You and your customers receive on average 123 emails per day, making it increasingly difficult to get through the information clutter. Imagine, however, attending a webinar on Food Safety regulations and receiving a useful template for your business within minutes after it is completed? Chances are high you’d open it and be grateful for the thoughtful gesture. Why? – Because it is relevant and timely.
This is what marketing automation is about – delivering relevant content to prospects in a timely manner, and answering their questions at hand. Marketing automation, per se, is a software that helps marketers maintain personalized dialogue with prospects and customers to move them forward along their purchasing journey. As with any tool, it is only as good as the person or team who uses it.
Talking to numerous prospects and clients alike, we uncovered a lot of frustration and unmet expectations among the companies employing marketing automation.
Some view it as an overcomplicated email blast system, while others struggle with CRM integration or data quality. We, in the meantime, see the main area for improvement as the quality of content.
Six steps to make the best of marketing automation through high-quality content:
The first step on your marketing automation journey should be a deep understanding of your audience, their needs, questions and desired solutions.
Create your detailed personas, use google keyword analysis, conduct a survey and ask your sales people to list frequently asked questions. Match the most popular topics with your company’s unique selling points (USPs) and the technologies you’d like to promote – you’ve got yourself a content map for the next 12 months. Repeat the process as often as required.
While many of your marketing efforts are aimed at getting as many sales leads as possible, make sure that you only “charge” contact details for highly relevant and quality content that cannot be found anywhere else for free. Gated content that generated brilliant results for us in the past include white papers, webinars, E-books and templates. Other high-conversion calls-to-action were free trade show tickets, physical samples, expert workshops and exclusive facility visits. It is always useful to brainstorm with sales and management teams.
The last thing you want is to spam your customer database with content that is not relevant for or helpful for their applications. Seek advice from trade media, associations and strategic marketing firms to seek counsel and advice on how to build prospect databases.
Modern-day consumers expect to see a tailored page on Amazon and other B2C sites. Why should their work/business experience be different?
Old-fashioned email blasts and most B2B websites don’t take into consideration the level of customer engagement with brands (awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty or advocacy). Business-to business should also provide a dynamic, user experience.
Marketing automation strategies trigger relevant and helpful communications when a prospect interacts with a brand or service.
As mentioned above, relevant content received right after a themed webinar is more likely to be opened than a Tuesday morning email blast with the same attachment.
It is five times more expensive to attract new customers than to keep and grow existing ones.
Marketing automation can help you cross-sell and up-sell by providing relevant and timely content, interacting with your customers on their terms and boosting engagement.
Last but not least, don’t ignore measurement tools offered by marketing automation. A/B testing, easy landing page creation for each campaign as well as multiple calls to action allow you to understand your audience and what works for them better every day.
Measuring results regularly and optimizing accordingly can lower cost per lead by up to 33%, according to Marketo data.
Experience shows that marketing automation software doesn’t guarantee success. Consistency and content do!
With over 35 years of experience in strategic B2B communications, ABI helps companies globally to enhance marketing automation performance, reduce sales cycles and discover new opportunities faster
Get in touch to learn more.