand relevance

Increased efficiency

  • Launch campaigns in hours or days, with little or no IT support needed and no special coding skills.
  • Automating common tasks allows you to build relationships – at scale – with fewer resources while increasing personalisation. 
  • Sales can use lead intelligence to shorten the sales cycle. 

​The key to marketing automation success is to apply these benefits to your own business objectives and processes as closely as possible, so you can estimate the potential upside in terms of increased sales and reduced costs in actual pounds, euros, dollars or any other currency. 

According to Adam Sharp, Managing Director and Co-Founder at specialist Marketing Automation consultancy CleverTouch: 

“The business benefits extend beyond marketing and sales alignment and better ROI etc. Increasingly, enterprise organisations are looking at re-skilling their marketing (and sales) organisations and, by doing so, are making them relevant for the digital economy.”

He adds: “This shouldn’t be about more technology, this should really be about better marketing and a better customer experience. Internally, it is about moving the dial from marketing’s perception as a cost centre to marketing as a profit centre. Externally is about being agile and relevant to your customers.”

Companies that have adopted marketing automation are out-performing those that haven’t.

  • 87% of top-performing companies (defined as those where marketing contributes more than half of the sales pipeline) have adopted marketing automation. (Aberdeen Group)
  • Best-in-class companies are 67% more likely to use a marketing automation platform. (Aberdeen Group)
  • Better together: Among organisations that use both marketing automation and CRM as part of an integrated technology stack, 77% met or beat their revenue goals.

​Marketers who have adopted marketing automation suggest that the biggest benefits are:

(36%) Taking repetitive tasks out of marketers’ hands, so they can work on other projects
(30%) Better targeting of their prospects and existing customers
(10%) Improving customer experience
(9%) Better email marketing
(8%) Reduction of human error
(4%) Lead management
(3%) Multichannel Marketing

(Lenskold and Pedowitz)

The business value of marketing automation varies according to how an organisation applies the technology.

  • For the small marketing team, it might be time savings.
  • For the marketer with lead generation quotas, it might be the ability to customise and co-ordinate cross-channel marketing campaigns.
  • For the marketer focused on sales enablement, it could be the ability to use automated programmes such as lead nurturing and lead scoring.
  • For the sales team, it might be more and better-qualified leads, nuanced intelligence about a lead’s needs, a shorter sales cycle, or a real-time list of hot prospects.

Before you seek executive support it’s important to know your goals:

  • Know which business goals are worth pursuing and also attainable with marketing automation.
  • Know the company objectives marketing automation can support.
  • Know what internal support you have. Are the marketing staff willing? Does sales see this as an avenue for more/better leads and a more collaborative working relationship?
  • Know how you plan to measure success.

To start to get a greater understanding of marketing automation and how it can benefit your business we recommend downloading the ‘The Business Case for Marketing Automation’ Report.

The report covers all the features and benefits of marketing automation, clearly sets out the business case while detailing the points that the executive suite needs to understand or could be concerned about.

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