Marketing is as essential as sales in any company. More than revenue, marketing builds a relationship with customers. The sales process itself is one of the most emergent forms of marketing. Marketing is significant from the company’s budding stage through its growth.
While it is quite manageable to market to a smaller set of customers, it is quite impossible to maintain a 1:1 relationship as the number of the customer grow along with the company. Moreover, the company should be working in turning potential customers to new customers to returning customers.
New Customers to Returning Customers
Traditional outbound marketing methods, such as pushing offers on email lists, buying online ads, and aggressively converting leads to become paying customers, are effective in turning potential client to new customers. However, these techniques can push customers away after their first purchase. As the company grows, it is natural for an organization to make a significant effort in acquiring new audience.
However, turning leads into new customers is much more expensive than most companies anticipate. On average, retail businesses spend about USD10 for each new customers. Telecom services can spend up to USD315 to gain new customers. These prices are quite high for only 5%-20% chances of success.
On the other hand, 70% of companies say that it is significantly cheaper to retain existing customers. Studies prove that there is 60%-70% chance of keeping an existing customer into a regular spender. However, that conversion does not happen quickly.
Here are a few methods of turning new customers to regular customers:
Conversion Funnel Targeting
Organizations should pay attention to the different types of customers that they have and the stages that they go through. Each stage requires an appropriate marketing strategy. For instance, a potential lead may not respond well to aggressive call-to-action. Each funnel needs an appropriate method of engagement that will highlight your products and services.
Nowadays, customers and audiences are practically the same. Most are engaged in different channels such as social media, email, printed media, and more. Lead engagement is important across these channels even before they make a purchase. Consistency is necessary across these channels. An analysis is crucial at this point so organizations need to make sure that it is using its marketing and web analytics tools to its full potential.
Quality Content Generation
High-quality content, may it be videos, photos, or blogs, is necessary to grab the attention of any first-time customers. Moreover, the content should be engaging, shareable, up-to-date, accurate, and entertaining. Customer trust will increase if they can rely on your high-quality content.
Audiences will feel at home with a personalized content. While the company is rapidly growing, the customers should still feel like there is a 1:1 relationship through the content. As mentioned, analytics will play an important role in planning and developing content for specific audiences. Knowing what the customers want is a great advantage in making them regulars.
What is Marketing Automation and What Does it Do
With such substantial budget allocation, proper strategy is imperative to guarantee a maximum return of investment. Marketing is an expensive endeavor most of the time. However, with new technology comes a smarter way of targeting the audience.
Marketing automation is a system of technology that manages marketing processes across multiple channels. It includes automatic functions, such as email marketing, content launching, and more, involving several campaigns at the same time. Organizations can target customers across web channels, social media, email, text, and messages
Both marketing and sales personnel use marketing automation to streamline marketing campaign and sales activities for maximum efficiency and revenue. The system handles repetitive tasks allowing people to focus on high-level challenges of the business. Moreover, it can minimize human error.
Marketing Automation Can Do More
Just like any technology, marketing automation systems continue to evolve as techniques develop. Marketing automation can also handle lead generation, analysis, and measuring the potential return of investment. Moreover, it can get in-depth into evaluating campaigns such as time-saving and cost-saving measures. A robust marketing automation system should be able to scale along with your business.
The system should allow high-level of decision-making while taking care of the smaller things. That means you will not have to manually click “send” for every email, message, or social media post. It simplifies marketing efforts in a complex industry.
Additionally, a good automation tool should identify the audience profile, customer behavior, and demand. It should suggest the proper action based on the analysis collected from the customers’ actions. Also, scheduling should be native to any robust automation tool. An automation tool ensures that potential leads receive replies immediately before getting cold. Once the marketing campaigns roll out, the marketing automation tool should allow tweaking of the marketing process to increase potential success.
Marketing automation streamlines audience segmentation, campaign launching, and customer analysis.
Marketing Automation Components and Methods
Understanding what makes a marketing automation system ensures utilization of its full potential. The components of the automation tool should allow efficient execution of the marketing methods.
