In the digital age, in a world where markets are shaped by technological change, companies are constantly evolving.

While it is impossible not to notice the major upheavals in a work environment, small incremental changes are sometimes more difficult to spot.

Unaware of the potential threats, many companies rush into the wall without seeing the danger. And for a lot of SMEs, this blind spot is technology…

According to a study by TomTom Telematics, nearly one-third of business executives with more than five employees say they take too long to follow technological innovations.

A worrying observation for these companies, which, instead of adopting technologies that would make them progress, cling to old systems and methods of work that really hinder their growth, because of simple fear of change.

But why are small businesses so reluctant about new technologies, like marketing automation, for example?

Marketing automation, an opportunity to seize

Much more than email marketing, marketing automation can dramatically improve your workflows by automating countless repetitive marketing-related tasks: sending emails to customers, generating follow-up feedback, and managing multiple platforms. social networks …

By using marketing automation, a company can improve customer service, create more personalized communications, increase conversion rates, decrease marketing spend, but more importantly, generate better leads, knowing that it is this last advantage Most often motivates the adoption of marketing automation.

In other words, if you are a small business, this smarter way of working can have a huge impact on your success. In terms of technological solutions, marketing automation is a must for SMEs that thirst for competitiveness, especially those who want to claim a position of strength.

And given its multiple benefits, the explosion of demand for marketing automation solutions is not surprising.

According to Forrester research firm, the global value of the marketing automation market will be $ 25.1 billion by 2023, announcing a gigantic jump (187%) over last year (2018).

The paradox of choice

However, many SMEs that have a lot to gain with marketing automation still do not exploit this new technology. How is this explained?

First, if some SMEs are instinctively slow to adopt new technology, it is often to avoid having to identify, introduce and implement a new system. More than half of marketers anticipate implementation difficulties in marketing automation and just study the offer to understand their fears.

In the early 2000s, marketing automation tools were still on the fingers of one hand.

Today, there are hundreds and the market is extremely complex, with the arrival of marketing platforms like MailChimp or Dotmailer, who have reinvented themselves to return to the charge with a new range of products.

Although the acquisition of marketing automation tools by big names such as Oracle (Eloqua), Salesforce (Pardot) and Adobe (Marketo) has somewhat simplified the offer, some are still discouraged by the number of solutions to compare for finding the right one.

As a result, many companies are convinced that the game is not worth the effort and the managers of SMEs are camping on their position for fear of making a costly mistake.

Today there are a large number of players on the market. Your future marketing automation tool should at least allow you to manage your contact lists and landing pages, social media account, leads generation, create email campaigns based on the behavior of your prospects, coping mechanism for mobile emails, measure your efforts using tracking tools. Some of them are free to use with limitation such as no. of users, records, accounts, etc. and some of them are paid. It’s hard to find which is best free online tools for small business due to the limitation they have respectively.

So, in such a saturated market, how can companies navigate and make the right choice of a marketing automation solution?

Opting for a solution for SMEs

Of course, your product selection must first and foremost be influenced by the specific needs of your business. That said, there are some basic criteria to consider.

For most SMEs seeking to equip themselves with a technological tool, the first essential criterion is price. According to the TomTom survey cited above, 36% of managers said that price was a key element for them.

If you want to make a very economic decision for your small business, it is in your interest to look for a product designed specifically for your business size, as the rates applied often depend on the number of contacts in the database.

Do not be attracted to a high-performing business system (and much more) and say it might be useful for your business one day.

This can cost you big upstream, not to mention other unnecessary expenses over time (training, costs associated with the lack of efficiency of your employees because of the difficulty of handling a technology too complex).

As with almost all software, it takes very little functionality to meet the needs of an SME.

Instead, concentrate on the essential features that your employees will be able to exploit quickly, instead of letting you be seduced by cool and cool features that will not necessarily be useful and that may weigh rather than lighten up. your workload.

By focusing on SMB solutions, you will avoid cluttering with unnecessary features and your system will be much more ergonomic.

Remember that ease of use is an essential element of successful software implementation. In fact, most marketers cite ease of use as the most important factor when evaluating marketing automation tools.

The easier a platform is to use, the lower the risk of errors and bugs; the same goes for the number of training, since your teams will adapt more quickly to the new platform.

Adapted assistance services

It is essential to have access to an effective support service, with several options (not just telephone support) for businesses, especially SMEs that are under-resourced and seeking to make the most of their new marketing technology. automation.

You should have access to practical tips to help you with the initial implementation phase, and then during deployment. To enable customers to maximize marketing automation software opportunities, some solutions offer several online and offline support tools.

When identifying the best product for you, you must take into account the assistance factor.

Systems Integration

If you’re already using CRM software, it’s a great idea to choose a marketing automation solution that works perfectly alongside CRM or, ideally, integrates with CRM.

This will ensure perfect harmony between the two systems, which is difficult (if not impossible) when trying to connect two products that have nothing to do with each other.

By opting for a marketing automation solution integrated with a CRM software, you are guaranteed a perfect integration to improve the management of leads and customers.

If you choose the right software for your business and follow all of these tips to make the most of it, you should quickly write off your investment.

Do not miss Marketing Automation

To talk about something we should have done, we often say that “ now is the second-best time ” and this expression is very well suited to marketing automation. If you hesitate to switch to marketing automation thinking to limit the risks in the short term, this precaution could quickly become a mistake for your company in the long run.

In the current business environment, SMEs need to do even more with less to keep them competitive in increasingly complex markets.

All things considered, the question that SMEs that have not yet gone through marketing automation should be asking is not so much “Should my company adopt it? But rather “When are we going to adopt it?” “.

The benefits are such that those who wait for too much may miss out on an exceptional opportunity and see their competitors running at full speed ahead of them.

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