How long has it been since you logged into your Facebook or Twitter using a laptop? We are assuming that you cannot even recall the last time you did it. Well, owing to the digital transformation affecting the businesses as well as consumers at a rate faster than ever, everything is in your hand; just a click away! Not only this, with growing digitalisation, searches are happening through the voice medium more than the traditionally written word searches, which makes it imperative for marketers to get the best out of their marketing automation efforts.
For instance, companies are increasingly using ‘Chatbots’ to deliver unmatched personalised customer care services to their target audience. Though the use of chatbots has increased and their scope has widened with brands using them to cater to all their customers’ needs and queries, the question that still remains is – are we personalising them and making them more humanistic? Automating marketing processes is essential, what is more important is personalising them. It is vital to understand which marketing processes to automate to maximise the efficacy of marketing automation.
What is Automation?
It is nothing but using software and technologies for marketing efficiently on multiple online channels and automating repetitive marketing tasks. Automation is changing the digital landscape in a big way with technologies like mobile computing, embedded systems, among others, which is why marketers should be abreast with the evolving digital world to be able to use it to their advantage. Certainly, with technology advancing daily and becoming readily available to the consumers worldwide, it is essential for marketers to use the latest tools and techniques to reach out to their target audience where they are accessible.
While there are marketers who have been using automation to their advantage, there are others who might not have even heard about it! However, the fact is that every marketer and every business out there has been using automation without realising it. The question though is, are you using your automation capabilities to its maximum potential? Automation does not come alone. Several technologies like big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are evolving the digital landscape in such a way that we are seeing more and more digitalisation each day. Further, marketers have been using these technologies to a great extent in various marketing processes like sending out bulk emails, posting on social media, data segmentation, creating buyer personas and many other marketing tasks that are routine and repetitive.
The marketers of tomorrow know that to stay in the competition by retaining existing customers and attracting new ones, they need to not only automate their marketing processes and remain prompt and regular in interacting with their target audience, but also stay personalised. So, let’s ask you, are you using personalisation with automation? If you are, are you using it to its maximum potential?
If you are finding it difficult to answer this question, then it is time to work on your processes at the earliest because technology is evolving daily, and consumers are using it more than ever. This makes it imperative for marketers to exploit the digital world to its fullest and reach their target audience where they are.
For example, in countries like Singapore, more than 50% of their population regularly spends time on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat actively. According to a yearly survey, 7 out of 10 Singaporeans access social media through mobile devices, which is double the global average. Also, the speed of the internet connection is around 18.2 Mbps, three times as compared to the global average that is 6.3 Mbps.
The crème state of internet connectivity, its usage, and the number of social media users in the country are a testament to the rising need of using marketing automation to its full potential. It can be done by putting the best tools in practice to achieve marketing automation goals like sending out emails, publishing social media posts and other such recurring or routine tasks to attract and nurture prospects and customers. However, given some inherent challenges basis the nature of businesses, marketing complex, the multiplicity of customer touchpoints, and the way marketers approach their marketing and broader organisation goals – is wide and vast. As a result, marketers across the country have not been able to extract much out of them and use them to their advantage.
Marketing automators face various challenges, like budget, quality of customer data, knowledge of different types of automation, producing engaging content, integrating with other systems, measuring effectiveness, and analysing results. However, for every problem, there is a solution. To start with, you can create ROI-focused goals, understand your customers and buyer personas, align and integrate your business functions and systems, practise reporting and measure and analyse results, among others.
Studies show that nearly 85% of the marketers feel that they could benefit more from their marketing automation efforts. Therefore, we have listed the top reasons why marketers are not able to get the best out of their marketing automation tools.
1. Lack of Personalisation
While you must have started automating your email flows and other marketing content, personalising them is equally important. Certainly, you can reach out to a mass audience with a different message for each one out there, which is why practising effective segmentation of buyer persona is essential. It not only helps you follow the divide and rule philosophy, but also enables you to win their hearts by creating messages that cater to their specific needs, interests, preferences, and of course, demographics. Moreover, not only is personalisation important, but you also need to maintain a personal tonality in your message to let the reader feel that you are interacting with them one-on-one and that they are cared for. Automation and personalisation work in tandem and increasing automation is just a better way of personalisation.
2. Attract New Prospects – Right and Fast
Your email contact list is not here to stay forever; it needs to be refreshed and refilled from time to time. Estimates say that 25% of your email list wanes every year. It is not just the bottom-of-the-funnel leads that need to be attended; conversion is also essential at the top-of-the-funnel. Therefore, marketers must spend time in filling their top-of-the-funnel leads because it is crucial to continuously grow your email list by attracting new prospects to make your marketing automation productive and increase your potential leads.
3. Incorrect Message Timing
When automating your marketing processes, it becomes significant that you judge the needs and the stage of the buyer’s journey to help them with information about your products. As an inbound marketer, you must be aware of the different stages in the buyer journey – attract, convert, close, delight. Therefore, the content that you send across to your prospective leads, potential customers, and existing customers, should be able to cater to the stage in their buying journey.
4. Marketing and Sales Alignment
One the best benefits that marketing automation offers is the alignment of the sales and marketing functions in an organisation. If these core business functions are not aligned properly and are still operating in silos and individual work orbits rather than a cohesive business unit; it means your marketing automation has not been appropriately implemented. Therefore, to cover the lack of sales enablement, marketing, and customer services alignment with respect to business and respective function goals, strategic and tactical implementation of automation tools is essential.
5. Limited Use of Automation
Marketing automation is not just about automating your email flows and sending out timely email drips to your target audience. It also allows you to practise multi-channel marketing, send text messages, and automatically add people to your Facebook ad campaigns. What is essential here is that you do all this, but in accordance with the consumer data that you have received based on site visits, previous purchases, email responses or other such factors. It is critical that it should be used methodically and strategically to deliver the best results, to put marketing automation to its maximum potential.
6. Content Marketing
Content is the fuel that drives every communication, be it text, images, videos, or voice messages. If your content is not captivating enough, sending personalised emails, social media posts, text messages, etc. will not deliver the desired results. Therefore, to power your marketing automation efforts, you need to fuel them with appropriate content marketing techniques to drive sales, business and growth.
Many businesses within Singapore, and across the globe, have been losing on to a lot of investment on marketing automation software only to watch their efforts go in vain. However, if you are able to avoid the glitches mentioned above and convert them into opportunities for your business marketing processes, you will be able to notice measurable and quantifiable ROI generating results. Therefore, by making the best use of marketing automation software, brands can experience results and revenue like never before.
Automation is a technology that is empowering machines to do tasks that were once done by humans. If nothing else, it is making us lazier by enabling computers and devices to do the routine and standardised functions for us, sparing us on time, energy and resources. The idea, on the contrary, is to leave us time for strategising and planning our automation processes keeping the bigger picture in mind and making the most of automation. So, are you shaking the grounds to increase the efficiency of automation to practise effective personalisation to drive business as well as economic growth?