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What is Marketing Automation, Again?
We’ve talked about the goal of marketing automation and marketing automation solutions. We know that marketing automation is more than email batch and blast. But, let’s talk a bit more about what marketing automation is, both tactically and how reaching customers on a personal level can boost your marketing strategy.
Depending on your marketing goals, your strategist or marketing partner may recommend one or more of these tactics that are within the marketing automation umbrella. They work together in a trackable way to deliver actionable insights.
Account Based Marketing
When you have a targeted list of companies that you want to deliver a specific message to, we recommend account-based marketing (ABM). ABM has become a bit of a scary, high-dollar term. But, it’s really a classic sales model that can usually be done to some extent with your existing marketing tools. Sales people work via an ABM model naturally, getting to know the decision makers and the influencers and trying to motivate them to conversation or action. If you can feed that data to the sales person, they will love your campaign.
The goal of ABM is to get down to a “segment of one” where you are messaging individual users. The content to the users would include both the message you want their company to hear and the information that user has requested based on their digital body language.
Best to Use When: You have a conquest list of accounts you’d like to penetrate.
Trigger Based Campaigns
Ah, the holy grail of marketing ‘automation’ – automated triggers. Gartner says that “by 2020, buyers will manage 85 percent of their own journey without talking to a human.” Trigger-based campaigns are important. These touchpoints within a campaign can also be very flexible, allowing you to send the right message to the right person at the right time, every time.
Let’s say Eve is a customer who has visited your site before and reviewed some content that is top of the funnel – she’s in the awareness stage of her purchase. Today, Eve is downloading content. A lot of content. Her time on your site increases greatly. Eve is binging on your content. This is the perfect time to reach out to her. This can be done through a phone call from a sales rep, a follow-up email asking if she’d like to talk to a rep or if your business has a quicker, transactional sales cycle then maybe a ‘buy now’ sort of email is in order. The possibilities are endless. But, in order to trigger these campaigns there needs to be a good amount of behind the scenes work in order to track user engagement with a marketing automation platform.
Best to use when: You want your customer or prospect to get information immediately after they interact with you or your website.
Personalization and Customized Content
After there has been a specific behavior to trigger a campaign, the modern marketer must decide on what content to send. Consumers want content that is tailored to them. Irrelevant content drives unsubscribe rates higher.
What is a marketer to do? Simplify.
Take small pieces of the most relevant data and create or repurpose data to create personalized messages. It is better to have one article in a newsletter that delivers a gut punch than to have a newsletter with five irrelevant articles. Rick Carlson,
the CEO of SharpSpring says, “The buyer’s journey has shifted from a generic, seller-controlled process to a buyer-powered, self-guided tour.” In the end, technology won’t fix a broken marketing strategy or content that is lacking. But, it can enhance a solid strategy that emphasizes relevant content.
Best to use when: You have content specific to customer challenges.
APIs and Integration
Wait! Don’t stop reading. I promise not to get technical and geeky. APIs and systems integration can be a pain point for many marketers. I get it. And although technology can’t fix a broken strategy, sometimes a genius campaign strategy can’t be executed without a few “bridges”. We need APIs, or bridges, to connect data that is trapped in other systems that you own. Without that data, the previous magic of marketing can’t happen. So, find a partner you trust, and face those data monsters in the closet. It will make the difference between a good campaign, and a campaign that drives remarkable revenue.
Best to use when: You need to get data from another system to use your campaigns.
Because marketing automation capabilities are endless, it can be difficult to get a handle on a strategy and which tactics will support that strategy. SharpSpring reports that over 90 percent of companies get outside help to handle their marketing automation needs.
If you’d like to chat about your marketing automation strategy, we’re here to help! In addition to other marketing automation platforms, Simantel is now a SharpSpring partner and ready to get you started on your “segment of one” journey.