Marketing Automation: 5 Areas to Improve Your Small Business Right Now!

small business marketing
small business marketing

Are you using a system to get more clients, but are tired of so much wasted time manually marketing every piece of your business…

You may be ready for automated marketing systems.

I’m a huge advocate for automating your systems, as you get them working.

Automated marketing systems build massive momentum for companies.  They allow you leverage time and increase profitability.  And, they really work for you.

Of the top performers…69% use Marketing automation for Customer acquisition and 50% for Customer Retention. – ACT-ON and Gleanster Research “Rethinking the Role of Marketing “ (2015)

But, they don’t worry too much about the customer, and your customer knows the difference…

Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black.”  This quote by Henry Ford about the systems that produced the Model T shows a lot about his thoughts on automation in the earth 20th Century.

I feel a lot of the “experts” talk about marketing automation using the “one size fits all” approach.

It seems I can’t read an article or get an email without some hypey, “just use my system” and manna will fall from heaven, and the 4-hour work week will become instantly your reality!


I’ve fallen into that trap myself from time-to-time.  Made headlines and titles that were too hyper.  It seems that approach gets a lot of attention on the Internet, and it’s really simple to get off the track and start worrying about likes, shares, and clicks.

So, it was time to get back-to-basics.

Let’s translate this into something that matters…sales!

You know that your business is unique

Your customers come to you for a specific goal, to meet a specific need.  You’re not a multi-billion dollar company (but these automated processes are used by them) and the reason you do what you do is because you actually make an impact and you care about the clients you’re serving because you deal with them personally.

Whether is it’s a lawyer providing Estate Planning services for an elderly couple, Real Estate Agent selling highly desirable home for a recently relocated family, or even a coach or consultant providing very specific services that can change the lives of their clients.

You know you need to use a system to get more clients, and really need the benefits of automation that would allow you to acquire more customers, reduce costs, increase profits, and generally grow your business.


You need the personal attention provided to your individual customers so that they are getting what they need when they need it.

So, how do you use marketing automation that doesn’t treat people like a number, and ensures they get the personalized attention that makes them feel welcome, and moves them down their customer journey?

Focus on how you can help your customer reach their goals

As a professional, you know that people want to be treated as individuals.

In your own practice, you want to be valued for your expertise, experience, and ability to work with potential customers to design a custom solution for their specific problem.

That’s what your business actually does…

Truthfully, your service is a HUGE part of the solution but I suspect that you also work with your customers to take advantage of your service so that they get maximum benefit from it.

The best companies use this approach, and it add value to your customer, your business, and you personally.

Why?  Because when your customer reaches their goal…
…they’ll come back, and they’ll tell others about you!

Right now…

Where are you spending your time?

How much time do you spend every week focused exclusively on getting new clients?  On making sales?

A few hours.  An afternoon.  Tuesdays.  But, are focused on some set-aside time that’s dedicated on generating new clients?

Every week we waste more time worried about social shares, likes and comments, and general email than we dedicate on the only thing that will actually grow your business…sales.

Virtually every small business owner that I talk to tells me the same thing, “I love what I do, but I hate the marketing of my services!”

A quick google search shows 172 MILLION records that’ll help with “systems for your business”.

small business systemsObviously this is a problem, and we all know that the most precious thing we have is our time.

So you are not alone in need to automate some of your marketing.

To use technology, and systems to leverage your time in support of growing your business.

Too many systems to focus on

As a small business owner, you have a number of amazing tools at your disposal.

There are products that for email marketing, lead generation, social media, content marketing, webinars,  and the list goes on.

However, for most business owners, most days are spent serving your customers, putting out the most recent fire, and then trying to qualify their next series of leads.

The extra time spent trying to figure out the best approach for your marketing automation is a bit challenging.

Building on top of that…

The thought of trying to learn yet another tool, and how to apply that to your sales cycle quickly becomes overwhelming.

So, being humans we keep banging it out with effort since we don’t know where to go to get the best return…

There’s no unicorn

Let’s be honest here, there’s no such thing as a single product that is going to do everything and those that attempt that approach end up with something that is neither good nor bad…just lukewarm.

It’s simply the way to frustration.

That’s not the way I’ve grown businesses in the past nor the way I want to grow my business now …how about you?

The days are long, and it feels like time is always in short supply.  I need to be efficient with my time and my systems.

If this sounds familiar, it might be time to consider some marketing automation tools that can do a lot of the work for you.

Why should you take the leap and use marketing automation?

Well, first and foremost let’s get the “manual” out of repetitive manual tasks.

One of the quickest and easiest places you can automate are the recurring tasks that take away small pieces of time every day.  These bites into your day affect you, your staff, and your customers.

