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Friday, January 22, 2021

Marketing Automation – Do a little or do a lot  

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has grown rather fond of a Friday night takeaway in 2020, it’s been my little treat to look forward to at the end of the week. I always preferred to eat out, but now as I look at my phone, I have all the delivery apps; Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat.  

Bing! I’ve got a text; its Dominos telling me I can get 50% of pizzas. That’s the third time they’ve text me with an offer this week (not that I eat a lot of pizza, I prefer Thai) but it’s this seemingly relentless marketing that has helped take Domino’s from the underdog to the top dog of the pizza world. 

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Domino’s went through its digital transformation early on, along with adopting marketing automation and are now reaping the benefits having revolutionised the way in which their business operates. They rely on software that is scalable; for lead generation, lead nurturing and repeat customer purchases to keep themselves in the pizza top spot. 

However, marketing automation isn’t just for big brands; but it can feel like a minefield getting to grips with it, especially if you’re a small to medium sized company. What processes can be automated and what are the benefits? Let’s take a look… 

What is marketing automation? 

Within your company there will be lots of repetitive marketing tasks; emailing, social media posting and ad campaigns, marketing automation means using software to automate these tasks. Adopting automation allows you to not only be more efficient, but most importantly enables you to provide a personalised experience for your customers. In a world where your customers are being marketed to everywhere they look it is vital to keep your audience engaged and motivated on their buyer journey. Automation gives you the time you need for the ‘fun’ creative stuff like developing your brand voice and video production, whilst ensuring your customers receive the exceptional experience they have come to expect. Ultimately, by automating your marketing processes you will; drive more engagement, create more leads and most importantly generate more revenue. 

What processes can be automated? 

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Deciding where to start can feel overwhelming but below are a range of marketing tasks that can be automated as a suggestion of where to start 

SMS 

Just like the message I received from Dominos your company could be automating this process. Hopefully, you have a comprehensive database of customer information; their name, age, address, phone number, email, what they’ve bought in the past etc. Using automation, you can create seemingly personalised campaigns by segmenting different groups of people according to their details; age, buying preference or even location.  

Imagine your company makes paddling pools and you can see from the weather forecast that a certain area is going to experience a heat wave this week. You can use marketing automation to target this area with promotions and offers based on their location. This type of marketing is called geo-targeting. Domino’s does exactly this; if it’s hot they’ll send out a ‘Too Hot To Cook?’ message and if in my case it’s Friday lunchtime and they’ve realised I order on a Friday evening I’ll receive a ‘Great Deal’ message, just in time for my end of the week treat. 

Email Marketing  

Who wants to send out 5000 emails? Not me! Instead of manually sending emails you can schedule them and just as above with SMS you can target different types of customer to create a campaign that feel personalised. Additionally, you can set up a system where an email is sent in response to an action, for example signing up to a newsletter. Once you’ve composed these emails your automation software inserts your customers name and takes care of the rest.  

Marketing automation also enables you to implement behavioural triggers. Have you ever been halfway through some online clothes shopping then been distracted? Then ‘PING’ an hour later you receive an email to remind you about the items you placed in your basket, this is behavioural trigger emailing.  

Email campaigns can also be generalised to suit all your customer by thinking about ways in which you can appeal to everyone. This can be as basic as days of the week, holidays or celebrations; these campaigns are great as a gentle reminder to your audience that maybe you haven’t engaged with further along your sales funnel recently.  

Social Media 

You’ve created an amazing graphic, written an informative blog post and captured your product in a photo; but it’s worth nothing if no one sees it. Promoting your material on social media is time consuming; but the fact of the matter is you’ve got to push your brand out there if you want your audience to notice you when they’re scrolling past thousands of posts a day.  

Automation software allows you to prewrite your posts and attach those all-important links, photos and graphics. You can schedule your social content to target your audience at the right time of day, throughout the week, ensuring your feeds stay active and eye catching.  

Marketing Funnel 

You’ve got a great list of customer details but now comes the dreaded task of organising it ready to use in the future.  Instead of wasting hours of administrative time you can have your customer data automatically pulled through your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or your email marketing tool. Using this technology allows you to follow up leads efficiently and hopefully close more deals.  

Reporting and Analytics 

Figuring out which of your campaigns have and haven’t worked is all part of the process. Trying to do this task manually using spreadsheets and then interpreting that data can take up valuable time. Sophisticated marketing tools can track your campaigns and generate insightful data to give you a 360-degree overview of how much revenue each campaign has generated, which campaign built most brand awareness and which allowed you to collect most new customer data.  

A/B Testing 

One photo may capture your product better than another. One promotion title may attract more customers than another but which do you use? These subtle differences can generate big results and A/B testing can help you make these decisions.  

You can use this test on a variety of features; photos, graphics, call-to-action buttons and titles. Your marketing automation tool can run these tests automatically and simultaneously, saving you time and enabling you to focus your efforts elsewhere.  

Let’s take a look at the statistics… 

Marketing automation users experience a 451% increase in qualified leads – this is no surprise. Studies show that businesses using marketing automation software are twice as effective in lead generation than those not using it. 

75% of email revenue is generated from personalised campaigns – one size does not fit all and developing personalised campaigns enables you to offer your customers a bespoke buying experience. 

85% increase in revenue growth and 69% in sales productivity are the top reasons to adopt a marketing automation tool – within your working week time is of the essence and if there is a faster way to fulfil your marketing tasks, do it.   

63% of businesses are outperforming their competitors with help from marketing automation – the advantages of using marketing automation, from capturing leads to measuring engagement, will ensure you stay ahead of game in comparison to your competitors who are not leveraging automation tools. 

Final thoughts… 

The key takeaway here is to automate. Even if it’s just a little; it’ll save you time, improve your ability to nurture leads, help generate repeat custom, build your brand awareness and of course increase revenue. So do a little or do a lot but be the Dominos of your industry and take the leap into marketing automation.  

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