Every year, Hubspot surveys more than 4,000 marketers around the world to identify what they're doing and what most concerns them. As we take a look at this year's report, State of Inbound 2017, familiar themes emerge.
When asked what marketing issues were their biggest challenges, generating sufficient leads and site traffic topped the list (63 percent), followed closely by proving the ROI of marketing activities (40 percent). In third was securing enough budget (28 percent).
And, tied at 26 percent each, were website management and "identifying the right technologies for our needs." With the growing number of marketing automation solutions available, it is a problem that vexes marketers in a way the others don't.
So, What's the Problem?
Matthew Toren, co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com and author of "Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market From Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right," answers that question. The problem is marketers' inability to effectively gather accurate, useful information about emerging marketing technologies:
"Finding the right technologies was the fifth biggest concern for marketers this year. Oftentimes, this is because feedback on technology is scattered... When you're looking for a tool, software or piece of technology to solve a specific marketing problem, where do you go to find it?"
Technologies That Solve Specific Marketing Problems
One of the places you go is to experts like Toren, who carefully analyzed the top challenges marketers face and identified the technologies that best address them, including the following five:
GetResponse: Simplifying Email Marketing
Research from CMO indicates that marketing automation boosts sales productivity by almost 15 percent and cuts costs by more than 12 percent. GetResponse brings a full suite of marketing automation tools to email marketing, one of the reasons it's so popular with SMBs.
The workflow builder is especially useful. It includes click-and-drag filters and attractive templates that make sending welcome emails and social media links in response to consumer triggers easy and intuitive. The analytics package is robust, letting users see key email metrics, and offering an "email ROI" feature that makes it simple to measure cost-effectiveness. Finally, GetResponse provides outstanding customer service, with the option of phone, email and live chat.
MailChimp: Integrating Email Marketing and Automation
MailChimp is the other go-to email marketing tool. It makes it easy to create engaging emails using drag-and-drop templates and to meaningfully connect with leads through every step of the buyer's journey with marketing automation. That means every new lead receives a customized welcome email, and is effectively nurtured with subsequent emails that automatically respond to their behavior.
MailChimp also offers apps for mobile email marketing, as well as MailChimp Subscribe, which simplifies new online and offline email subscriptions. There's also MailChimp Snap, which lets you send photo emails directly from your mobile phone.
Infusionsoft: Lead Management and Prioritization
Generating more leads is not the only challenge marketers face – they also need to manage and nurture those leads, moving them by degrees through the buyer's journey. Infusionsoft simplifies that process, making it easy to import, organize and segment them for personalized marketing. Equally important, Infusionsoft will do lead scoring, telling marketers which leads are most sales-ready based on their response to emails, visits to your website and similar behaviors.
Marketers can then create segmented marketing campaigns based on each lead's score. Infusionsoft, like GetResponse, can help with that marketing, sending personalized emails based on key triggers (such as shopping cart abandonment or recent purchases).
Marketo: Generating More Leads
Most marketers understand the inbound formula for lead generation: you make a content offer and send prospective leads to a landing page, where they provide their contact information in exchange for that content. Marketo helps marketers perfect that process, offering landing pages and online forms that work.
Marketo also does many of the same things as Infusionsoft, including lead scoring. In addition, Marketo helps businesses with search marketing, behavior tracking and social media marketing. Finally, Marketo is great for creating personalized web experiences.
Hubspot: Creating Best Practice Inbound Campaigns
For many, Hubspot is synonymous with inbound marketing (it was, in fact, Brian Halligan, Hubspot CEO, who coined the phrase in 1999). Hubspot is a comprehensive suite of inbound marketing software and educational posts that help SMBs increase conversions and sales.
Simply stated, Hubspot makes some of the more obscure aspects of inbound – such as SEO and analytics – accessible to a wider audience, including beginners, with simple tutorials, "campaign wizards" and a user-friendly dashboard. Hubspot is especially useful with SEO. It can help businesses quickly analyze the SEO of any webpage, and provide useful tips to fix problems and increase rankings in search results.
Bonus - ReFUEL4: Creative Optimization for Paid Ads
Paid ads are an essential tool for marketers and serve to complement a robust inbound strategy. Unfortunately, ROI tails off over time as ad fatigue sets in – audiences stop responding favorably to ads they have seen multiple times.
With ReFUEL4, you can be certain your advertising campaigns on Facebook, Google Display Network, Instagram, and Snapchat are always running at peak performance. ReFUEL4's powerful AI engine detects when your ads need to be refreshed and calls upon a global network of over 10,000 designers to produce new creatives. The underperforming ad creative is then automatically swapped out for a fresh one, so you don't need to fuss over day-to-day campaign management.
These are among the most demonstrably useful marketing automation tools, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses, and for those who are relatively new to inbound marketing – but the list is hardly exhaustive. Every business is different, and only you can determine what will work best for yours. That means identifying your key marketing challenges, doing your homework, taking a few "test drives" and getting help from inbound experts when you need it.
Fill up the form below and get on a chat with us to find out how your business can benefit from ReFUEL4's marketing automation solutions!