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New Year, New Opportunities? Marketing Automation Can Help Retailers With Mobile

By Marissa Tarleton, CMO, RetailMeNot

Marissa Tarleton, CMO, RetailMeNot

Mobile has spurred the most transformative shift that retail and marketing have seen in sometime. Marketers are now able to measure more directly what consumers are doing on smartphones as well as how their behaviors may inform decisions across other channels.

"One-to-one communication with your audience on your app or website will increase conversion rates and incite return visits"

However, with an overwhelming amount of data resources—and an extremely complex consumer journey—it can be challenging to know which insights will be most effective.

Enter, mobile marketing automation.

Anticipated adoption growth for marketing automation tools and platforms is expected to be somewhere near 31 percent year over year between 2017 and 2019, and the businesses currently utilizing the technology are seeing strong returns.

So why can retail marketers look to mobile marketing automation for help in the New Year? These automation efforts can support scale while leveraging data in order to better understand consumers across channels.

More Efficiency across Marketing Teams

While marketing automation tools can’t do all the work for you, they do allow companies to focus on what’s increasingly important: balancing their marketing strategy between acquisition, loyalty and retention.

Automating mobile marketing efforts can help marketing teams work more efficiently, freeing up time from manual tasks. The focus can shift to strategy and creativity, thereby empowering brands to become more connected to their audience—all while still driving results.

Beyond just automating time-consuming, repetitive marketing tasks, these tools can help marketing teams better balance and optimize which consumers they want to concentrate their efforts on.

At RetailMeNot, we see over 23 million unique mobile users; by automating the data from our audience’s mobile actions, we’re able to better strategize how to turn casual users into brand loyalists.

Automation That Drives Personalization

It’s no longer enough for marketers to make business decisions based on what they think their customers are doing. Consumers today expect messages to be relevant and timely, otherwise they move on to the next thing.

One-to-one communication with your audience on your app or website will increase conversion rates and incite return visits. Even if your audience starts its journey on your app, that means serving up messages on a variety of channels, including email, push notifications, geo-location alerts, messaging and more.

Mobile excels in sending push notifications, in-app messaging and alerts, building user profiles, real-time analysis and more. Marketers are communicating in a deeply personal way with established users, which mean they can give consumers what they want, when and where they want it.

Marketing relationship tools can solve some of these issues by allowing for more deep marketing tactics tied to personalization. At RetailMeNot, we’ve seen tremendous success using automation, heavily oriented around engagement first and building one-on-one relationships with customers over time.

With Data Comes Power

Retail marketers are often looking for a better way to leverage data they already have. By employing the use of marketing automation platforms, they now have access to insights that truly engage customers and build a more robust relationship.

The power of this technology is being able to target and offer a relevant message or offer that users will enjoy receiving. If the insights captured are not used to market to consumers in appropriate and relevant ways, then the marketing messaging will be seen as nothing more than a generic or group blast. Retail marketers have to push beyond lumping customers into groupings—such as those based purely on previous purchases or categories shopped in—and push beyond surface-level personalization.

There are several essential data and insights components for marketers to capture:

• Channel data: How does your customer reach and communicate with your business?

• Behavioral insights: Who is your customer and what are their day-to-day activities? This can reveal essential demographic and action-based information about them specifically.

• Lifecycle: Where is your customer in the shopping journey? This allows marketers to see the user from initial opt-in to long-term loyal fan.

Of course, the most important thing to remember when collecting customer data is ensuring privacy and allowing the user to opt-in to which messages and information they’d like to share. Having the consumer be a part of the relationship may be the most powerful aspect to winning loyalty.

As marketers try to focus more on retention and lifetime value, it becomes crucial to not only have the right data setup but to find the right relationship management tools that allow you to really scale.

Relationship management technology and tools can allow marketers to move quickly in areas like one-on-one relationship building and automated messaging based on triggers that would never be possible manually. There is plenty of opportunity for growth in these areas, and now is the time to jump ahead of the competition.

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