What is Marketing Automation & Do You Need It?
With marketing automation, you can easily schedule and duplicate various marketing tasks (typically connected with actions on your website) to happen without any further work on your part.
Marketing automation examples:
• When someone downloads a piece of content from a site and they automatically receive a thank you email—THAT’s marketing automation in action. This email can include additional information—like other downloads—to engage them further.
• Quality marketing automation software can automatically identify and label website leads as marketing qualified leads (MQLs) or sales qualified leads (SQLs) based on criteria you set. And then, from there, the MQLs could be automatically entered into an email workflow for longtime nurturing.
The goal with marketing automation is to make everyone’s lives easier—think marketing, sales, and even your prospects.
How marketing automation helps marketing teams
Your marketing team can “set it and forget it,” although we don’t REALLY advocate forgetting any marketing tasks you set up. But the point is marketing teams can easily create workflows for various buyer personas, set them up once, and then voila—the automation does the heavy, ongoing lifting.
This frees up marketing teams to do more important things like brainstorm and try out new ideas, create more of what works, efficiently move prospects through the sales funnel, and tweak existing campaigns based on results (good systems usually have excellent analytics).
Remember, the majority of your website visitors are NOT ready to buy yet—they are researching and comparing. Marketing automation helps you capture these otherwise anonymous visitors (through forms) so that you can continue the conversation with them at their pace.
How marketing automation helps sales teams
Sales can now spend more time focusing on true sales-qualified leads (SQLs) since a good marketing automation system will allow you to set parameters to automatically identify and label genuine SQLs vs. MQLs. For example, if someone requests info on pricing, the marketing automation system might label them as an SQL because of that action—and automatically notify sales to follow up with that particular lead.
Sales can focus on converting SQLs to tours and move-ins while the MQLs “marinate” in a lead nurturing program that readies them to become SQLs when the time is right. This means better close rates for sales teams.
How marketing automation helps prospects
Let’s say a prospective resident is browsing your site at midnight and is interested in reading your guide on “How to Finance Senior Living for Aging Parents.” Instead of requesting it and waiting for someone to manually email or snail mail it, the person will get it instantly—without anyone on your end having to lift a finger. AND not only do they get the guide, they also receive a personalized thank you email along with a series of follow-up emails with other calls-to-action and suggested content based on the buying stage they’re in.
Does your senior living community need marketing automation?
If you’d asked this question a decade ago, the answer would have been “it depends.” As we enter this new decade, however, we’d argue that all senior living communities need some form of marketing automation in order to remain competitive.
The question you need to ask is what level of marketing automation you need.
Do you need the Cadillac version with all the bells and whistles or would basic marketing automation software do? At Senior Living SMART, we’re huge fans of HubSpot (full transparency: we’re a certified HubSpot agency), and we’ve had a ton of success working with senior living communities who install HubSpot. HubSpot offers several marketing automation tiers as well.
Marketing automation IS an investment.
But if your teams use it correctly, it will pay for itself over time by identifying sales-qualified leads when they’re truly “hot,” nurturing cool and warm leads over time, improving efficiencies, and providing deep insights in terms of analytics.
Still on the fence?
Or maybe you know you need some form of marketing automation but you don’t know what to do next? Don’t go it alone! The only thing worse than NO marketing automation is the wrong marketing automation for your needs—or setting it up incorrectly.
We LOVE helping our clients get the most out of their marketing automation. 30-minute no-obligation brainstorming session.