Automated marketing is a hitherto lesser known (and used) marketing technique, whether in the e-commerce space or building a bond with customers and prospects for a brand online. And understandably so. I mean, the term ‘marketing automation’ itself sounds like a paradox. Isn’t marketing about building relations and brand awareness? Can these activities be automated? Won’t there be repercussions? Well, yes and no.
For the uninitiated, marketing automation is simply a tool which allows you to connect with and sell more to your customer. Basically, you nurture relationships and sell to potential customers through personalized techniques. This is commonly practiced by startups and successful firms like Amazon in the online space. It is gaining significance everywhere now.
Brands have noticed that the one-off interactions or e-mail blasts to customers are failing to make their way through the noise and grab customers’ attention. The increasingly self-dependent customer is looking for value addition and features which will save her time. Through clever (and ethical) data capturing methods and automated marketing, it becomes easier to reach out to the customer in a way she finds non-intrusive and useful at the same time. All this helps in building a relation and invariably loyalty with a customer.
In the hospitality sector, hotels are offering free WiFi to customers in exchange for some extra personal information. This information, in turn, is used to create value for customers and keep them engaged. For instance, a hotel may ask a customer to choose from her interests in a CRM tool. The hotel can then keep the customer posted about activities and events related to her interest in town through SMS or push notifications in their app.
This automated marketing can be used before a customer uses your product or service, while she is availing your service and even after it. For instance, for customers who have checked into a hotel and used the spa, an automated email can be sent a few weeks later. This email can include a coupon code which allows customers to use the spa at a discount. Thus, whenever the customer is in town next, chances of her engaging with you are higher.
Before using a service, automated marketing can be used to make a customer choose additional services. This increases the revenue stream for your brand. After a customer downloads a calling app , she can be congratulated for it and once again, recommendations of special offers or up selling options can be pitched. All this can be done through automated marketing.
The key here is to ensure that your automated marketing messages don’t appear like they have been pulled out of cold storage. The problem with e-mail and SMS blasts is that they lack personalization. The less you personalize, the more a customer or prospect disconnects. This not only reduces your marketing’s effectiveness but also impacts your reputation among 3rd party service providers. If your emails are not being opened, email services push your emails into spam, which further impacts your each adversely.
So spend time automating marketing so that you achieve 2 goals – add value to the customer and free up more time to innovate around your services. And remember to personalize it if you want effective results.