Have you ever noticed how some brands are able to speak to you directly, provide you with information that is specific to your needs and wants and even refer to you by name? At first glance, it may seem incredible how some brands truly take the time to learn about their customers, however, in reality this is done through marketing automation – a phenomenon which is the latest buzzword in the digital marketing world.
Marketing automation is a big word that is understood in so many ways, however, when slotted into different digital marketing strategies, it helps the teams become more efficient and effective (and affective). In theory, marketing automation does the heavy lifting of nurturing leads. It gathers information and fires triggers to warm up potential customers delivering more hot leads that help close a greater number of deals.
This is actioned, for example, when a potential customer goes onto a website searching for a product or service. At this stage, the customer would be anonymous, but at some point, the customer will choose to interact with the brand, through a form on the website, live help, a competition, a social media interaction or similar. Marketing automation allows the brand to track this specific user – following their journey with the brand and helping the brand identify the user. The tool helps brands score the leads they receive, empowering sales team with the knowledge of who is where in their sales journey.
Once the tool, and the strategy behind the tool, has identified the customer – smart marketing, targeted at the individual and their specific engagement with the brand, can take place automatically.
For example – an automated email journey could be set up introducing the user to new service offerings, or giving advice on a particular product. With the correct strategy, the user receiving the information will think the brand has taken the time to get to know them and send them a personalised email – just for them. In reality, the brand’s marketing automation tool is having multiple conversations, with multiple users, with no human intervention.
If this tool is set up correctly, one could even predict website habits and customer’s needs – allowing the brand to personally welcome a customer to their website or allow a brand to start predicting when a customer will need a particular product or service and send the customer a reminder – before the customer even thinks of it – keeping the brand top of mind.
This automatic process does not mean your responses or emails become robotic or generic, the reality is quite the opposite. What new marketing automation tools have revolutionised for the marketing sphere is the ability to automate hyper-personalised customer journeys, saving the brand time and money. Having said this, it is not the easy way out for agencies, rather it is an opportunity to implement an exciting new tool into current and future marketing strategies.
Alon Berman, chief digital officer at Firewater said, “By utilising marketing automation tools and software, we are able to track each personalised journey and use the information that we gather to help brands along their own journey to sales.” The trick with marketing automation – just like with any other marketing material – is to understand your audience and pre-empt their responses to the marketing material that you expose them to. This is important because you need to ensure that your marketing automation is personalised, sincere and relevant.
“Everything needs to be personalised these days. Customers do not have the time to be spammed by generic content and quite honestly, if you are still doing this, your brand is becoming, if not already, irrelevant. Customers want to see their name there and have their interests and needs acknowledged. They are looking for direct communication not general information,” Berman said.
Marketing automation creates conversation paths for your customers. They may see a brand email and decide to click on the link – or they may not. This is where marketing automation becomes so useful. The customer who has not clicked on the link or email, will then be taken on a different journey to the customer who did click on the link.
Among other things, marketing automation allows a brand to score their customers based on their engagement with the brands content. “The ability to identify users simply from their interaction with a website or piece of content is revolutionary,” said Berman. “Marketing works best when it is specifically targeted and marketing automation helps us make this process simple, personalised and much more efficient.”
Lead scores degenerate overtime and when this happens the brand needs to make a move and alter the journey, which is easily done through marketing automation. The software also allows users to create dynamic landing pages so that when a customer visits the web page, they are greeted with content that is most significant to them, their journey and their lead score.
“It is so exciting for us because it opens up more doors. We have more options, more ideas and different platforms to not only offer our clients but to engage with the customer on,” said Berman. “If you have not begun to incorporate marketing automation into your brand strategy, then unfortunately you are running behind the curb.”
At Firewater, we have incorporated marketing automation into our strategies and are using it to foster customer relationships that are transformed into warm leads for our clients.
“Everything we do is with leads in mind. We can create the most beautiful campaign but if it does not reach our overall objective for the client, then what’s the point? Marketing automation helps us track and measure exactly what we are doing, so that at the end of the month we can say this is what we achieved and this is how we did it,” said Berman.
If you are looking to integrate marketing automation into your business strategy, drop us a message. We would love to chat!