Marketers leverage marketing automation software to nurture their prospects into long-term customers with positive and profitable relationships. The fact is, however, this goal isn’t easily realized. Marketing automation isn’t foolproof, and many marketers are paying the price in wasted resources and missed opportunities because they’ve failed to adequately develop their marketing automation strategy.
Use these five insights to ensure your marketing automation program dominates, from creation to execution.
1. Plot the Nurture Path
Who are your customers? What pains them every day? How can your products and services resolve their problems? Collaborate with your sales team to pinpoint your customers’ biggest business challenges and create a roadmap of the typical “buyer’s journey”—for each type of customer.
The trick is to get inside the mind of your customers and understand their top concerns at every stage of their journey. Early on, for example, they may still be searching for competing offerings, while pricing, features and support may be of greater importance in the later stages of their journey. Plan how you can put the right information in front of your customers at the right times to address their challenges and guide them to the sale.
2. Audit Your Assets
Take a comprehensive look at your existing marketing assets. Understand what’s available and how you can use each item as is or modify it to better support your sales funnel. Also take note of content that’s missing and must be created. Do some competitive sleuthing and compare your assets to the competition to see where your marketing mix falls short.
3. Profile and Segment Your Prospects
The better you understand your audiences, the more effectively you can tailor your marketing automation programs to their challenges. Be sure you’re using the progressive profiling functionality of your marketing automation software to continually gather more information about your prospects. This information can help you create buyer’s personas, which you can harness to create sales strategies and customer messaging.
As you build up their profiles, reevaluate your segmentation and categorize prospects beyond simple demographics. Think about their interests, motivations and behaviors as you craft targeted, personalized messaging for your different audiences. As your prospects move down the sales funnel, your sales reps should be able to tap into this data to know exactly what prospects are looking for and what business challenges they need to address.
4. Go Beyond Email Outreach
While email might be your go-to choice to reach your audience, it’s not always going to be impactful enough on its own to get your customers to take action. Today’s buyers turn to friends’ recommendations, Internet searches and social media communities to find solutions to their challenges. Direct mail, telemarketing, social media posts and other marketing tactics can help you reach your audience via multiple avenues—and could be key to moving prospects through the funnel.
5. Craft Stellar Content
Package the information your audiences seek in striking and impactful ways at key milestones in their buying journey. Revitalize your “good but not great” content and build upon your existing assets with content personalized for each audience. Use metrics—such as open, click-through and conversion rates—to measure engagement, and make necessary adjustments when your expectations aren’t met.
Marketing automation software isn’t a silver bullet . It’s simply a tool. It takes shrewd planning, clever thinking and diligent follow-through in using the tool to really break through and grow your bottom line.