Recently, I wrote a blog post, “5 Things You Should Consider Before Purchasing Marketing Automation”. Since then, I’ve had numerous follow-up conversations from customers, colleagues, and friends that were considering marketing automation but wanted to know why they should use it within their organization.
Reports of automation adoption is projected to hit 50% by the year 2015, which means that over the coming years many of you will begin using marketing automation.
In the past eight years, I've evaluated, purchased, implemented, and used over ten different email marketing and marketing automation platforms. Here are a few suggestions how your organization should be using marketing automation.
1. Predicting long-term value and identifying prime cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
A prerequisite to effective targeting is a more complete understanding of your customers, which can be obtained through techniques such as defining your buyer personas, customer profitability analysis, churn/retention analysis and behavior analysis.
With marketing automation you don’t have to limit yourself to simple demographics like age or job title. You can target leads according to how they responded to previous campaigns, or how they interacted with your web site.
Targeting helps answer questions like:
- Which customers are good candidates for cross-selling or up-selling?
- Are you recruiting high-value customers or low-value customers?
- How can I quantify shifts in behavior, predict long-term value and identify prime cross-sell and up-sell opportunities?
2. Sending specific messages to a mass database
No matter how large your target market, it is composed of individuals, with individual characteristics and preferences. Therefore, the key to effective mass marketing is not to treat your market like a mass. The more in-depth your intelligence about individual customers, the greater the effectiveness you will have with your marketing campaigns. You should be programming specific messages to be sent in response to visitor actions, such as purchase confirmation, key pages on your website, or shopping cart abandonment.
3. Nurturing your leads until they are ready to buy.
Research says that 84% of qualified leads are not ready to buy. I’m sure from seeing your conversation rates, you know that most people who visit your web site are just browsing – they’re not ready to buy. But down the line, many will be.
Capturing their information, with a piece of gated content for example, you can set up a series of communications designed to take them through the buying process. Based on their behavior, you can score prospects from “cold” to “warm” so that your sales team can allocate their time to the leads ready to purchase.
4. Tracking the ROI of your social media reach.
In 2012, a Satmetrix study reported that 67% of companies do not measure or quantify social media engagement. For B2B companies, this figure rises to 75%.
Many of the marketing automation software providers solve this problem by providing integrated dashboards, which deliver analytics across all platforms including social media campaigns. I like to cross reference Google analytics with the marketing automation reports to see consistency and accuracy.
5. Deepening relationships with your current customers
Obtaining detailed customer knowledge is one thing; effectively integrating it into future marketing campaigns is another. With marketing automation you can measure the effectiveness of a campaign against the goals you established and then use that information to improve future campaigns.
Did the customers respond, and if so, how did they respond? Did you achieve your objectives? This information is critical to capture, monitor and incorporate back into future planning phases.
Through this ongoing process, you will gain an ever more accurate picture of your customers’ wants and needs, leading to more effective campaigns over time.
If you're using Drupal, a simple install of a custom module can quickly integrate your site with most marketing automation platforms. If you have questions about integrating marketing automation with your Drupal website, feel free to contact us.