Automation is technology in motion. It streamlines ongoing processes, not static features. In the case of marketing automation, it’s designed to move leads through your sales pipeline with as little friction as possible, carrying them through their buying journey with ease. That’s a benefit to buyers too; they have ready access to the answers they need at every step of the process with nurture programs geared to their progress toward a buying decision.
In a largely digital environment, personal attention matters even more. The digital experience is often removed from individual attention, but marketing automation systems have built-in ways for knowledgeable staff to step in and provide guidance if the automated content flow doesn’t provide a ready solution to leads.
Here’s how marketing automation provides the motive force for prospects without pressure, seamlessly integrating their digital experience into a tailor-made environment in which their unique buyer’s journey takes place.
Before you can appeal to your market, you have to know more about the people who comprise it. What do your best customers have in common? What are their pain points? What constraints do they have on their buying options? Your marketing automation system has a wealth of data about your existing customer base. It’s then able to use that information to set up meaningful audience segments that let you deliver customized service to leads as they enter your sales funnel.
Marketing automation excels at coordinating omni-channel campaigns designed to build brand recognition and attract leads’ interest. From digitally serving targeted ads to leads no matter where they roam on the internet to SEO for all your content streams, automation makes management simpler for you and more relevant to your leads. By building in an emphasis on relevance from the beginning, you attract the attention of leads who are already sorting themselves into the appropriate nurture tracks even before you’ve captured their information.
You have their attention; now it’s time to move to the next step and capture their data. Collecting demographic and firmographic data with ease is a fundamental part of what a marketing automation system does. With custom-built order forms and preference pages, you can prioritize the information you consider most essential. Once you’ve captured leads’ information, expand on what you know with data enhancement that fills in additional account data accurately.
Nurture programs build a digital world around your lead – one that’s made to suit that lead’s needs precisely. The heart of a marketing automation system is its ability to provide individualized service to an audience of any size, and nurture programs define how that happens. Most marketing automation platforms also allow you to customize nurture flows, adding to them as you develop more content and streamlining them as your prospects’ content needs change.
Every journey has a destination. The ultimate goal of nurture programs is to help leads arrive at a buying decision. Automation lets you see conversion rates as part of a larger picture, identifying which aspects of your marketing strategy work and which need fine-tuning.
Marketing automation technology is often seen as a lead-gen and campaign management tool, but it’s equally adept at customer retention. The same tools that gave your leads personalized service as they made their buying decisions now help you see where you can meet their other needs through up-selling and cross-selling. Retention records become a part of your automation software’s history, allowing you to begin your next campaign with even better and more complete data for the next sales cycle.
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