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7 Ways Companies Are Using Marketing Automation to Drive Growth

Grab Life by the Marketing Automation.

As a marketer, I love the smell of fresh email in the morning.

Many companies have jumped on marketing automation; enabling staff to work more leads in less time? It’s been a good run and has definitely helped business grow, but some people are just so damn good at it.

A recent study on marketing automation by Ascend2 has surveyed 250 marketing influencers around the world. Their question: What are the most effective and difficult tactics for marketing automation?

Here’s the results.

most-effective-difficult-marketing-automation-optimization-tactics-june2018

Let’s break this down and go through each section.

In this blog post, I’m going to discuss why these marketing automation tactics are considered effective, and why a marketer would consider them difficult to implement.

If you’re completely in the dark here, be sure to check out my other blog post What is Marketing Automation.

1. Customer Experiences

What is Customer Experience?

Customer Experience is the complete feeling of interacting with a brand. It’s something that robots will never be able to automate, and is filled with those delight moments of warm heartedness, trust, and experience.

According to Ameyo and Garter, Customer Experience Management (CEM or CXM) includes “the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy”.

Disney is one of the best examples of an organization leveraging Customer Experiences.

Why it’s difficult to implement Customer Experience:

Implementing customer experience can be expensive. Many businesses spend years just figuring out how customers interact with their products; let alone the experience they have.

Building a lead-gen machine is more important than delighting and greeting every single guest (especially in the digital marketing world). That’s why implementing customer experience isn’t the highest priority for businesses. Generally, there’s more concern whether or not people are submitting their forms.

For those of you wanting to implement customer experience, start with your website and email flyers. Next, throw out some love to your cusotmers. Share random thank you notes on social media. They’re simple tactics (and relatively inexpensive) that can go a long way.

Our Recommendation for Getting Started with Customer Experience:

  • Make sure your webpages are mobile-friendly.
  • Have some fun with your email flyers.
  • Give some love to your customers over social media.

2. Personalized Content

What is Personalized Content?

When companies put more effort into their marketing communications and make them more personalized to you (as a consumer).

Again, in my search for a more credible definition of “Personalized Content”, I found a great article by Contently.com with references from both the Content Marketing Institute and Demand Metric. Their article reads:

If you go by the Content Marketing Institute’s generous definition of the concept, “content personalization is a strategy that exploits visitor or prospect data to deliver relevant content based on the interests and preferences of the target audience.”

Furthermore, Contently’s article includes a chart summarizing the effectiveness of personalized content.

See below:

personalized content report

Why is Personalized Content Difficult to Implement?

Personalized content is difficult to deliver because a lot of companies lack (1) the data about consumers, and (2) the insight of their behaviour.

Data About Consumers. Sometimes the only accurate data companies have about leads is their first name, last name, and email.

This means they can only personalize emails to include those fields, whereas some businesses would also know your state/province, job title, company, etc.

Assuming a company has an enriched contact record, marketers can leverage personalized content that relates to their goals and interests. For example, The CFO’s Guide to Marketing Spending.

Data About Behaviour. Alternatively, businesses struggle to understand the behaviour of their visitors. This is where website tracking tools come into play.

Tools like Google Analytics and Hubspot help marketers collect insights about website visitors. However, these tools can’t always determine what webpages anonymous traffic is viewing; therefore marketers are unable to provide customized and personalized content.

In an ideal environment, a company would know when a visitor has viewed their blog, browsed their products, and visited the pricing page. At this point, marketers could trigger a live chat bubble on the page, or a time-sensitive offer.

As this section states, it’s behaviour based.

Our Recommendations for Getting Started with Personalized Content:

  • Put a live chat widget on your pricing page; be conversational.
  • Include form fields to identify the contact’s goals.
  • Place hidden fields to capture information about the country they’re in.
  • Use a tool like Clearbit to enrich their record to identify company, job title, number of employees, etc.
  • Use the information you collect about contacts to offer them content that suits their interests.

3. Prospect Re-Engagement

What is “Prospect Re-Engagement”?

