The ability to transition to nimble and scalable marketing strategies can make or break your organization’s success. If you’re not in a position to quickly adapt to increasing demand, you’ll inevitably miss out on golden opportunities to expand and diversify your business. And if you’re not focused on expanding, you’re going to lose market share to your competitors — who most definitely are focused on improving scalability and growth.
So, in today’s blog, we’re going to examine the importance of scalable marketing strategies for small marketing teams. We’ll also provide several proven tips on how you can use the resources at your disposal to become more efficient, drive better engagement, and increase your marketing ROI with the help of marketing automation.
What Is Scalability and Why Are Scalable Marketing Strategies So Important?
Scalability is the ability to produce, sell, and deliver more products and services without sacrificing quality or cost as you gradually add necessary resources to meet the rising demand for your offerings. Simply put, it’s the bedrock of growth, especially as consumers rely more and more on digital experiences to guide them toward educated purchasing decisions.
Regardless of company size or annual recurring revenue, the overwhelming majority of businesses in North America and the United Kingdom operate with small marketing teams — that is, marketing teams of less than 8 or so full-time employees. This means that most of us are working with limited marketing staff who are doing their best to succeed while executing multiple roles. Not to mention the fact that smaller marketing teams are often strapped with smaller marketing budgets, limiting their ability to experiment with multiple channels — especially when it comes to paid programs.
So the question is, how are you supposed to develop scalable marketing strategies when you’re lacking the proper resources? The answer is two-fold:
Identify areas for greater efficiency; and
Get the fundamentals right every time
Simple enough in theory, but difficult to achieve in real-life.
For example, many businesses operate in seasonal verticals, which means they need the ability to easily scale up and back down several times each year. By using sophisticated marketing automation platforms to execute multi-channel marketing programs that are both dynamic and repeatable, you can increase efficiencies while also targeting numerous audience segments.
Once you’ve built the initial framework of the campaign, you simply:
Update and optimize the messaging and content
Automate the segmentation of the lists in your database
Recalibrate tracking and scoring
Launch and run the program
At the end of your pre-determined timeline, you simply pause the program and automatically enter these contacts, leads, and customers into new journeys based on their behaviors and engagement. The next time you want to scale up, everything is right where you left it!
Let’s examine how your small marketing team can implement similar strategies to scale at your desired pace.
How Small Marketing Teams Can Drive Engagement at Scale
You should always be planning ahead and preparing for success. And the best way to do that is by focusing on these three pillars for efficient, effective, and sustainable scalability.
1. Identify Simple MarTech Solutions to Key Challenges
Growing businesses need the right marketing technology to continue expanding at scale. For most organizations, this includes a customer relationship management (CRM) system or business intelligence (BI) tool as the foundation of their sales efforts. But to execute strong inbound and outbound marketing campaigns, you need to integrate these sales tools with a growth marketing automation platform, which is the functional layer of successful companies.
Marketing automation makes it much easier to manage, measure, customize, and optimize the customer experience across multiple online channels (e.g., email, web, social, events) and through all stages of the funnel — brand, demand, and expand. When you move from a cobbled-together set of disparate tools to one cohesive platform, you make marketing more effective and set the stage for anticipated, sustained, and scalable business growth.
According to Kevin Butler (VP of Strategy at Goose Digital, one of the fastest-growing marketing agencies in Canada), “The system of record is the CRM platform. The system of execution is the marketing automation platform. So when these two solutions are integrated and working well together, you’re off to the races.”
In addition to CRM systems and marketing automation platforms, there are literally thousands of solutions you can integrate into your MarTech stack. These plug-ins help you plan, manage, and execute webinars, track and transfer data, import and export behavioral data, and even coordinate additional outbound campaigns. (At Act-On, we offer hundreds of simple and seamless MarTech integrations through Zapier.)
The key to scalability is efficiency. By supplying more demand with the same or fewer resources, your business becomes more profitable and can identify new areas for potential growth and diversification. But efficiencies don’t just appear overnight of their own accord. You and your team have to build them through smarter strategies and helpful technology. Done properly, you can develop repeatable marketing workflows that help with acquisition, nurturing, qualification, and sales.
Attract and acquire new leads by managing all inbound and outbound marketing programs from a single platform. With marketing automation, you can improve SEO to drive high-intent traffic, build and optimize landing pages and web forms to generate conversions, and manage all of your social media campaigns to increase awareness and share of voice in your industry.
Once you’ve acquired the lead, it’s time to guide them through the funnel along a fun and educational experience. By developing accurate, actionable lead and customer scoring programs based on demographics, firmographics, and behaviors, you can better understand each contact’s position in the buying journey and automatically segment them into relevant campaigns with personalized messaging and content. From there, you can continue to monitor their engagement and easily adjust your programs accordingly.
Lead Qualification and Sales Enablement
With a good scoring system in place, marketers can automate the lead qualification process to both improve existing nurturing and provide your sales team with transparent and comprehensive insights into contact-specific journeys. Act-On allows you to build custom dashboards (here’s a great example from our partner, The Marketing Guys) to integrate granular and aggregate data into single views. Doing so allows you to track engagement, opportunities and ROI — from initial campaigns to annual recurring revenue.
Scale Smarter, Not Harder
The best part about building a scalable marketing and sales ecosystem is that there’s always room for improvement. Sure, your campaigns are automated, but you can make regular tweaks to these programs to drive more engagement and revenue. This is critical because as you continue to grow, your objectives will evolve. Marketing automation allows you to scale in proportion with that growth.
The magic elixir here is testing. Be sure to run your automated marketing campaigns long enough that you’ll have ample datasets to work with. A/B test everything from email subject lines to paid search headlines and closely monitor the results. The clear insights into performance afforded you by marketing automation will help you understand what’s working, what isn’t, and how and where you can improve.
Most importantly, don’t adjust your efforts simply for the sake of doing so. When you have reliable data, there’s no need to react haphazardly. Every single action should serve to improve efficiencies and efficacy, so make sure your entire team is on the same page and that you meet regularly to adjust your short-term plan of attack and long-term goals and objectives.
Act-On Can Help Your Small Marketing Team Scale Your Marketing Strategies
Regardless of the size, shape, or make-up of your marketing team, Act-On’s growth marketing automation platform can help you execute all of the tasks above for scalable, sustainable business growth. Our solution helps all marketers improve every aspect of the customer lifecycle — including demand generation, lead nurturing, data management, customer loyalty programs, and even sales enablement.
If you’re not ready to speak with one of our consultants, take our Interactive Tour and choose your own adventure to learn everything you and your team can do with our best-in-class automation solution.
Or, if you’re still in the research phase of your journey, download your free eBook, What Is Marketing Automation (and Should You Care)? It’s packed full of great information about how marketing automation helps marketers and their organizations reach their full potential by aligning departments, increasing efficiencies, and improving customer engagement.