MARKETING AUTOMATION - THE RECIPE FOR A PERFECT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
According to Salesforce's recent global survey, 57% of customers claim that they have begun buying competing products only because of a bad customer experience, and as many as 84% of them claim that it is important for them to be treated as individuals rather than as numbers.
Up until now, marketing departments have usually looked at customer experience only from the perspective of the campaign they were currently working on. But this way of thinking about this essential business aspect brings with it a number of constraints and leads to campaigns that are unconnected, inconsistent, and bring no understand of a larger picture of client relationships, since they only show isolated events and interactions. This approach prevents a quality overview of overall customer experience and results in campaigns that take up a lot of resources, but yield little to no response and conversions.
However, creating a customer experience is a long process. Along with quality data, what you also need for building the best customer experience are effort and time - that precious resource that marketing departments often do not have. This is why marketing automation is becoming increasingly more important. What is that actually about?
Marketing automation = a personalized customer experience at all times
Simply put, marketing automation enables direct, '1-on-1' communication with a client, at any point of their journey - from the awareness phase to conversions and building of long-term relationship (loyalty). Even though is sounds like a fantasy to communicate individually with each of the thousands clients you may have, automation allows you to do so without you having to manually press the Send button for each e-mail, text message, campaign or social media post.
The word "automation" suggests that such processes take place without human mediation and in phases - according to a predefined workflow and through multiple channels (e-mail, text messages, push notifications, ads and the like). The time period in which the automation platform will send a series of e-mails, push or Viber notifications to a client depends on the type of "journey" they are on, ie. in which part of the sales-marketing process the client is currently in. For example, if a client is only starting to get to know the company and has signed up for the newsletter, their journey will consist of several automatic e-mails that will familiarize them with the company - its values, products and/or services, blog posts, social media and so on, over the course of several weeks. On the other hand, if a customer has placed a product in their shopping cart, but has not completed a purchase, then their automation journey will consist of 2-3 messages to remind him to finish the transaction, in a shorter time period.
As far as benefits of marketing automation is concerned, are time savings, because when multi-channel, repetitive marketing process are automated, employees have more time for other activities of higher priority. The other benefit is creating a personalized customer journey for each client, depending on demographics and their interaction history with your marketing materials, which enhances the conversion/sales rate.
Who can use marketing automation?
To put it simply, all companies and their marketing teams that want to improve business results, increase their ROI and realize long-term customer relationships - whether they are in the B2B (business-to-business) or the B2C (business-to-customer) segments.
Regardless of their differences, because both segments have their specifics in terms of sales processes and marketing approach, some examples of automation work equally well in the B2B and B2C world - such as the welcome program for new newsletter subscribers or reactivation of inactive users. The point of discord is, usually, the way of realization of sales/conversions for B2B and B2C clients.
Automation for B2B clients – given that the targeted audience in this area is narrowly defined, with clearly defined phases of the sales process / journey, immediate or impulsive purchases barely exist. That means that, as a rule, making decisions about purchases is a longer-lasting process that passes through different phases. That is why automated platforms for "nurturing" of potential clients are very important. Exampes of B2B automation are programs that monitor the product life cycle (eg. renewal of insurance policies or contracts), on-boarding programs for new clients, and the like.
Automation for B2C clients – unlike B2B, the decision making process is much shorter here, which is why marketing automation is more focused on acquiring and keeping client attention and making purchases as simple as possible. Examples are abandoned web carts and reviews of the purchased product.
Why should you use marketing automation?
Above all, because it works. 🙂
Data shows how marketing automation brings concrete business results. According to the global Salesforce Relationship Survey (2017), the introduction of marketing automation to business processes led to an average 25% increase in marketing ROI. In addition, according to Nucleus Research, it also leads to a 14.5% increase in sales efficiency 82017, 21 Stats You Need to Know About Marketing Automation), which suggests that the traditional gap between sales and marketing is significantly decreasing.
Marketing automation enables you to control the overall customer experience that you provide to your clients, at all levels of interaction with your brand, product or service, whether we are talking about a hundred or a hundred thousand clients. By doing this, you will achieve the ideal of more satisfied clients, but also better business results.
Nikola Zubalj, Consultant, HSM informatika