How automated marketing can help
Automated marketing employs digital processes to improve soft lead generation, relationship marketing, cross-selling, upselling, customer retention and information gathering on websites.
The software can be used to automatically push target information to potential customers when they interact with a business’ website in certain ways.
An example of targeted information could include a display advert or a pop-up window inviting the user to enter a competition or subscribe to special deals associated with the content published on that page.
The delivery of targeted information is enabled by digital workflows that integrate with templates of information, images and page designs that are designated for different types of customers and online experiences.
We’ve all experienced workflows triggered by an online sale, for example. It usually involves an email inviting us to star-rate the product several days after we’ve made an online purchase.
Workflows can, in fact, be triggered by any number of user interactions with a web site. It can be as simple as visiting a certain page, downloading a particular PDF or, as mentioned previously, buying a product online.
Workflows can also be triggered by the movement of web users through a site. Automated marketing software can track the movements of each web user throughout your website to identify their interests. Based on analysis of that data, the software can then deliver the most appropriate pre-defined content to the user.
Workflows can end in many different ways. For example, they can end in a simple email to the consumer, thanking them for filling in a form, such as an enquiry form.
Or they can be relatively sophisticated. For example, a star rating given for a certain product can be automatically added to a database that displays other ratings for the same product in a business’s online catalogue.
Or contact details gathered from a form can be automatically added to a customer database for future promotions.
Another feature of marketing automation software is the ability to provide business with very specific reporting data that can help provide a transparent view of the return on investment of digital marketing campaigns.
Chief Marketing Officer of Perth-based Roobix, Martin Purcell, says this function fills a big need: “Businesses are crying out for meaningful data on the return of every dollar they spend. We talk about ROI all the time, but it’s often an espoused conversation because businesses don’t really know how that information is determined and quantified.
“Automated marketing provides business owners and CEOs with objective data that quantifies their return on investment for each campaign,” he says
Types of software
There are many different marketing automation systems. The best fit for your business depends on the type and size of your enterprise as well as current digital assets.
Some marketing automation applications come as part of bigger customer relationship management systems that offer a wide range of enterprise-type functions, such as project management, inventory and database management and billing.
According to Purcell, there’s never one CRM that does “absolutely everything”.
“There are some that do most things, from the customer lead generation, project management and billing. But, for example, they won't have specialist integrated events booking and management functionality.”
Others are stand alone and more specialised applications, such as events marketing and booking systems. Some can run side by side with customer management relationship systems and website content management systems.
Before you jump on board
Purcell recommends that prospective users do their research in regard to the usability of software and support by suppliers.
“Tools are also useful only if businesses have the time, knowledge and capacity to actually use them,” he says.
“Technology and training are not enough if you don’t have the capacity or time to develop your understanding of the technology on a day-to-day basis.
“And to get the best out of automated marketing, you need to be very specific about mapping out all the stages and scenarios of the customer journey on any particular experience with your organisation,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s better to outsource, so it’s important that suppliers provide a full range of services”.