This depends on what you mean by “small”.
If you’re a one person company, or even a several person company, marketing automation may not be a good fit for you just yet.
(Bigger than that? Skip a few paragraphs)
It really depends on your ability to consistently allocate time and effort to marketing.
Do you have at least 1 full-time marketer on your team?
I’m the founder and CEO of a marketing automation company. We walk away from prospects that don’t have at least 1 full-time person whose job is marketing.
It’s not that using a marketing automation platform is a full-time job (at a small business). It’s about priorities and resources – time in particular.
If a company hasn’t prioritized marketing enough to make it a full-time position, they are not going to invest the time it takes to make hay with marketing automation. They may be short on the required skills and experience as well. It’s a square peg in a round hole.
I wouldn’t buy a hydraulic lift for my garage unless I planned to work on cars a lot. I wouldn’t buy marketing automation unless I had someone who was going to put that tool to good use on an ongoing basis.
So you have at least 1 full-time marketer on your team?
Lots of small businesses reap great benefits from marketing automation, even when they don’t have much content. Here’s how…
Sales Alerts
A prospect fills out a form on your website and ends up having a chat with sales. Seems like a good opportunity. But the prospect goes dark.
This happens all the time. It’s been 3 weeks since you’ve heard from your prospect and they’re not responding to your emails.
Let’s assume your prospect is busy as shite like everybody else. Let’s also assume you’re not the only option he’s considering.
Now, several weeks later, that prospect is back on your website, maybe poking around on your pricing page. But you have no idea he’s there.
Many marketing automation platforms can send you an alert when an active prospect returns to your site.
Why is this good? Because he also returned to your competitor’s site. Are you going to wait for her to reach out to you? What if she doesn’t? What if she reaches out to your competitor instead?
Activity Stream & Lead Attribution
It’s very useful for a business of any size to know what’s working. Knowing which of your efforts are actually driving results enables you to focus your resources to greater effect. Enough said.
Basic Email Automation
As I wrote just yesterday, the fastest growing marketing list you’ll ever have are prospects who aren’t doing business with you yet.
Not buying now doesn’t mean they’ll never buy. It just means that their timing isn’t right yet.
Even basic email automation (drip campaigns, lead nurturing) can help you build trust, awareness, and the impression that your solution is the best.
When their timing changes, make sure they’re thinking of you first.

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Michael Ward

I'm founder & CEO @NetResults, the 1st choice of people buying marketing automation for the 2nd time.