Gone are the days when marketing was a mundane task. With the development in technology, new automation strategies are developed for everything, and marketing is not and exception to it.Depending on the strategies to be used, the budgets and many other considerations, various tools are developed to make this task more automated and fast.
These tools help to automate many common repetitive marketing functions like e-mail, social media, capturing leads for cold calling, etc.
- Defining Goals and setting KPIs
- Identifying Users
- Discovering Opportunities through a Drip Campaign
- Shaping the Customer Journey
- Executing Workflows
- Refining through Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Here we discuss the six most important strategies involved in making a marketing automation strategy.
Marketing automation can be used in many areas like customer relationship management, sales force automation, business processes, lead management, analytics, pricing, advertising, inbound marketing, etc.
For success, it is necessary to align the marketing strategy with the buying process. All automation strategies aim to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time.
All predictable and repeatable tasks can be automated, but in cases where human decisions or intervention is required, they cannot be applied.
Basically, automation strategy can be divided into 3 different groups:
- Automation sent pre-conversion, just to make potential customers aware of the product.
- Automation sent to the ‘would-be’ customers who are in a decision-making capacity. This can help them in making decisions about purchasing.
- Automation sent post-conversion, to gather feedback, get referrals and encourage repeat buying.
Having said that, let us now explore the six steps of a marketing automation strategy.
1. Defining goals
Having a clear idea about your goals is a prima facie task which every organization has to do, whether they carry on tasks manually or automate them. Software can aid in achieving the goals, but even the most sophicsticated software cannot set your goals for you.
Goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. KPIs should be set and measurable.
- Define your target audience
The automation system you desire to implement will not automatically define the audience, so you need to specify the profile attributes which you are looking for.
- Grabbing audience attention
After gathering and analyzing the data, you should be in the position to attract their attention and convince them that you are better than the competitor.
- Targeting actively engaged customers
With an automation system, you will be in the position to verify which customers are interested in your products. Later you can specifically shortlist them and generate sales.
- Omni-channel presence
As you are pin-pointing the customers with the help of all possible channels ie web, e-mail, social media, etc., you achieve a robust system that coordinates all these efforts and helps prospects become customers.
2. Identify the users
It’s important to segment and categorize the market depending on age, sex, education, area, etc.
Any marketing automation tool you use should be in the position to observe and track user activity. Setting up a CRM in this relation is of vital importance.
With the help of CRM, you can set your own pre-defined criteria for entry of the prospects.
For example, you might choose parents of children between the ages of 8 and 10 to present your innovative self-learning storybooks or any other study material before them.
3. Discovering opportunities through a drip campaign.
To turn your prospect into a customer, you need to create touchpoints in order to stay in touch with the prospect on a regular basis.
‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is what a drip campaign ca help to attain. Just like a drip irrigation system which sprinkles a little water on crops each time, this system should be in the position to send emails or create touchpoints to reach out to the hot prospects shortlisted from steps 1 and 2 above.
The main purpose of a drip campaign is to nurture prospects and make them ready for sales.
Drips take on many forms, such as;
- Educational drips: To educate your customers.
- Re-engagement drips: To retarget the cold leads.
- Competitive drips: To target a competitor’s customers.
- Promotional drips: To provide prospects with promotional offers.
- Training drips: To guide new clients about usage.
4. Shaping the Customers Journey
After the drip campaign, you will be in a position to judge what your probable customer looks like.
The next step would be to create different channels in the process. This is done by constructing flowcharts and decision making trees.
The user who enters the workflows can have multiple paths but it is imperative to have a clear entry and exit point.
Through this, you will not only be in the position to ascertain probable customers, but also ascertain the workflow which is not responding to our marketing efforts.
5. Executing Workflows
Once you have finalized the flow chart for the workflow, the next step is to integrate it into the software.
If some of your desired areas do not integrate with your chosen marketing automation platform, you will need to make amendments to your goals and plan or change software platforms.
6. Refining through conversion rate optimization (CRO)
No matter what technology or procedure you follow, if it is not going to help you convert prospects to sale, then it is of no use.
Improving the rate of prospects and pushing them towards buying a product helps to improve the overall ROI of the program.
Generally, this can be further analyzed by breaking it down further into three parts.
- User behavior and conversion metrics.
- Cost per lead metrics
- The workflow efficiency metric calculates the gap in entry into and exit from the system.
No matter what technology you use, the aim is to have a customer in mind and to provide him or her with the best shopping experience.
To provide the customer with the best shopping experience you need to follow all the steps listed above.
If you implement just one step, then you will not be in the position to get desired results.
Guest Author Bio:
I’m Chris Wagner, Head of Content @ HostingPill. I regularly write about Hosting, Web servers, and WordPress. I have more than 9 years of Industry experience.
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