December 29, 2015
In 2015, dozens of tools emerged to improve the marketing process. Existing tools were fine tuned and new features were added. As more and more businesses embrace technology and get better at leveraging its power, marketing automation will grow in both popularity and specificity.
Marketing automation is the use of technology and software to perform marketing techniques that would have otherwise been done manually, or flat out impossible. Marketing automation will present content and information to users based on their actions and preferences.
Automation can greatly enhance your company’s onboarding process through drip email campaigns and reminders. When a prospective customer takes a specific action on your site, such as filling out your contact form or providing an email address for your newsletter/blog, your MA software can send them an email providing one more call to action which will move them along in your sales process. The customization of this technology can be taken one step further by sending them another email in a few days if they have not yet performed the CTA in your email.
Based on the data you collect, you can tweak this process to send a different email at custom intervals until this prospect becomes a customer or is deemed to no longer be a prospect. You can also use it to keep your existing customers by providing product updates, added features and other useful content that will improve their experience with your product or service.
Other automation tactics are done right on websites. Amazon will make suggestions of items based on what you add to your cart, items commonly bought with items you are looking at and your previous purchases, all the most common actions people take on Amazon.com. This strategy capitalizes on impulses and state of mind in a way traditional marketing never could. It is the ultimate target marketing because it is not only targeted towards the individual, but it is targeted towards their mindset in that particular moment and their actual behavior.
For example, I recently purchased an office chair for my home office on Amazon. After adding the chair to my cart I noticed the “Frequently Bought Together” section of Amazon’s product page. This section suggested I purchase a plastic floor mat and a waste basket along with my chair. I already had a trash can so I ignored that, but my home office is carpeted so I purchased the floor mat because the chair had wheels on it.
This was a brilliant bit of marketing automation, like the candy bars at the register in a supermarket but customized to me. No Amazon employee sat there and watched me shop and said “Will, how will your chair roll on the carpet? You should buy this floor mat.” No. The logic to Amazon’s automated marketing program resulted in an extra $64.00 purchase that I would have not made otherwise.