Prospect re-engagement means re-targeting cold prospects. Think of someone who refuses to buy a software because it’s missing key features the prospect desires. The salesperson marks the deal as Closed Lost, but months later the feature is available.

Instead of never re-engaging with that prospect again, the salesperson should reach out to the contact.

Why is Re-Engagement Difficult to Implement?

We’re only human. It’s not realistic to expect salespeople to remember every single contact in their CRM.

Secondly, salespeople follow the money. If there’s a herd of customers waiting to talk to sales reps, they’ll be focused on acquiring new customers; not engaging ones who’ve walked away.

Ways You Can Re-Engage Your Cold Contacts:

Configure your CRM to handle Closed Lost Recycling. Here’s what it looks like:

  • Determine which Closed Lost Reasons justify re-engaging the contact in the future (and how far into the future).
  • Next, build a workflow to send a reminder email to the contact’s owner (aka the sales rep).
  • Include instructions for the sales rep to review their record and determine if it’s relevant to re-engage.

If you’re trying to clean up your CRM, try running a re-engagement marketing campaign. This is a way to wake contacts up before you delete them for good.

4. Landing Pages & CTAs

What are Landing Pages & CTAs?

Landing pages are webpages that display an offer with a form.

Their purpose is to provide visitors with information about an offer, product, or service. In order to receive any information, you’re expected to submit a form.

Here’s an example:

Why Are Landing Pages & CTAs Difficult to Implement?

Some marketers have trouble setting up landing pages. Typically, landing pages don’t have a header menu so visitors focus on the offer on the page.

Some difficulties included with setting up a landing page include:

  • Copywriting that describes each feature and benefit of the offer.
  • Creating the webpage and placing the images and words on the page.
  • Creating and attaching a form to the landing page.
  • Setting up automation to ensure form submissions do something (lead to a thank you page, email an ebook, notify a staff member, etc).

Our Recommendation for Building More Landing Pages & CTAs:

Creating landing pages and setting up forms should be a routine skill marketers understand. If you’re unsure what to do, we recommend learning about landing pages:

Take Leadpage’s free Marketing Automation course to learn about the basics of marketing automation.

5. AI & Predictive Modelling

What is AI & Predictive Modelling?

Netflix uses AI and predictive modelling to build a list of recommended shows for you to watch. Amazon also uses data about your browsing history and recent purchases to suggest new products to enjoy.

Using artificial intelligence to rapidly monitor and interpret data is valuable for marketers. As an optimized practice, machine learning algorithms and AI would find patterns and data points amongst browsing history to entice someone to take an action on an event (purchase, view, etc).

Why it’s Hard to Implement AI & Predictive Analytics:

Implementing AI requires a lot of clean data. Furthermore, marketers would need to determine a wide range of specific properties they want to track about a person’s browsing history or app usage.

The data would require constant monitoring with algorithms to detect elements for predictive insights. Unfortunately, many business struggle to maintain clean data. The messier the data, the harder it is to implement AI and predictive modelling.

We Recommendation Starting with Alerts & Notifications:

  • Setup your marketing automation systems to monitor for unique behavior such as page-views for pricing, case studies, and more.
  • Create notifications that email or text managers whenever a contact triggers a desired behavior – review the contact.

If the contact is part of a company your business wants to engage, trigger action from your marketing department to intercept an personally warm the lead. This is a small scale version of a practice called Account Based Marketing.

6. A/B Testing

What is AB Testing?

A/B testing is the process for testing psychological preferences for consumers. Optimizely does a great job at explaining A/B testing.

A/B testing (also known as split testing or bucket testing) is a method of comparing two versions of a webpage or app against each other to determine which one performs better. AB testing is essentially an experiment where two or more variants of a page are shown to users at random, and statistical analysis is used to determine which variation performs better for a given conversion goal.

Why AB Testing is Hard to Do:

A/B testing often requires companies double their effort on producing new messaging, text copy, ads, landing pages, graphics, and emails. Collectively, it’s a large undertaking and many marketers prefer to stick with their gut feeling and not A/B test.

The pros of A/B testing pay off in the long-term, but for many small businesses, it’s too expensive and doesn’t provide a large enough return for their products/services.

