The current economy isn’t favorable to small businesses. They need to implement new strategies to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively. Every small business should leverage marketing automation tools to meet these goals.
New Marketing Automation Tools Cater to Small Businesses
Marketing automation is highly beneficial to companies of all sizes. However, many small businesses couldn’t afford some of the earlier marketing automation tools, which cost over $400 a month. Fortunately, new marketing automation tools are much more affordable.
A couple of weeks ago, VentureBeat wrote an interesting article about a new marketing automation solution called GetResponse. GetResponse CMO Daniel Brzezinski stated that the company caters to small and medium-sized businesses.
“SMB marketing automation has seen low market penetration for two simple reasons,” Brzezinski told VentureBeat. “The first is price. SMB marketing budgets are comparatively small. Most automation tools, on the other hand, are expensive, forcing long-term contract commitments. The second challenge has been sheer ease-of-use. Unlike enterprise businesses, most SMBs don’t have extensive IT expertise in-house.”
GetResponse and other marketing automation services are helping small businesses compete in a difficult economy.
Marketing Automation is a Necessity for Business Survival
Marketing automation is crucial for smaller companies. Many small businesses will depend on marketing automation for survival.
The sad reality is that small businesses are struggling to survive. A recent report from Gallup found that 470,000 small businesses close every year, while only 400,000 new businesses are launched.
“Business startups outpaced business failures by about 100,000 per year until 2008. But in the past six years, that number suddenly reversed, and the net number of U.S. startups versus closures is minus 70,000.”
A number of factors appear to play a role. Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup, believes that the biggest challenge small businesses face is competing against more established brands.
Clifton makes some good points, but seems to be too pessimistic. Small businesses can still take on their large rivals. They just need a highly effective marketing strategy to generate awareness and build brand loyalty. Marketing automation has made this possible.
Digital marketing has saved many small businesses. Social media and other inbound marketing strategies can be implemented for free. However, there is a downside. They require small business owners to invest a lot of time online.
The average business owner needs to spend at least ten hours a week on social media before gaining any momentum. Many entrepreneurs simply can’t afford to take that much time away from the day-to-day operations of their business. Fortunately, new marketing automation tools can make their job much easier.
A recent study from Gleanster proves that marketing automation is highly beneficial for small companies. The report shows that the fastest growing B2B companies are seven times more likely to use marketing automation than their peers.
“Top-performing small businesses overwhelmingly validate that marketing automation is worth the budget, time, and effort. 79% say they will continue to use it, and companies that use marketing automation for over 2 years report the technology is ‘critical to future success.’”
According to Catalyst for Business, small businesses are most likely to succeed if they develop a marketing strategy that plays to their strength and invest in top-of-the-line marketing automation software.
“After you have followed these five steps, you have to keep up with breakthroughs in marketing. If you don’t, you’ll soon fall behind. So be bold and try out new ideas. Of course, you also don’t want to go overboard and chase every shiny object. Stick to what you do best, but continue to learn from those in your field.”
Marketing automation will continue to shape the marketing strategies of small businesses in the near future. It will be even more important if the economy continues to stall.