It’s all about the customer these days. I hope you will acknowledge that. It’s all about putting the customer first, or at least about making the individual customer the centre-point of your attention.
Easier said than done. Because who is this customer? How to engage with each and every customer individually? How can I build and maintain all these relationships? How can I lead each and every customer in a soft way? Can somebody help me?
Mass marketing will certainly not help. In order to make the difference for the customer, you don’t need to be massive or big, you foremost need to be smart and accepting. You have to accept that the customer is in control. And you have to be smart enough to track the customers’ behavior. Because, although the customer is keen on personal privacy and independence, he also wants you to instantly know him and to fulfil his needs, wherever and whenever he decides.
The thing is, when you want to make and keep all your individual customers happy you’ll have to look further than sales alone. You’ll have to reinvent your commercial organisation in order to keep your business up to date. Reinventing is a big word. Lets say you have to combine the strength of your people with the strength of tools that make use of the intelligence the customer leaves behind, as breadcrumbs. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where marketing automation comes in.
Advantages of marketing automation
In short marketing automation tools enable you to automatically track and combine all the breadcrumbs the customer deliberately or accidentally leaves behind on his online path. It allows you to effortless follow the doings of a customer during all stages of the customer journey. This immediately leads to a first advantage: your employees do not have to do this work anymore. But that’s only the beginning!
Marketing automation enables customer data collection from different online sources. Based on this data and the analyses that are applied automatically, every contact receives a profound profile. And based on this profile, and the customers real time online doings, the system responds with sending out personalised impulses and content via a particular medium – email, text, social media or web ads – tuned to the customers’ attention and entry point at that particular moment.
What content and when this content gets sent out to contacts, is determined by the interests and activities shown by the individual customer. These content enriched individually tuned ‘just in time’-actions stimulate your contacts to move forward in their customer journey. Examples of such an impulse could be a promotion price, attending a demo or a suggestion that a conversation could be interesting for the contact.
Automatically set up and follow up impulses
Marketing automation lets us – as the word says – automate sending out those impulse messages. This means that a lot of time gets saved, time that can be invested in contacts where human to human interaction is really meaningful. Furthermore, the system registers for each and every contact which automated actions or which content is working well, which works averagely and which sucks.
So, the technology also makes it possible to measure in a better way, exactly showing the impact of a campaign or an action. This has always been a major pain point for online marketers. It’s that incapability to demonstrate the utility of their own work that have made marketers the so typical first victims of cost cuttings. The beautiful thing is also marketing automation technology come in S, M, L and XL. So, you don’t have to spend big to sit at the table. Everyone can be a winner.
Refine your commercial approach
Businesses that have permanent access to the most up-to-date customer data and search behaviour of their clients are able to refine their commercial approach on customer size. The content and intensity with which what is being sent can be tuned to customer profiles and customer segments. Customers will not only receive the content in which they are interested, they will also receive this content at the moment when they are most receptive to it.
This is all made possible thanks to preferences by the customers, which are entered online or constantly left by them in their digital tracks. This data can be linked to all sorts of other big data available to your business. You evolve thus from a general approach and rules of conduct to micro and nano marketing, to end up at the segment of one: the truly individual approach.
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