Following our previous Marketing Automation (MA) blog, we wanted to explore the use of MA a little further. We often hone in on the more technical aspects of the tool, such as email marketing, forms and web tracking. But while these functions are powerful for digital marketing, what happens for offline communications? And how can MA help marry up both online and offline conversions to demonstrate ROI and engage your prospects through their buyer journey?
In this blog we explain how MA can help deliver your messaging, regardless of the platform, across multiple stages of your customer lifecycle – driving your multi-channel approach.
While events are based on human interaction, you can use MA to power your event communications as well as your lead gen efforts. Using either in-app event programs or third party software you can mark invitees and registrants as attended, leading to automated follow up messaging. Alternatively the ‘no shows’ receive a link to a webinar or asset so they can engage with the materials you shared at the event.
From a lead capture perspective, you can push new leads into your marketing database, attributing the event as the original lead acquisition source, especially useful when it comes to proving event ROI stats.
On a more granular level you can identify a person’s level of interaction at your event (eg. identifying who visited your booth, or requested a follow up) by using program statuses or tags. This can help determine a true success measure, scoring higher for those who demonstrate real interest and tailor your messaging to become more targeted.
Many still prefer the tactile nature of a hard copy letter or brochure, but it’s challenging to see where MA fits on something that, at first glance, may not be trackable.
Depending on your MA platform, you should be able to integrate with a print provider who has an API service that means you can trigger, track and automate a multi-channel journey for your targeted customer. For example, after a phone enquiry from a prospect, your customer service rep flags a request for a brochure. They capture some details and using MA, you can trigger a request directly to your print provider, personalising the mailer with the contact’s information.
The SLA with the print provider is a two-day turnaround, so you can set up an automated follow-up campaign with wait steps, sending an email to the prospect as a follow up, or trigger an alert to sales to have a follow up conversation.
Whether you’re running ads on TV, displaying posters on bus stops, or running newspaper advertorials, they will drive traffic to other channels where you should be able to gauge both influential metrics and conversions.
If you use unique telephone numbers or personalised URL’s for example, you will be able to identify the original lead source through your chosen MA platform. You can provide different marketing journeys and deliver more targeted messaging based on the lead’s campaign acquisition.
If you want to go the full 360, when opportunities and sales are generated, you can determine a clear ROI on your media spend.
While we always state MA platforms are more than just an email marketing tool (and they are) it’s fair to say they are the bread and butter of marketing automation. You can track open rates, and click throughs and send your contacts on targeted journeys based on their engagement.
Using email you can direct engagement to other digital channels; watch a video, download an asset, read a blog, or register for an event.
Your website will likely be your main channel for marketing. MA platforms can track across your web pages by implementing code which cookies your visitors – both anonymous and known. You’re not only able to collect inferred data based on IP information, but once ‘known’ you can truly begin to identify who is looking at what content.
Through scoring programmes, you can use the web activity to weed out competitors or those who are only interested in careers, and pick out highly engaged leads with targeted tracking across key web pages.
A pretty nifty add-on is web personalization – You already (or should be!) personalising our emails, so why not your webpages? Serve engaging content, messaging and call to actions in real-time based on location, intent or industry driven data, converting more of the anonymous leads that land and abandon your website.
When it comes to mobile there are some facts we can’t ignore. More of us are using smartphones in place of PCs for online activity, and around 3.6bn receive SMS daily.
SMS is an ongoing discussion within the MarTech community; some love it some hate it. But with an average open rate of 98% (how’s that for your KPIs?) it’s worthwhile considering a 3rd party text messaging application if it fits in your customer journey.
If you have an app for customers to use, something like Marketo’s Mobile Engagement add-on is a worthwhile expense. Similar to the Munchkin tracking code for your web pages, you can track a user’s real-time location, monitor app activity and deliver timely relevant messaging and push notifications.
- Social Media
Social media is most likely already one of the main tools in your marketing stack. Social platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook allow for highly intuitive targeting when it comes to ads, but how can MA augment this activity?
Using Facebook Matched Audiences and services such as AdBridge through Marketo, you can collect a list of leads based on your specified criteria within your database, for example leads from a group of key accounts or unengaged/cold leads. You can push them into your ad accounts and use that list as a pool to focus on your paid social activity.
LinkedIn Lead Gen forms help directly convert leads without the concern for page abandonment. Directly serve your gated assets on social and eliminate the extra step or click an ad to go to a landing page to fill out a form. Either way, you’ll still collect all the necessary lead data you wish to capture.