Marketing automation refers to the use of sophisticated software platforms to automate both routine and complex marketing processes, reducing costs and improving effectiveness. It allows companies to simultaneously personalize and scale their marketing programs.

There’s a good amount of complexity to work through in understanding marketing automation for technology services firms. With countless products featuring a constantly evolving array of capabilities and features, it’s no wonder that many companies are still on the fence about whether to embrace this technology, let alone know how to get the most results from it.

In this post, I’ll try to help you understand the 10 ways that marketing automation can help you grow your technology services business.

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10 benefits of marketing automation strategies for technology services

Used correctly, marketing automation can help companies accomplish many of their strategic marketing goals. Here are 10 techniques for using marketing automation to grow your own company.

1. Attract more prospective customers

Most marketing automation systems are designed to attract new prospective customers, often using a combination of SEO-optimized content, social media and guest posting (getting your thought leadership posted in digital publications where your audience is reading and learning) to drive visibility.

2. Improve your qualification process

How can you tell which are your best prospects and which ones you should spend time connecting with and nurturing? Most marketing automation systems with CRM tools automatically score leads based on predetermined behavioral criteria. This is otherwise a very manual and time consuming process that can quickly eat up the time you should be spending creating relationships and establishing trust.

3. Be more effective in segmenting your database of customers — both current and prospective

Marketing automation platforms like Constant Contact provide tools to automatically segment your email lists by demographic or behavioral criteria for better targeting and greater personalization. This is what makes “automation” feel very personalized!

4. Turn prospective customers into actual customers

Technology services are not impulse purchases — in other words, it can take a prospective customer some time before they are ready to make the decision to buy.

Marketing automation can help you create and manage what are called “drip campaigns”, which are automated campaigns that will keep relevant content in front of each customer depending on their profile and what they might be interested in. When they are finally ready to buy, they are more likely to turn to the company that has stayed on their radar with meaningful information from your email marketing strategy.

5. Spot your sales-ready opportunities

Marketing automation solutions give you various ways to probe for interest, such as periodically sending out offers for free demos or free consultations to increase your chances of getting a hit. When someone is at the point in their decision-making cycle where they’re willing to invest their time watching a demo or talking with one of your experts during a free consultation, they are considered to be sales-ready.

6. Give your expertise more visibility

Marketing automation makes it far easier to use content marketing: blog posts, webinars, podcasts, social media and other channels to demonstrate your expertise to the right prospect customers at the right time.

7. Boost customer retention

Marketing automation addresses the on-and-off nature of customer needs by automating many of the ongoing interactions you need to conduct.

8. Easily track metrics and optimize results

Modern marketing automation platforms feature cross-channel integration to help you to track and optimize your strategies and improve your ROI. You’ll constantly be in the know about what’s working and what isn’t so that you can course correct where needed. Marketing automation helps take the guesswork out of your marketing.

9. Improve your marketing team’s productivity

Although the initial set-up can be somewhat laborious, marketing automation systems can greatly reduce the repetitive and manual drudgery of marketing campaigns going forward.

10. Save billable hours

By screening, qualifying and nurturing your leads and prospective customers in advance of their interactions with your billable professionals, you’ll save a lot of non-billable business development hours.

It’s time to automate your technology services marketing

When you reflect on this list of ways that marketing automation can benefit your technology services firm, it is easy to see why automation has enjoyed so much growth and innovation. Marketing automation is here to stay, and before long, it will be a standard part of how companies go to market. And remember, when properly implemented, it is a way to both personalize and scale your marketing strategy.

Of course, there are challenges and pitfalls. Platforms are only as effective as the wisdom and skills of the team that sets up and operates them. But as your skills, understanding of your target audience and messages align, marketing automation becomes an increasingly powerful — even essential — tool.

Read more: Everything You Need to Know About Marketing Automation