4 Superpowers of Marketing Automation
When we think of the term automation, a lot of people think of that old, disconnected method of mass marketing. If you are only beginning to learn about Marketing Automation- it’s easy to assume that the term is basically an email marketing autopilot for your website. And frankly a lot of companies using some of the big-box automation tools like Hubspot, Sales Force and Marketo are under-utilizing the software both strategically and practically. But anyone who takes the time to look a little closer at the real opportunities that Mautic, and other Marketing Automation tools bring to their business, often find themselves confronted with a real epiphany. Marketing Automation is intelligent and personal.
Until only recently Marketing Automation has been difficult to use, challenging to figure out and lacking in core integrations with that ever-so-important arsenal of other resources your brand relies on for growth management.
Marketing Automation isn’t a magic bean you plant on your website that makes everything miraculously more productive. It’s a tool that when used with creative strategy, allows your brand to leverage more with less.
Marketing Automation is typically executed with an omni-channel directive. Even though automation allows us to see where a customer is in their buying journey, these campaigns are often based on segments of data. This data is used to nurture leads through the buying cycle based on insights from data that are constantly collected and cleaned to refine the customer journey experience.
But the buck doesn’t stop here. Marketing Automation keeps the customer warm with post-acquisition content, Up-selling, Cycle Selling, and Cross Selling campaigns to help drive revenues.
Automated interactions with different customer groups needs to be monitored. Strategies which might work one week aren’t guaranteed to work the next, and while automation software can give us data and insight into what is and what isn’t working – it can’t make the changes for us. (yet) Automated procedures, coupled with personal monitoring, are the way forward.
What’s more, we must understand when to interject with personal interaction; when to override automation and deliver assistance and support ourselves: one-on-one. Again, we learn this by keeping track of the system and by monitoring customer movements and actions.
When the situation has escalated beyond the ability of the automated process – for example, when a customer has a complaint, or if a costumer needs to place an unusually large order – this is when a personal approach is necessary. Partnering automated processes with a personal touch is how we develop the warm heart of marketing automation.
So lets explore Mautics 4 superpowers that make all of this possible.
Let’s talk about big data. Whether it’s structured or unstructured the value of data can’t be emphasized enough. Having data even if you don’t know what to do with it yet is a very important step. Data is always valuable, even years down the road. Some might argue that in today’s information age, data is one of the most valuable commodities a business can invest in.
Unstructured Data is the raw uncleaned byproduct of marketing automation. Collecting insights about how your audience is engaging with your on-site and even off-site content creates large enough pools of information from which you can eventually draw inferences.
That’s where Structured Data comes in. This is what we call actionable data. We can use this data to inform decisions. We can use this data to change vectors in our strategy or to improve administrative processes. This data helps us identify opportunities and even weaknesses.
With Marketing Automation you gain superhuman insights into the unique and specific behaviors of your audience. These insights are timeless and will hold value for years as you refer to them when designing new strategies.
There’s a famous story among marketing professionals about Target’s use of big data. In 2012 Target decided that they would implement purchase tracking campaigns that when structured based on 25 types of purchases would isolate customers that were likely to give birth in the near future. The goal was to predict a plethora of selling opportunities based on the common needs that mothers of newborns would have, and create new segments based on this data.
Well needless to say this campaign was remarkable successful but what Target failed to forecast was the potential drama this success would bring.
A man walked into a Target outside Minneapolis and demanded to see the manager. He was clutching coupons that had been sent to his daughter, and he was angry that Target was sending his 17-year-old daughter coupons for child rearing products.
As it turns out Target actually knew something the father didn’t yet know. In a last ditch attempt to save their reputation and hopefully overt a media disaster, Target representatives contacted the gentleman to personally apologize and make reparations. On the phone, though, the father was somewhat abashed. “I had a talk with my daughter,” he said. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of. She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.”
Big data can be very powerful but as they say, with great power comes greater responsibility.
You want to be able to know what your audience is doing no matter what portal or device they are using. From their first visit to your site as an anonymous visitor through to becoming an identified or known visitor, as a marketer you need to be part of this journey and that includes all the touch-points on various devices or your app. Being able to seamlessly deliver a digital experience formatted to be consumed through your users device preferences is just the tip of the iceberg.
With a growing emphasis on Cross-Device Identification technology (XDID TECH) we are gaining access to even more customer data such as location and App usage details. While Mautic is in its infancy regarding XDID integration there are XDID features such as “Fingerprinting”. Fingerprinting uses a probabilistic method clean data signals like IP address, Browser Type, Location and operating system. While it is not perfect, these deductive reasoning’s are proving to be very accurate.
This kind of omnipresence in marketing is extremely valuable for both insights and execution of your strategy.
If you have an MBA chances are you know what a Force Multiplier is. Force Multipliers are tools that help you amplify your effort to produce more output. In construction we might say a hammer is a force multiplier. But in marketing a force multiplier is Mautic or generally speaking, Marketing Automation. Basically by investing in Force Multipliers means that you’ll get more done with the same amount of effort. As a species we have been addicted to force multipliers for millenia, starting with the hammer, graduating to electricity and now in marketing – Automation.
As I mentioned earlier, x-ray vision gives us access to so much information. And all that unstructured data isn’t really powerful until we clean it and draw insights from it. This new structured data tells a story about your audience. Some of these stories are going to be similar and herein lies the power.
If you’ve ever bought something on amazon, you have experienced this process already. Amazon knows what products you’re likely to buy based on the collective buying history of other customers who have purchased that same product. Just as they suggest other items to you before you check out, the subsequent email you get is a form of cross selling based on big data. I don’t know about you but I always look forward to that after-purchase-email to see what discounts I can get on things I actually might want.
Now with some of my favorite merchants I expect an email. Godaddy is another great example. If I put something in my cart and then leave it there for a week. Godaddy will email me a discount. Thank you marketing automation!
One of the hardest jobs we face as marketers is understanding the consumer, building that customer avatar from the shoes up and trying to understand what motivates them to buy. It’s more than just understanding your own unique selling proposition or the common pain points that you solve in the market. Because let’s not forget we are selling to people and part of the reason they want to purchase from us is because of that feeling they get through personal connection.
This superpower is especially important for big-ticket sales. When you understand the individual steps a customer has taken along their journey you can market to a single customer but in an automatic way.
We call this superpower Telepathy because as we build our client profiles based on various actions and engagements we start to have an understanding not just of the segment as a whole but also the individual. When it comes time for a touch-point sales has the right information to understand or deduce what problems the lead is faced with and what answers they are seeking.
Getting into the mind of the consumer is still part of a bigger strategy and over time as your assets and content become more developed so too will your understanding of the individual based on their engagement with that content.
Are you ready to take your brand to the next level? Mautic is truly one of the best things you can do for your business right now. Nothing like it exists where you can access an entire community of developers working to improve and grow one of the most compatible, flexible marketing automation platforms on the market today.
So don’t wait – the best time to start your marketing automation strategy is …yesterday.