Say “automation” and people fear losing their jobs to robots. But marketing automation doesn’t replace the need for creativity, empathy and understanding (not yet, anyway). It’s software that streamlines communication to customers and markets, and supports the marketing process with better efficiency, timing and access to data.
Marketing automation means you can use online communication to grow your customer base, nurture markets and develop relationships, in a more targeted and accurate way. Here are five reasons why your business needs it.
Scattergun – or hitting the bullseye?
Mass email marketing is a very common tool for businesses, but if you’re sending information to people who aren’t interested, you’re simply wasting your time, effort and money. Existing customers may get irrelevant messages, and potential customers burned by spam will send your message to the bin. So how do you know who’s interested?
Hitting the bullseye with your communications means identifying people who want to build a relationship with your brand. They welcome a connection with your business, will be more inclined to buy, and may be even turn into advocates later on.
This is where marketing automation plays its best role – nurturing identified leads, and developing relationships through content that’s relevant. That way, you provide the right message to help support a sale.
TOFU, MOFU and BOFU
TOFU stands for Top of Funnel, MOFU is Middle and BOFU the Bottom – your levels of customers are shown in this model:
The TOFU buyer has a problem and is looking for a solution. MOFU customers know about the solutions and are looking for the best one. At BOFU, they are ready to buy. Each audience requires their own type of communication, but doing that manually would be near impossible. You can get the right information to the right people at the right time, however, by using automation with workflows that control communication.
Orchestrate your marketing
Marketing is usually managed by a variety of people, each with different tasks. This worked well when marketing was less complex, but not anymore.
Imagine the sections of an orchestra as your different channels to market. The music they’re playing is your brand message, but each section is playing to its own beat. The audience would boo – or just leave.
This is how many organisations operate. They don’t have a CRM for customer information. One person’s in charge of content, someone else does social, and there’s a disconnect between marketing and sales; there’s no dashboard showing results of all efforts – an orchestra out of time, just creating noise.
A marketing automation platform is the ‘conductor’ that a business needs, to orchestrate all communications so a ‘brand symphony’ is created. If all your channels are working together, your audience is more likely to listen, understand your brand, and buy.
Automation and data
Marketing automation provides all kinds of data about your customers, that can be used to support your future marketing. The ability to collect this data, analyse it and use it to benefit your business gives you a competitive edge. However, you need the right type of data to provide the right result – marketing automation lets you collect the useful data you need to power-up your next campaign.
Market even when you’re not at work
In an always-on digital environment, it’s important for your communications to operate in the same way. With marketing automation, you can be constantly communicating with your customers, even when you’re home having dinner.
With so much interaction online, it’s important for your messages to drip-feed. People make between 55-70% of their purchase decisions before engaging with a sales person. Most of their research is done online – so you need to communicate with customers while they’re searching, often outside work hours.
Bringing it all together
Automation is an integral part of inbound marketing, attracting customers through relevant and helpful content. Using blogs, search engines and social media, inbound helps customers find you. According to Hubspot, inbound marketing can generate around three times as many leads as traditional outbound methods, for about a third of the cost.
Technology has changed the way your customers shop; customer behaviour needs to dictate where your marketing stops and your sales begin. And it can, through the use of marketing automation. You’ll be able to target your contacts and send them content based on their behaviour – giving them the information they need, when they want it.
Personalised and tailored communications that make customers feel valued, will grow their trust in your brand so that they’re more likely to buy. By easing their buying decisions, your conversion rates and revenue will increase.
To find out more about marketing automation and whether it’s right for your business get touch with the team at The Selective.