Our Recommendation for Small Businesses: Don’t Do A/B Testing

  • Take a copywriting course and write descriptive details of your product’s features and benefits.
  • Look closely at your competitors’ landing pages and advertisements.
    • Make sure you compare your owns ads and webpages to competitors who are dominant in the space/niche you’re competing in.
    • Don’t compare your landing pages to companies that serve a niche outside of your own.
      • For example, Marketo is an enterprise solution. The people who buy it convert differently than the small teams who use LeadPages.
  • Don’t over-complicate the production of your webpages and emails.

7. Autoresponder / Drip Email

What is an Autoresponder or Drip Email?

In marketing we call them “email nurtures”. Essentially, it’s the automatic distribution of email that deliver carefully crafted messages and promotions that entice readers to engage with a company (buying a product, watching a video, replying, etc).

Email nurtures can be setup in advanced and help marketers run and manage campaigns. For example, after submitting a digital form, we receive a confirmation email. This helps deliver things like coupons, ebooks, reports, and more. Then, if applicable, organizations deliver emails that introduce new products and services that align with their goals.

Why Automated Emails are Hard to Use:

Autoresponders are a sensitive activity to configure. They require technical setup and high attention to detail. Marketers run high risk of automatically sending an incorrect email to thousands of people on a mailing list. This becomes a sensitive matter when considering emerging regulations like the GDPR.

Tips for Using Automated Emails:

  • Carefully segment your list using properties like subscriptions, interests, tags, and more.
  • Update your online forms to include an opt-in for marketing communications.
  • Personalize your emails and be authentic.
  • When building your email nurtures, layer in behavior-based automation to send more relevant content that moves leads closer down the funnel.

Conclusion

Marketing automation helps small businesses keep up in today’s busy (and competitive) world. Without marketing automation, using data to analyze your revenue operations becomes very challenging.

This blog outlined a few ways that companies use marketing automation and we included recommendations for activities your business should be doing.

If your business is getting started with automation, or you have questions about this blog post, please reach out to us. Our team enjoys helping businesses maximize their capacity and leveraging analytics in their operations.

Compiled List of Tips from this Blog Post:

Customer Experience:

  • Make sure your webpages are mobile-friendly.
  • Have some fun with your email flyers.
  • Give some love to your customers over social media.

Personalized Content

  • Put a live chat widget on your pricing page.
  • Include form fields to identify the contact’s goals.

Prospect Re-Engagement

  • Determine which Closed Lost Reasons justify re-engaging the contact in the future (and how far into the future).
  • Next, build a workflow to send a reminder email to the contact’s owner (aka the sales rep).

Landing Pages & CTAs

  • Include instructions for the sales reports to review their record and determine if it’s relevant to re-engage.
  • Creating well written information that articulates the offerings value.
  • Creating the webpage and placing the images and words on the page.
  • Creating and attaching a form to the landing page.

AI & Predictive Modeling

  • Setting up automation to ensure form submissions do something (lead to a thank you page, email an ebook, notify a staff member, etc).
  • Setup your marketing automation systems to monitor for unique behavior such as page-views for pricing, case studies, and more.
  • Create notifications that email or text managers whenever a contact triggers a desired behavior – review the contact.
  • If the contact is part of a company your business wants to engage, trigger action from your marketing department to intercept an personally warm the lead. This is a small scale version of a practice called Account Based Marketing.

A/B Testing

  • Take a copywriting course and write descriptive details of your product’s features and benefits.
  • Look closely at your competitors’ landing pages and advertisements.
    • Make sure you compare owns ads and webpages to competitors who are dominant in the space/niche you’re competing in.
    • Don’t compare your landing pages to companies that serve a niche outside of your own.
      • For example, Marketo is an enterprise solution. The people who buy it convert differently than the small teams who use LeadPages.
  • Don’t over-complicate the production of your webpages and emails.

Autoresponders

  • Carefully segment your list using properties like subscriptions, interests, tags, and more.
  • Update your online forms to include an opt-in for marketing communications.
  • Personalize your emails and be authentic.
  • When building your email nurtures, layer in behavior-based automation to send more relevant content that moves leads closer down the funnel.

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