With technology moving at pace, the event highlighted ways that digital can level the playing field for smaller companies. Marketing automation is a prime example of how you can do lots, with little. If you missed Brendan’s masterclass, we’ve put together a summary below of his main points.
To get the full picture on marketing automation, talk to us.
Marketing automation is a generic term for software platforms and technology, designed specifically to automate marketing actions building a 360 customer view. This mainly involves repetitive actions such as social media and email marketing, where, to achieve the most impact you should be doing it again, and again.
Marketing automation does not mean you should sack your marketing manager. Marketing automation can help marketers to be more effective and more efficient as they tackle the ever-changing spectrum of duties. This ranges from traditional offline activities, through to social media and website analytics. The beauty of automated marketing is that it allows you to get in front of your prospects and customers online, where they shop, work and play.
Marketing automation supports overarching business and marketing objectives; attracting new leads, converting them into sales, building relationships and increasing revenue. Using automation techniques allows you to build targeted, tailored and responsive campaigns. You can easily and effectively engage with inbound web and social media traffic; send tailored content via email campaigns; run multiple targeted campaigns at the same time and gain a single view of your customer and their buying behaviours. A key benefit of automation is the ability to monitor and measure ROI and to forecast potential revenues – both of which go some way to satisfying the long-term conundrum of how marketing can prove its worth.
There are some key features we see in marketing automation techniques. For example, email marketing offers the ability to store customer and prospect records, automate a multi-touch campaign and set up work flow processes. We can use social listening tools such as TrackMaven to, well, listen. This is great for monitoring your brand – or that of your competitors – online and responding accordingly. Social sharing tools and social sign-ins encourage prospects and customers to connect with you using their social accounts, allowing targeted content to be shown.
There are many platforms available and most come at a reasonable monthly subscription rate. Basic platforms include MailChimp, Lead Forensics and Hootsuite. Integrated platforms include Hubspot, Marketo and Eloqua. In the main, both types can be integrated with your existing business platforms, delivering reasonably joined-up marketing activity.
Typically, you would begin the automation process by creating a workflow of the e-mails you want to send to leads and customers at different points in the acquisition – conversion – retention process. To do this, you should consider the different areas of the business and topics that might be of interest to your contacts. Then, build your targeted list of contacts ready to send the first email, which is sent once ‘triggered’. This might be by a site visit or when an online for is filled in. After a few days, it’s time for the second contact. Why not send a link to that webinar you previously posted on Twitter? This reminds the contact of what you are about, without pushing a sale.
Further into the process, you can segment your lists by email reactions, website activity and other behaviours. This will help you score and weight leads, to send more targeted and timely content. By this time, your lead should be familiar with your brand and what you do. It’s time to make the call and make the conversion.
Marketing automation doesn’t stop once the sale is made. Repeat business is extremely valuable so take advantage of automation techniques to retain customers. Cross-sell to other products or services, keep your customers updated with company news, invite them to events and send customer satisfaction surveys and include an incentive to return, such as a discount.
Marketing automation is currently a bit disparate. A marketer will still most likely be using several different platforms to achieve social, email and feedback automation, for example. Improved integration with other platforms and company websites seems to be the way forward. Our prediction for the next wave of digital transformation? A fully integrated marketing automation platform.
Get a head start in the digital transformation and get Grey Matter on board. We’re ready when you are!