When is the right time for startups to start thinking about marketing automation?
This is a question that I get asked so often. As soon as possible, I would say, but of course it may depend from business to business.
It’s crucial to consider the context and the driving factors for marketing automation adoption; when a startup is embracing the marketing automation benefits, it also gets the costs associated with it and the change management as a side effect. Considering all these moving parts in the context of the startup environment, here is another question that is coming up:
Is marketing automation desirable or mandatory for a startup’s success?
Startups more than anyone have to invest back every penny into improving the product and retaining the best talent, so would there be any money left in the pot when it comes to marketing, and especially to automating parts of it? In early stages of a startup it may be difficult to see marketing automation as something other that a cost and a distraction, however, it can ultimately be an investment into improving the customer experience and client communications. Moreover, it may enable the talent with the right tools to track and analyse those precious early stages performance data. Later on (maybe in less than 6 months) this data will represent the cornerstone of the entire business and it will be offering a competitive advantage.
Startups might have only one person who is very keen and knowledgeable of marketing, but who is playing so many hats that often will end up having no time to focus on doing marketing in a consistent way. Here is where marketing automation comes in.
The software itself is not going to run your marketing department, but it will help your marketing team to create processes and do marketing better, whether it’s email marketing, lead scoring, consolidating reporting, contact management, etc.
At any stage of growth and development, one of the biggest assets any startup can have is accurate performance analytics and high-quality contact list, and a marketing automation system helps you grow, clean, maintain and monetize this list!
Ultimately, if implemented correctly and used in a consistent way, marketing automation will help the teams to convert leads into customers and we all know that startups need this more that any other companies.