Major Components of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation systems are quite diverse. However, they share four major components:
Segments are the foundation of any robust marketing automation tool. It utilizes lists in some fashion such as potential leads, existing customers, or repeat buyers. Additionally, segments can be used to categorize customers in different communication channels, ROI potential, demographics, and product line. Campaigns can be directed to specific segments. More importantly, it will be easy to see which segments need special attention. Segments allow the development of a proper sales funnel.
Lead evaluation, also known as lead scoring, is the process of assigning a value to a lead based on their likelihood of being a paying customer. This is valuable data especially for the sales team to create a targeted campaign. Effective lead evaluation means the ability to nurture the correct segment. Time and budget are limited; therefore, it is necessary for these resources to be directed in the right direction.
Triggers are conditions that prompt specific actions from the automated system. For example, when a customer checks a product multiple times, the system may send a soft marketing email offering similar products. Triggers are starting points of the automated system. These will allow you to set a condition once and let the system automatically execute an action without further intervention.
Actions are the core of the marketing automation tool. Well-designed actions can convert any potential lead to a regular customer. Most of the marketing plans should be found in triggers and actions. Using the example above, sending an email is an example of an action triggered by a specific condition.
Methods in Marketing Automation
The seamless combination of the components and the methods in marketing automation are what a makes an effective marketing process. The traditional marketing efforts are still effective. However, modern methods in marketing automation are becoming more and more prominent in today’s market. Here are a few examples:
Dynamic content composes the bulk of most marketing campaigns. In the past, general content can reach a wide range of customers but they are not effective in converting potential leads to new customers much less into returning ones. Using segments, it is easy to identify which customers need personalized content to encourage them to come back. Moreover, lead evaluation can identify which segments are the most valuable. Marketing automation can manage the proper action to take when a trigger is fulfilled. In essence, marketing automation allows you to focus on producing more personalized content and the system will make sure to send them to proper customers at the right time.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing is a way to ensure that potential leads and new customers discover something new related to your company, products, or services. It can also help page ranking and online presence as it can turn dynamic content into SEO efforts. More and more people are using social media to consume content. Social media is an effective and cost-efficient method to continuously engage customers. A study showed that 1 in 3 social media users prefer customer care services conducted on social media platforms than telephone or email. The same study said that connecting with customers over social media costs only 1/6th compared to call center interactions. More importantly, customers spend about 20%-40% more when companies engage with them on social media.
Predictive marketing is the analysis of a large amount of data collected on a target market. Trends are then used to predict future market behavior which the marketing and sales teams can anticipate. Predictive marketing is still a new method of marketing. It is centered on data science which is an emerging field. Proper triggers can be set-up to spark the appropriate actions when the conditions are eventually met. While it is still young, predictive marketing can be one of the most valuable tools in gaining returning customers.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation contributes significant benefits to any company that employs it. VentureBeat reported that 80% of companies with some form of marketing automation revealed a significant increase in leads and 77% increase in conversion.
While several reports will speak for itself, Three Step Business lists three simple benefits of employing a marketing automation system.
Fast decision-making is the difference between a successful marketing campaign and a failed one. Predictive marketing allows data science to predict market behavior before the market acts. Being one step ahead of your customers and the competition is a significant advantage. Knowing your customers is the first step in anticipating their needs and wants.
Personalization is already mentioned above as it is both a method of turning a new customer to a returning one and a benefit of market automation. The ability to create an entire customer experience ensures active engagement. The combination of targeting the right segment, correct timing, and dynamic content in all channels available is a cost-effective and time-saving way of nurturing customers.
At its most basic form, marketing automation will save you the repetitive and menial tasks involved in the entire marketing process. It should automatically send emails, post blogs, and more without frequent intervention. The marketing automation system should allow you to focus on high-level tasks and problems which can maximize revenue.
Marketing automation is an essential part of any growing organization. The increasing number of customers should not deter any company from maintaining a close relationship with them. Moreover, the cost-effective and time-saving aspects of marketing automation is a significant investment.