So you’re getting more savvy about your digital marketing strategies. You’re A/B testing your email blasts and collecting new leads on your website. But you haven’t invested in a marketing automation platform, or more likely: You have one, but you’re not using it to its full potential.
Salesforce, Adobe, HubSpot, Marketo — there are a lot of options out there, and the market is growing. More and more customers expect a personalized online experience. They expect you to monitor their preferences and behavior and help them quickly get to the content they’re looking for.
“Amazon and Netflix do it. Why can’t all websites work this way?” It’s a realistic question because the answer is that they can — and the solution for most websites is a marketing automation platform.
Hold Up — What Exactly is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is the practice of automating digital marketing tasks to create a more personalized and data-driven user experience. Marketing automation software integrates with your website to track users, collect data, and enable marketers to use that information to automatically deliver personalized or segmented content within the web page or via versioned email campaigns.
Here are the typical steps in the process:
- Capture user information (IP address, email, on-page behavior, clicking paths, etc.).
- Create segmented content and online experiences based on different audience personas.
- Deliver tailored online experiences in real time and create more relevant and effective email campaigns.
- Further leverage your new prospect and customer insights by integrating your CRM system and your sales team. (Sometimes you want more than a triggered email.)
Automation doesn’t necessarily mean you can do more with less. No doubt marketing automation can make your life easier and your digital strategies more effective, but without the proper architect behind the scenes, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. Think of marketing automation as a way to make your digital team more effective, timely, and in-tune with your audience.
3 Signs That You’re Ready to Embrace Marketing Automation
Sign No. 1: You’re tired of batching and blasting the same message to all the contacts in your database.
One size doesn’t fit all, and one message doesn’t fit all the contacts in your database. This makes sophisticated list segmentation and message sequencing one of the most powerful tools in the marketing automation space.
According to Campaign Monitor, marketers have noted a 760 percent increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. That’s because a personalized message resonates. It’s the same reason Netflix and Amazon have been hugely successful by tracking your behavior and offering up suggested products based on your shopping or viewing habits.
The Data & Marketing Association also suggests that segmented and targeted emails generate 58 percent of all revenue.
Arming your marketing and sales teams with a marketing automation tool enables you to drill down and focus on building strong relationships with your audience, clients, and leads by delivering the right content to the right recipient at the right time. After all, that’s what strategic marketing is all about, right?
If you’re looking for welcome-email inspiration, check out some standout examples compiled by HubSpot (D Custom’s marketing automation platform of choice).
Sign No. 2: You want to deliver more relevant web experiences to improve conversion.
Luxury car buyers don’t want to review your sub-compact model and, even when evaluating marketing automation platforms, marketing directors are interested in different content than their IT department.
Marketing automation solves this problem by allowing you to deliver different sliders, sidebars, and even complete web pages based on who is visiting your website. These streamlined, tailored experiences reward your prospects and customers with easy access to the information they’re looking for. The user experience is better and the brand experience is better.
It pays to know your audience: A recent report from Accenture notes that 65 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from a retailer that knows their purchase history, and 56 percent are more likely to purchase from a retailer that recognizes them by name.
Not totally confident which content each of your various segments will be most interested in? Let your marketing automation platform tell you. You can track user behavior on your website to build new personas or align existing personas with specific topics and content. You can also test different offers, blog content, images, and even headlines.
Let the data tell you what to do. After all, it’s what your customers are asking for.
Sign No. 3: Your sales team is starting to ask what content and web pages are most popular. They also want to know if any of their hottest prospects have visited the website recently.
Have you ever received a sales call within minutes of providing your contact information on a website? How about a month later when you went back to the website to check on a product feature or service offering? Most marketing automation platforms can be integrated with CRM systems to provide your sales team with real-time information about their leads.
As a marketer, I also want to know what stage of the purchase cycle website visitors are currently navigating. If sales just sent someone a proposal, then that changes the content I want them to see online. I’m going to focus on content that will complement the proposal. Maybe it’s a specific customer testimonial or other third-party content that builds confidence and helps close the sale.
Better integration between sales and marketing ensures a more seamless and rewarding experience for prospects and customers. Today, more than 90 percent of the purchase cycle is often conducted online prior to engaging sales. Don’t you want that huge handoff to be perfect? Not only does the customer experience improve, but so does your lead scoring. And both drive better conversion.
If you’d like D Custom to take a look at your website and content marketing strategies, sign up for a free digital content marketing audit. We’ll include observations about your website, content, and how you can use tools like marketing automation to help build a better relationship with your audience.