It is most definitely a scary time to be in marketing. The way people engage with companies has changed and so too has the way they buy. This means that a lot of the ‘traditional’ ways we market have been rendered ineffective.
In simple terms, we need to re-boot marketing. Now is not the time to lose your nerve; it is a time to get excited and to embrace change.
As marketers, we have never had so many tricks up our sleeve as we have today. We can profile and segment better than before, we can entice people to find us through social and search channels and we can engage and nurture prospects through every step of their buying cycle.
Marketing now plays a bigger role than ever before in generating business. It is an amazing opportunity for us, but we need to empower ourselves with the right tools that can make things happen. Out of all the tools available, Marketing Automation provides us with the greatest power. It can be the hub that enables us to do the things we do better, to do new and exciting things and to gain far greater insight into our activity. Let me explain.
Be slicker in what we do
Mass marketing no longer works in the B2B world – it is just more noise in a noisy environment.
To reach and engage a target audience we need to be laser-focused in the way we target and deliver the right message at the right time. This can only be achieved if we can segment our audience by profile, by preference and by recent engagement characteristics. Marketing Automation enables us to do this. We can target specific personas with highly targeted drip programmes; We can even adjust when we send them things based on their personal engagement history. We no longer have to operate in a ‘hit and hope’ manner. We can be much slicker if we leverage the full power of Marketing Automation.
Be agile enough to do new things
There are many things we can do now that were simply not possible before Marketing Automation.
With Marketing Automation, we can now track people engaging with our website, social and content before we know who they are. When they finally reveal their identity, we are able to piece together a comprehensive digital footprint and make our first engagement really count.
Customer retention is another great example of the new things we can do. Retention is an important area in the age of recurring revenues and because Marketing Automation enables us to track engagement or lack of engagement, we can use this data to benchmark and monitor a customer’s propensity to churn. When we spot churn potential, we can automatically take corrective action before it is too late.
Be more intelligent in terms of what we do
Historically, marketing has been activity-based and we evaluated our success at an individual campaign, event or lead source level. It is different now. Marketing’s job is to engage and nurture prospects through their buying process until they are ready to engage with sales.
Measuring top of the funnel activity is no longer good enough; we need to be able to view, measure and analyse the complete marketing lifecycle. What attracts, what engages, what progresses people through the funnel and what generates the greatest sales win-rates. Marketing Automation, especially when integrated with CRM, provides unbelievable levels of insight into what is working and what is not. All we need to do is unleash the power.
So why is 2018 the year to focus on Marketing Automation?
In simple terms, if you don’t, you are going to be out-marketed by your competition. But, if you pay Marketing Automation the attention that it deserves, it can be you punching above your weight in your market.
If you have not already invested in a Marketing Automation platform, now is most certainly the time to take the leap. Be cautious however, as it is not as easy as the marketing material suggests. You need to think long and hard about where you want MA to take you and invest the time in deploying it right so that you gain every ounce of value from it.
This brings me on to those who have already got Marketing Automation in place; I suspect that a lot of you are barely scratching the surface of leveraging the full power. Now is the time to take a step back and re-imagine what your MA solution can do for you and really put it to work.
Need a hand?
If you need to ‘be more dog’ with your marketing and would like to find out how, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a chat.