As organizations grow in size and the buying cycle gets more complex, maintaining a one-to-one relationship with prospects and customers at every stage of the buyer’s cycle can be quite an arduous task.
It takes years to win a customer. Building a positive customer experience is not an overnight process. You have to spend a considerable amount of time and effort in establishing trust for your brand. You have to find ways to engage with the customers on their preferred channel at their preferred time, offer valuable inputs to deepen the engagement, continue the support even after acquiring them, and find ways to delight them continually to reduce the churn. Marketing automation helps you to plan these activities and systematically implement them to improve the customer experience.
Your customers live in a hyper-connected world. They switch between mobile phones, tablets and laptops seamlessly to complete various tasks such as researching a product, watching a series, shopping online, etc. You can create individual micro experiences for your customer, so they can engage with you whether they are using a laptop or a mobile device.
A customer might hear about your brand at a friend’s place, research about it on their mobile phone on their way home or read about it in detail on a tab while sitting on their couch. They may even forget about it until an advertisement on the TV or newspaper ad reminds them of it. They will research again, check the online reviews of your company on a laptop before buying it on their mobile phone or tablet while sitting at home.
Micro experiences are channel-agnostic, and they do not follow a set pattern. You have to combine data and content across various sources to create a consistent experience across all the channels. With marketing automation, you can integrate the touch points such as SMS, push notifications, and emails from a customer’s perspective, develop relevant content according to the channels, and send relevant content to the audience to keep them engaged.
Marketing Automaton is Not Customer Relationship Management
Marketing automation “allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows.” – Marketo
Customer relationship management is “A strategy for managing all your company’s interactions with current and prospective customers.” – Salesforce
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a subset of Customer Experience Management (CXM) and marketing automation is a subset of CRM. Marketing automation follows a prospect’s top-of-funnel activities like when they visit your website, open an email, read your blog, fill out a form, etc. Benefits of marketing automation include:
The ability to segment prospects into appropriate mailing lists based on past interactions with your company or their interests and preferences.
Lead nurturing functionality, letting you automatically send triggered emails at the time a person is most interested in your product or service. You can also schedule a series of emails in a “drip” campaign, so your company stays top-of-mind with prospects.
Once a campaign has ended, the system generates analytics showing how successful the campaign was.
Marketing automation helps foster leads and get them ready for your sales team. Once the lead has progressed to the bottom of the funnel to become a qualified sales lead (and eventually a customer), that’s when companies typically start tracking interactions with a CRM tool.
CRM software stores information including how long a contact has been a customer, past purchase records, the dates and notes of any phone conversations with a contact, a record of inbound emails they’ve sent to your sales and/or customer service teams, and more.
Marketing Automation Fundamentals
Marketing Automation focuses on the definition, segmentation, scheduling and tracking of marketing campaigns. The use of marketing automation makes processes that would otherwise have been performed manually much more efficient and makes new processes possible.
Marketing Automation can be defined as a process where technology is used to automate several repetitive tasks that are undertaken on a regular basis in a marketing campaign. A tool that allows an individual to design, execute and automate a time-bound marketing workflow can be called a Marketing Automation platform.
Marketing Automation platforms allow marketers to automate and simplify client communication by managing complex omni-channel marketing strategies from a single tool.
Marketing Automation assist greatly in areas like Lead Generation, Segmentation, Lead nurturing and lead scoring, Relationship marketing, Cross-sell and upsell, Retention, Marketing ROI measurement.
Gooty, Venu. How To Improve Customer Experience Using Marketing Automation. HGS Digital. March 28, 2019. https://www.hgsdigital.com/blogs/how-to-improve-customer-experience-using-marketing-automation
Dingeldein, Tirena. What’s the Difference Between CRM and Marketing Automation Software? October 11th, 2019. https://blog.capterra.com/whats-difference-between-crm-and-marketing-automation-software/