Automation Nation: With Digital Marketing Experiencing A Revolution, Does Automating Your Lead Gen Process Make Cents?
As a marketer working in the midst of a digital media revolution, with a plethora of solutions to automate everything from social media and content syndication, to customer feedback and analytics…I find myself torn between embracing new technology for all it’s worth, to feeling a bit weary that all this automation might backfire and I’ll be forced to send my newborn nephew back in time to help conquer the automated systems that turned on us and now rule the world…
I digress. The questions that I actually keep pondering with every new automated product, service or process is…Is automation ALWAYS better? And if so, when is the right time to make the change?
It’s not that I’m lazy, you see. I just value tools that help me do my job better. Give me a new technology, and I’ll push it above and beyond what it’s meant to do. I thought about putting a nitrous pack on my Roomba, but nixed the idea when I realized my dog already cowers in fear when “Rosie” wakes up from her week-long slumber, and roams around my apartment, sucking up whatever bits and pieces my bottomless pit of a beagle hasn’t eaten.
Recently I was revisiting a conversation I had with a long-time publisher customer, and one of the main success points was a realized was a time savings of approximately one, 8 hour day a week, or a little over an hour per business day. The initial response when I presented this fact to the rest of my team was, “Is that all?” One of them pointed out that they spend more time in traffic each day. Others started comparing wait times at the local In & Out drive thru, saying they have waited anywhere from twenty to forty minutes for a #1 combo…and that didn’t include the drive time to and from work. Saving a customer an hour didn’t seem like much.
After some more friendly banter with my team about who had the longest commute, I couldn’t help but wonder, is there a “tipping point” when it comes to automation? When does an hour saved outweigh the cost of saving that hour?
If you’re bored (or just fascinated with numbers), you can research the value of an hour and find plenty of articles covering the average number of productive hours in a workday or calculating the value of your time.
The value of an hour:
|Salary||Hourly Rate||Manual Hours||Value of Time|
Calculations based on “The Value of Time” article and 260 hours of manual work spent on manual tasks.
If we look at $18 per hour times 420 hours a year, we’re only looking at $7500 worth of time lost, and while some might say when you’re talking about a company with revenue in the millions, seventy five-hundred is really only a drop in the bucket. Well, yes. But, when you dig deeper, there’s much more to the story than saving an hour or so per day.
For our customer, automating their process led to the following benefits:
- They’re better able to scale their demand program. They saw nearly 50% growth in billable leads that year, and without automation, that likely would not have been possible.
- They can speed up lead delivery. Instead of processing leads manually once a day, they’re now delivered automatically, meaning hotter leads to their clients.
- Their data processes are more secure. Instead of managing data in spreadsheets, it’s processed and delivered securely via API reducing their data security risks.
- The team’s time is freed up from menial, manual tasks and moved to more strategic efforts like campaign optimization and customer service. They’ve already seen a decrease in CPL with continued improvement expected.
- And while they didn’t mention it, it probably means less human error.
And all of this should ultimately lead to improved campaign performance and higher revenue growth.
Need more proof of the value of automating your data management process?
The bigger picture isn’t just about the time saved or quantifying that hour with a numerical cost – big or small. It’s a balance between the cost of automating the processes, where that time can be better spent, and what that means to your bottom line. When these factors are added up, saving even one hour a day can domino into hundreds of thousands of dollars of reduced costs, and/or an increased customer base and revenue.
Learn more about how Convertr can improve your demand gen programs by automating manual data processes.
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- Convertr Connect: Strengthening Platform Connections Between Data Providers and Receivers
- MarTech ROI. Can You Measure It?
- Report Builder: Putting the Power of Reporting at Your Fingertips.