One of my pet peeves is being greeted by an onslaught of junk email each morning from vendors trying to sell me something I don’t need. I wish I could blink them away instead of having to relegate them to my spam folder.
I try to keep that feeling in mind as I approach our Marketing. I’m keenly aware of the lasting impression of every customer touch point, regardless of where and when those customers encounter our brand. One false move can turn them away forever: Our research shows that almost a third of customers will walk away after a single bad experience.
Even though we serve B2B companies, our clients are still people — who have similar expectations in their professional lives as they do in their personal lives. They don’t want to see dozens of unopened messages gathering digital dust in their inboxes any more than the rest of us do. Especially when these messages are from the same company, sent at random hours, on topics of no interest. They want relevant and insightful information when and where they want it.
"Clicking deeper into a customer profile via a marketing automation system offers a lens into how much benefit we can provide for clients across various channels"
Marketing automation software enables more personalized outreach. These tools have evolved from a clunky assortment providing automated scattershot delivery to a sophisticated array offering precise reach for industries, companies, and individuals. They allow us to create customer personas, cohorts and journey maps to automate a sequence of communications tailored to definitive segments. Each recipient can have the story unfold at an appropriate pace, in a way that makes narrative sense to them. This allows our salespeople to begin a conversation with a particular individual.
Marketing automation software can help us combine data and analytics in new ways:
1. Start with demographic and behavioral data, sometimes referred to as digital body language. Take into account the extent to which someone engages with materials, for example.
2. Combine with data associated with the person’s company — size, sector, growth trajectory — and that company’s needs, both challenges and opportunities.
3. Analyze the combined insights to determine what would work best for that particular individual.
This type of precise customer profile allows marketers to score leads based on both demographics and engagement. Clicking deeper into a customer profile via a marketing automation system offers a lens into how much benefit we can provide for clients across various channels. For example, have they:
• Opened or clicked through an email?
• Viewed a webcast?
• Visited the website?
• Clicked a tagged social media message?
No more excuses
These types of insights are particularly relevant when salespeople actually meet with prospects. For example, if we know that a target has spent substantial time reviewing our tax reform content, we can make sure that one of our tax reform specialists attends the meeting.
In addition to the precision these tools offer today, more opportunities will reveal themselves as adoption and the technologies evolve. Part of that evolution includes internal commitment throughout the organization to utilize the personalized data. Marketing automation champions must take the show on the road — to educate various internal teams about the benefits of these new tools and ensure their cooperation in replenishing the content and updating contact records.
These tools are only as effective as we make them. In this new era of digitally-enabled precision marketing, there are no excuses.