The most important strategic goals of a marketing automation strategy are Increasing lead generation (61%), lead nurturing (57%) and sales revenue (47%).  – Ascend2 “Marketing Automation Trends Survey” (2016).

Many overwhelmed business owners have have started turning to tools like marketing automation to take the manual work out of repetitive tasks like lead education and qualification, content delivery and follow-up, Return On Investment (ROI) reporting, social media updates, email follow-up, and more.

I personally believe that every business can benefit from marketing automation, but you don’t want to try and boil the ocean.

Building one successful block upon another leads to success, rather than a big-bang approach.

Do you think you could benefit from marketing automation?  See if you see your business dealing with just five of the pain points I have highlighted.

You use a seminar, webinar, or consultation as a key part of your sales cycle

If you have a webinar, seminar, or consultation as part of your sales cycles, then you likely have some baseline content that you cover.  It may be explaining how a product or service works, educational background, dealing with a complex subject, explaining how your solution matters to your client, FAQ, features and benefits, common objections, etc.

For many businesses, this is a fairly substantial amount of material.

The opportunity to present this material to your potential client, through multiple media channels (such as email, articles, and video) is one of the best uses of marketing automation.

And, you can setup these systems so that they are behaviorally driven.  Meaning, that you don’t keep pushing a prospective client for a sale, but you educate and support their needs as they learn about your service.

This benefits your customer because you are helping them meet their goal, at their speed.

And, this benefits you in two ways:

First, it allows you to keep potential clients moving though a sales process (there’s that critical word again).

Second, it doesn’t take time away from you or your staff (if you have them).

You need to prioritize leads for follow-up

By automating your educational content, whether through video, blog posts, or email, you have the ability now to know whether a client is actually interested

Because…they told you with their behavior!

Now, the whole selling process has been turned on it’s head.  You’ve educated and helped that person, and now they are coming to you to receive the specific service you provide.

Once they tell you (with their actions), you can provide the next step in the process to further address their concerns, objections, and needs.

No pushing, selling, or adversary required.

You customer gets to know you, like you, and trust you; and you haven’t expended any effort yet.

Life is GOOD!

You don’t know where to focus to improve the ROI on you marketing efforts

Every business owner can pull revenue numbers.  But the ultimate impact to your business needs to go deeper so you know where to invest those precious resources: time and money.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • Do you know your conversion rates for each step of your funnel?
  • Do know know how much impact in dollars a change will have upon the key metric for your business, sales?
  • Do you know where you should focus your efforts in order to get more clients into the business?
  • Do you have a baseline established so that when you makes changes, you know whether to keep the change in pace or roll-it-back?

Being able to understand the impact of each phase of the funnel to the ROI, and ultimate profitability of the business is one of the key gaps that I frequently encounter when I talk with business owners.

It’s never a lack of desire to understand, but time, energy, and focus is on acquiring clients not refining and automating those campaigns.

Lots of opportunity here…

You have plenty of content available, but it’s loosely organized

If you’ve been focused on building your business online for more than about 1 hour, you know that you need content to capture clients.

This is the essence of content marketing.  This is the precursor to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

However, what happens when you have 20 different posts?  What about 50? Or, even 100?

  • Are your posts random content, or was there a strategic thought into it’s creation, message, and purpose?
  • Is the best content that educates and converts (as decided by your traffic, rather than someone’s opinion) readily available, or are you hoping that your prospect is willing to through your blog?
  • Do you have an opt-in that allows you to capture a prospect’s contact information when they go from casual browser to interested prospect?

Without a tool to target and communicate with your readers, it can be difficult to see the results you would like from your content creation efforts.

With a tool that provides content based upon a prospects behavior, not only are to maximizing value to your customers but you’re maximizing technology and saving yourself and your team staff.

The opportunity to present your content, that really addresses the issues your prospect is trying to solve in a way that helps them is invaluable.

That’s win-win (sorry for the cliche!)…

Your service isn’t an “impulse buy”…

…so many of your leads aren’t ready to immediately buy.

If you try and sell your service before your clients are ready, most of them will either leave or you have to push to make a sale.

And…it just comes across a creepy…

Many professional service businesses spend a significant amount of time, money, and energy to get potential customers into a consultation.

Potentially, if that person is still gathering information.  That’s not the best use of your time, and marketing automation can make a dramatic difference in this case.

If you nurture your leads, provide real value (education) to your customers, your business will be the one chosen when they’re ready to buy.


Using marketing automation, particularly automation that is based upon the behavior of your customers provides the best opportunity to prequalify your prospects, and increase your sales.

Frank Kern calls this the holy grail of marketing, and I agree completely.

Although we’ve ben developing software and automation tools for more than a decade.  The balance of art and science necessary to marketing well continues to be an amazing pursuit of excellence.

Enjoy the journey!

If you’re interested in learning how marketing automating can help your business, contact me here.

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