So you have a website… a pretty good one. But driving people to the right pages at the right time is perplexing you. Your prospects are all at different points in the buyer’s journey; and it’s not as though you know them personally and can help them during a chat down the pub. So how can you take each contact by the hand and lead them on their way? A well-planned strategy in automated marketing… that’s how.
You mean a standard follow up message isn’t good enough?
Nope. It takes between 7 to 13 touch points on average for a buying decision to be made. A simple follow up email or even phone call isn’t enough. Business customers need more time and attention than that, which can be time-intensive unless you get smart. And this is where marketing automation, when done well, will reap you huge rewards. You plan a campaign. You carefully think through the stages a buyer has to go through. You work out how you interpret their responses in order to contact them with the most appropriate message next time. And you then press ‘go’ on the whole bang shoot and let it run.
And you mean my normal email campaigns aren’t enough?
Again, nope. Probably not. Automated marketing is all about tailored content, not scatter gun. And it’s also all about appropriately timed contact. So, with that said, what is all this automated marketing malarkey then?
In generic terms, marketing automation is an approach that enables marketers to streamline and automate marketing tasks to improve efficiency and return on investment. More specifically, though, it’s an approach that tailors the connection to each individual’s mind-set each time they are contacted. The obvious contender is email, and there are some great bits of software specifically designed for that. But other digital platforms which facilitate automated strategies tying in with a customer’s buying journey are also in abundance. So make use of them!
What are the benefits of investing time in this?
Ok, so to some this will all sound like a steep learning curve. And, in truth, it is. But turning to professionals who specialise in it for guidance and help is a good way to short cut that; because it is worth short cutting. There really are benefits.
- B2B customers often research first on the web…
…Which is great for introducing yourself, because they’ll find your website, but they’ll also find your competitors too. What you need to do is draw them in, in advance, and build a relationship with them. They need nurturing. Marketing automation is a great way to establish a lead’s preferences and then automatically contact them with content that’s relevant to their place in the buyer’s journey in the future.
- You can just keep in touch until they’re ready…
… Drip feed that interesting content, those top ten tips, and useful white papers. Stay in their minds and build their trust in your knowledge, products, and industry dominance. And, don’t forget, you can do this across channels. Email, social media, mobile messaging, blog posting, even snail mail. Automated marketing facilitates you keeping in contact in different ways, so that when a prospect is ready – and many automated marketing strategies constantly score their contacts in order to gauge when their sales team should step in in person – you can make that sale.
- You save so much time and improve RoI…
… Staff time can be dedicated to strategic development and superb content creation, rather than the churn – which can take place behind the scenes. Once a proper lead pops out the other side, the sales can take over. That’s a bit simplified, of course, but there’s a lot of truth to it. And this, in turn, definitely sets a campaign up to delivering a higher return on investment.
- You sell more…
… Because you are connecting with your potential customer in a way that means something to them. And because you’re doing this in a timely way, holding their hand and guiding them down the sales funnel, you will end up securing the sale.
Within your organisation, it has to be said that this does take a shift in thinking, of course. It’s not about reducing head count, it’s about improving turnaround times and return on investment. So if you’re new to the concept of marketing automation, it’s probably worth getting advice and help from an external agency to begin with, so you can learn the ropes. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel when you’re ready to jump on a new bandwagon. Instead, get it rolling as soon as you can and make the most of this malarkey!