Marketing automation tools automate the process of targeting “the right person, at the right time, with the right message”. Simply put, these programs can observe customer behavior and take actions based on that behavior.
Some examples of marketing automation include:
- You register on a website and then receive emails to welcome you and to help guide you through the website’s offerings.
- You have not visited a website in a while and you receive a message about a topic that interests you via mobile push notifications or SMS message that convinces you to go back.
- You begin the checkout process in an ecommerce store, but do not complete the purchase. The website shows you an overlay offering you a discount if you complete your purchase now.
1. The Right Person
Identifying the right person to target depends on great analytics. It requires data gathered about customers as they journey through your website, as they respond to campaigns and as they interact with elements online across all devices and even offline. The best marketing automation platforms can stitch together web analytics data with data from a variety of customer relationship management (CRM) tools, offline data, and third-party data to create rich profiles of customers. From these profiles, you can understand which customer segments are most likely to convert, and what strategies might be most successful to persuade them to do so.
For example, a customer searches for a winter coat in a fashion retailer’s mobile app, but does not buy. The retailer’s marketing automation platform identifies this user as a frequent buyer both in the online shop and the brick-and-mortar store. The next time the customer goes into the retailer’s store, the staff will be alerted that this is a loyal customer interested in winter coats, so that they can make helping him find a coat a priority.
2. The Right Time
With the right marketing automation tools, you can coordinate the way you reach customers across all your marketing channels. This means you can make email, mobile, display advertising, onsite, social media and even offline channels work together for maximum effect.
Marketing automation platforms allow you to build workflows that automatically execute your strategies of when and how to contact customers. This ensures that no opportunities slip through the cracks. The platforms use data you gather about customers to help you understand the critical moments in which you should reach out to customers, and help you optimize the timing of your messages for maximum conversion rates.
Returning to the example of the fashion retailer, the retailers’ ecommerce data demonstrates that online sales spike on weekends when the weather is bad. The retailer automates paid search and social campaigns to promote jackets and warm sweaters that activate only when it is cold and rainy in the user’s area. In addition, the marketing automation tool automatically adjusts ad content, keywords and bidding strategies for the specific hours when the weather-based campaign is active and when users are most likely to purchase.
3. The Right Message
Because marketing automation tools have so much data about your customers, they can also tailor every message to your customers’ interests. This personalization of messages could be as simple as customizing email messages, or it could deliver a totally different user experience on your website, with personalized text and image content, product or content recommendations, or design elements optimized for a specific client segment.
For example, a user visits a consulting firm’s website. Data about this user in the firm’s CRM indicates that this user is an executive in the insurance industry. The marketing automation platform serves this user a version of the firm’s website that has the highest conversion rate for executive-level users. In addition, it changes the text content of the pages and the featured links in sidebars to content tailored to users in the insurance industry.
There are a wide range of marketing automation tools available today, ranging from simple email marketing tools to sophisticated platforms built on machine-learning engines. Understanding the differences between these tools and choosing the right one is a major challenge. Amazee Metrics consultants can recommend the marketing automation tools that best suit your business objectives and your budget.
Are you ready to let your data drive your marketing efforts by setting up marketing automation tools? If you are interested in what marketing automation can do for your company, please send me an email.