How familiar are you with Marketing Automation?
At the start of 2017, automation is more of a mainstream strategy than an upcoming concept and yet there are companies that make no or only partial use of automated marketing because of misconceptions about what it is and what it does. We want to clear up a few myths here, because the question is no longer why use marketing automation, but how to leverage it in the right way for your organization.
Marketing Automation is only used for E-Blasts
This is probably the most common misconception (and misuse) of marketing technology. Email is only one tactic element. From the companies that use automated marketing, “59% say they don’t fully utilize the marketing technology they have today.” Most business automation platforms have the capability to integrate landing pages, gated content, social media, personalized emails, pay-per-click ads, videos and third party sources into client campaigns.
The strength of the automation platform lies in its ability to respond differently depending on the touch-point with your customer. It can be integrated with your CRM in a way that allows you to personalize all e-mails in a campaign. This means that a highly personalized email can be sent to a contact who has visited a certain page of your website simultaneously with a more generic email to another contact who you know little about or who has never viewed your website.
Marketing automation is also much more insightful than the simple email marketing we once knew. Today’s sophisticated tools examine customer behaviors from clicks on links in your e-mails to interest in product-specific pages, to language and location groups. Based on the user activity analysis, you can segment certain contacts into a successive flow of automated touch-points such as additional e-mails, high value content, retargeting ads, etc.
Marketing Automation = Set and Forget
It’s true that marketing automation enables you to schedule campaign activities in advance, but simply “setting and forgetting” is exactly the recipe for sabotaging a campaign.
Many automation tools offer robust functionalities that allow you to monitor and analyse data on the go. Cloud-based platforms release new features on a regular basis. For example, Eloqua rolled out a series of new UX enhancements last year. Staying tuned, and participating in product improvement discussions, is important for leveraging your automation software.
You should never “set and forget” also because your automation program can increase the size of your contact database dramatically. The more you know about your customers and their activities, the better you’ll be able to focus your campaigns and create consistent and relevant content.
Marketing Automation Ends After Lead Conversion
Experienced marketers know that the best lead source is the converted lead. According to DemandGen nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. So using marketing automation only for lead generation is a waste of technological capacity and marketing budget. Why not make the most of your martech?
Marketing automation is not only a robust lead generation tool. It also provides a platform for continuous conversation with your new customers. When integrated properly with your CRM, an automation tool will enable you to segment your converted customers from your prospects and create separate nurturing campaigns. Customer nurturing campaigns serve as two-way communication channels and compel customers to engage with your brand.
One tactic is to design a customer-specific nurturing campaign which features content on best practices using your product/ solution in newsletters, videos and retargeted ads. You can also use those channels to upsell complementary products or services. Automated campaigns are often used to promote exclusive customer events via email invitations which triggers follow up phone calls from business development representatives.
You will never see your marketing automation ROI if you don’t have a clear understanding of how to harness the power of your technology. Marketing automation is more than the latest hype. It’s a potent set of practices and tools that allow companies to communicate with prospects via highly personalized and relevant content. It guides your leads to conversion and transforms them into brand ambassadors.