The Benefits of Hiring a Marketing Automation Consultant Jessica Lunk Chances are you use marketing automation, or are planning on using marketing automation in the near future. Emailmonday’s Ultimate Marketing Automation Stats found that, on average, 51% of companies are currently using marketing automation, with more than half of B2B companies (58%) planning to adopt the technology. While the advantages of marketing automation are clear (more personalized outreach, seamless follow-up, shorter sales cycles and more), there can be hurdles to getting marketing automation to work for you. Mapping out your sales and marketing process, creating enough content to feed your automation engine, and keeping communication personal at scale are all challenges. You may be investing in marketing automation, but are you optimizing your ROI? Hiring a marketing automation consultant can help your business squeeze every penny from this powerful tool. What Is a Marketing Automation Consultant? A marketing automation consultant is someone you bring in to help you set up and manage your automation software. Though the service offering may vary depending on the consultant you hire, most marketing automation consultants will: Integrate marketing tools into the CRM platform of your choice, or find alternative solutions if direct integration isn’t possible Work with you to develop automation strategies based on your sales and marketing process. Set up data reporting systems and other forms of tracking to make it clear which automated workflows are performing well and which need adjustment Provide expert advice on best practices so you’ll have a better idea of how your automated services should run Make recommendations as needed regarding automated services or specialized pieces of automation software With experience in implementing marketing automation across different businesses and industries, your marketing automation consultant will also have a significant amount of insight into how your marketing automation platform integrates with other parts of your business. For instance, they may have advice on the best payment processing software to use, or the best support ticketing system to integrate with. Comparing Automation Platforms If you don’t currently have a marketing automation solution in place, your consultant can be integral in choosing the best platform for your business. They’ll know which platforms have the appropriate feature set for your business, as well as which platforms will work the most seamlessly with other tools you want to connect to. Streamlining Automation Already have marketing automation in place? Hiring a marketing automation consultant can help you to streamline any existing automation you have in place. This can save both time and money as your existing automated workflows may not be as efficient or targeted as they really need to be. Streamlined automation means more precise timing, better targeting of different audience segments and overall better marketing performance. This makes all of your marketing efforts more effective, which in turn provides a solid benefit to your bottom line. Cross-Channel Integration If you have multiple sales channels to manage, your marketing automation consultant should be able to provide you with solutions that help you automate functions across all of them. Cross-channel marketing provides you with sales opportunities you might not have if you focus on each channel as a distinct entity. By integrating cross-channel options into your automated email campaigns and other marketing strategies, you can increase customer exposure across all of your channels. Increased Opens and Click-Throughs Email marketing, in particular, can be difficult if you don’t have experience with email campaigns. Upgrading from email marketing to marketing automation software can help somewhat in this regard, but bringing in a professional can really help you take your email efforts to a higher level. A marketing automation consultant will not only assist you in setting up your automated campaigns but will also ensure that those campaigns are crafted to get the greatest possible number of opens and click-throughs. Choosing the Best Consultant The big question that a lot of people have when it comes to hiring a marketing automation consultant is, “How can I be sure I hire the right person?” While different consultants may bring different things to the table, the most important factor that you should look at when choosing a consultant is how well they can back up their claims. Don’t be afraid to ask for references or sample metrics to show how they’ve increased sales and performance for other clients in the past. Most consultants will gladly provide hard data to show their effectiveness, giving you the information you need to compare different consultants’ offerings and choose the one that’s best for your business. Ready to start your search? Connect with a Hatchbuck certified marketing consultant to assess your marketing automation needs.