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Automation is the key to marketing success

By CCIWA Editor 

Marketing technology – or Martech – is available in many different forms to achieve a wide variety of objectives.

The type of Martech your business adopts depends on your current software, and your internal skills and resources to effectively deploy and manage the technology – or you need a budget to outsource.

Analytics of user behaviour on your website, social platforms (paid and unpaid) and email marketing campaigns can tell you what your return on investment is and give you insights into how and when you need to change your marketing approach.

Analytic software for websites either comes with website publishing software or is standalone (e.g. Google Analytics, Web Trends). Social media and online advertising services come with easy-to-read dashboards that show a variety of user information.

If the goal of your marketing campaign is greater in-store sales, you can determine your conversion rate by using electronic devices that count customer traffic. An indicative conversion rate can be determined by dividing the total traffic number by the number of sales.

The following list includes some of the more popular types of marketing technology:

Automated marketing

Marketing automation software allows you to action repetitive online marketing tasks without intervention from your staff.

Digital processes can help improve soft-lead generation, relationship marketing, cross-selling, upselling, customer retention and information gathering on websites while automating creation of customer databases.

Examples include:

  • when a pop-up advertisement appears on a website that correlates with the subject of pages visited by a user
  • when a window appears offering a subscription to a newsletter or a chance to enter a competition
  • after a person makes an online purchase, the buyer receives a receipt by email or an opportunity to digitally rate the company or product.

The capacity to use automated marketing workflows can be part of a web content management system or customer relationship management system. Otherwise, you can employ a programmer to create customised workflows and web pages.

Blogs

Blogs are online spaces used to regularly publish information such as news about your organisation. They can also boost search engine optimisation for your website.

Your blog posts typically appear on a site in chronological order with the last appearing first and are sorted into a hierarchy of year, month and date.

They can be either a type of page that appears on a website or are available as a standalone application dedicated to blogs.

Customer reviews

The technology behind star ratings and online customer reviews is relatively simple. Both functions facilitate one of the most powerful forms of communication – validation and consensus among your consumers.

Ratings are also an important technology to consider because it’s particularly easy for consumers to create and publish a rating.  Star ratings can also appear on search engine results, helping influence your potential buyers’ purchasing decision.

Customer reviews provide qualitative feedback and allows potential buyers to understand the benefits or persistent user problems associated with a product or business.

This provides good feedback to help you improve your customer experience. Be warned though, it can also damage your brand if not managed properly.

Email marketing/e-newsletter

Email marketing allows you to send out targeted and personalised information in the form of e-newsletters and sales catalogues. It’s an effective tool to use as part of a long-term strategy to retain customers. It’s also a good way of connecting customers with your website and increasing inbound web traffic.

Email marketing software allows you to automate the subscription process online, customise the design of emails, allow users to unsubscribe from emails (a legal requirement) and create segmentations in the customer databases.

This software also gathers valuable data – such as open-email rates, bounce rates, click-through rates, conversions and if the email was on-sent. Data is typically presented in an easy-to-read dashboard display style.

Email marketing software is available as stand-alone applications or as part of functionality that’s integrated into a web content management system or customer relationship management systems.

Programmatic advertising

You know when you search online for a particular thing and then an online advertisement pops up shortly afterwards promoting that very same thing? That’s not coincidence – that’s programmatic advertising.

You can use it to present display advertising to people who are looking for related content on the internet and to target people who’ve visited your website or mobile app.

Search advertising

Otherwise known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, Google Adwords is an excellent way of getting your website in front of people who are preparing to buy the type of products you sell.

You can pay for links for your website to appear at the top of Google search engine results pages (these are the listings with ‘Ad’ next to them). So every time someone searches for specific keywords and phrases, their paid link appears at the top of the listings page.

The order of paid listings is determined by how much each business is prepared to pay-per-click (the listing with the highest fee sits at the top of the list). Every time someone clicks on a paid listing, the fee is deducted from the business’ total budget paid for a given period.

Social media advertising

There are a wide range of paid advertising options on social media platforms that allow you to choose particular marketing goals and specific audiences. You can advertise in various ways on all the big social media platforms, the most popular being Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat.

Websites

Many standard web editing applications come with a rich array of technology that increases your capacity to improve the online visibility of your business and products. Functionality also helps you to manage the relationship with your customers.

The availability of the technology depends on each web publishing product, but can include:

  • easy-to-set-up search engine optimisation of your site (including mobile-ready page designs)
  • the ability for web users to set up accounts and receive personalised information
  • automated marketing
  • the ability for users to interact with the site (star ratings and customer reviews as well as forms to streamline processes)
  • email marketing
  • integration of Google Analytics to gather data about usage of the site.

Webinars

Webinars allow a person to deliver a real-time online presentation to many people and facilitate discussion using different types of technology, including voice over internet, social media and text chatrooms.

They’re an excellent tool to not only instruct and share information, but also to obtain a better understanding of your customers through first-hand discussions. Webinars can also be used to demonstrate the presenter’s expertise and – if used correctly – to sell a product.

Free and paid products offer a variety of functionality but all use screen-sharing technology that allows the presenter to display different types of information on the audiences’ computer screen.

Most software also comes with the capability for the organiser to send out invitations and for people to sign up to the event.

Marketing technology – or Martech – is available in many different forms to achieve a wide variety of objectives.

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