On December 1, 2016, the Fair Labor Standards Act goes into affect. If you’re a small business owner with a marketing and sales staff, this means that regardless of how well you run your business, your use of that valuable marketer changes that day because of the Department of Labor Final Rule. Per President Obama’s directive to the Department of Labor, the low salary threshold for overtime regulations for white-collar workers will be raised to $47,476 (up from the current $23,660.) This means that more workers can be paid overtime when they work extra hours. If an employee is below the threshold and works overtime, he or she has a handful of options: receive a salary bump, get paid time-and-a-half, or have tasks shifted to avoid working overtime.

In today’s competitive sales marketing world, chances are good that your salaried marketer is working more than 40 hours a week. If their salary is $40K/year and they work even just 6 hours overtime per week, beginning December 1 this could lead to over $850 per month in extra costs (if, in theory, overtime is $30/hour, with 13% Federal taxes.) That may be a big hurt for your business, with no increase in your employee’s productivity.

Are there any options beyond spending more money or cutting back on work? Yes. Marketing automation is a tool with triggers to generate emails or alerts to your sales reps and sales leadership based on actions taken (or not taken) by the names in your database. It’s awesome for targeting marketing messages, to remind a salesperson about following up on leads, for prioritizing your leads (aka lead scoring,) and several other tools. Some options allow you to identify anonymous visitors to your website, regardless if the visitor submits a form or request. You’re able to create unlimited scenarios to automatically contact prospects and current customers. The next higher level of sophistication, Influencer Marketing, leverages marketing automation or other more sophisticated tools to target messages.

How much can a marketing automation tool cost? In some scenarios, you can spend up to $10,000 annually. If that doesn’t balance out the expenses incurred by the Fair Labor Standards act, there are less expensive options available. There are free options, but a good get-what-you-pay-for system may be ideal, costing under $500 per month for licensing and labor. If you’re thinking $500 per month isn’t much better than $850 per month, because neither cost was budgeted for 2016, you may be thinking too far inside the box. The statistics here indicate that nearly 50% of companies use marketing automation because it works, not because the Fair Labor Standards Act is prompting consideration.

With marketing automation, your marketing programs are more efficient. Your marketing person works less time, possibly spending time focused on better content and better engagement with your prospects and customers. With 100+ marketing automation tools in the market, consider using a marketing agency to select a tool, help you launch it and do much of the work. It beats choosing software based on a friend’s “just because” advice.

While not condoning or condemning the Fair Labor and Standards Act, if it pushes you to marketing automation, it can be a plus for your business. Ask us how. Zoom Design is a fine-tuned marketing agency that that consistently delivers award-winning graphic, website, and marketing campaign designs and implementation to medium and large-sized companies. Our work includes marketing automation programs for companies of any size. Find out which one would be the best fit for your business.