In a brainstorming session, I remember once asking about daily marketing activities that my team wished could be automated. The responses I got were exciting.
Keyword research. Lead scoring. Behavioral targeting.
And many more...
The bottom-line of the exercise revealed my team's desire to automate redundant, mundane tasks, to thereby increase productivity.
The good news?
Most of these tedious marketing activities that you and I do daily can be automated. And that’s so true for the retail and FMCG brands as well. So, through this blog post, I’m going to show you the ropes of marketing automation. Not a generic one, rather, custom-tailored to suit the retail and FMCG environment.
But before I delve into the implementation of marketing automation techniques and tools, let me throw light on what marketing automation is, to help you get started.
Table of Contents
You might be familiar with the term, but it’s often used to depict a category of software – which is the marketing automation software.
According to SearchSalesforce, marketing automation refers to the use of software to automate marketing processes in the likes of customer data integration, customer segmentation, and campaign management.
So, ideally, marketing automation gives you a leg up in the identification of potential customers. The entire journey between a lead and a sale is nurtured automatically.
For instance, educating your potential customer is the key task in the lead-nurturing stage. Marketing automation would aid in supplying informative content that would develop the trust and respect for your brand, rapidly.
Going further, when your prospects come narrowly to a specific product of interest, you can engage them with targeted messaging. They can be tailored to the right group that will help grow your business. Deeper into the inbound flywheel, as the marketing automation system shows yet more focused interest, the qualified lead could be handed down to the sales team.
Research by Forrester reveals that companies that nurture leads via marketing automation generate 50% more sales-ready-leads, at just 33% of the cost. And when you automate CRM lead management, Gartner assures you of 10% or more a boost in revenue within six to nine months.
Besides these exciting numbers, other benefits come with marketing automation. Let me relay them to you.
Improve Customer Experience
With marketing automation, you can offer your customer a better experience. In fact, Econsultancy vouches that 93% of companies witness an uplift in conversion rates from personalization. That said, marketing automation would furnish you with a great ROI.
By equipping you to send behaviorally triggered e-mails alongside website personalization, it will help you create a highly personalized customer experience.
What’s more, these are highly tailored campaigns that get sent to your customers when they perform a specific task - could be an e-mail sign-up or browsing through some products, or abandoning the cart.
Improve Average Transaction Value
In the marketing automation arsenal, automated product recommendations serve as one of the most revenue-boosting features.
If you want to cross-sell and upsell products, you need to endorse personalization in those automated recommendations across all communication channels. As they drive conversions, they would entice your customers to spend more on their individual transactions, thus augmenting your average transaction value.
Improve Customer Lifetime Value
Really, marketing isn’t all about acquisition alone, it’s more about retention. And a key way to boost revenue is to get your existing customers to spend more throughout their interaction with your brand.
You can automate requests for feedback, reviews; launch special campaigns to high spending customers; trigger re-engagement campaigns when subscribers become distant. These tactics not only strengthen your rapport with your customers but also increase their lifetime value.
With such a valuable return on investment, you must tell good from bad marketing automation. For, only when you do it right, you’ll be able to see the results.
Some great retail and FMCG brands have benefitted much through the implementation of the right marketing automation tools and techniques.
Giving those examples below for your inspiration.
Paper Style is basically an e-commerce business specializing in personalized products such as invitations and greeting cards. The company leveraged marketing automation to better target its customers, thereby, send them personalized e-mails relevant to their product offerings.
Here are results that’ll wow you:
- E-mail open rate increased by 244%
- Automated e-mail rendered a 330% increase in revenues
- Click-through-rate increased by 161%
Let me show you another example.
Snatcher Online is a South Africa-based e-commerce retailer. The company perseveres to offer the best online shopping experience for its customers. And they have it all – right from pet accessories to health and beauty, electronics, kitchenware, homeware, and more.
However, cart abandonment was a pain-point for Snatcher. But with the implementation of marketing automation workflow, the brand was able to generate more than $120,000 in less than a year!
As the name suggests, Mainline Menswear is focused on the men’s fashion niche. As is the struggle with all online retailers, Mainline Menswear found it hard to discover footing in the e-commerce space and had to boost its traffic sales.
It was then, that Mainline Menswear got its hands on a marketing automation software.
- Direct traffic increased by 45%
- Overall traffic spiked by 27%
- Mobile traffic was boosted by 93%
I’m sure these case studies were resourceful enough to inspire you to take action. To get started with your own types of marketing automation tools, let me inform you of the components that make a wholesome marketing automation software.
Generally, there are various things – data, its processing, etc., that go into a complete marketing automation program. However, all initiatives share four major components:
- Lead Scoring
The foundation of effective marketing automation lies in lists and segmentation. Yours and all businesses for that matter, use lists in some fashion. But mind you, sans quality lists, automation ain’t possible.
Now, lists consist of your target audience. They could be your potential leads or existing prospects or existing customers. Ideally, you would want to build or nurture a relationship with them.
You may segment lists by buyer persona, by the channel via which they transform into a lead. Or by a product or service line or by geographic or demographic data.
Lead scoring is a process in which you assign a value to a particular contact based on his/her likelihood of converting to a customer.
This is a crucial process for your marketing team when it comes to determining when a lead is qualified enough to be passed on to the sales team. When I talk of effective lead scoring, I mean you to continue marketing, to nurture leads until they’re willing to buy.
So, you pass only the most qualified leads to your sales team – thus, saving them valuable time by allowing them to focus solely on the prospects that are likely to be the most valuable to the company.
By definition, triggers are defined thresholds that ignite a specified action from a marketing automation solution. For instance, with a trigger, you can indicate when your software should send an e-mail to a prospect with a gift coupon.
Another trigger case in point could be to prompt your software to offer a discount on a product to a prospect who was close to the point of purchase but had abandoned the cart.
Why, one of the simplest of triggers is to delegate the sign-up form for an email newsletter when an individual enters his/her e-mail address or fills the form. So, this is the trigger that would cause your e-mail software to send a confirmation mail.
Keep in mind, that, it absolutely makes no sense to send out a confirmation email to an existing customer. So, make it a crucial part of your strategy to have clearly defined triggers.
An action is an event that occurs after a trigger is launched. For instance, in the example of e-mail sign-up, the process of sending the confirmation email is what falls under the ‘Actions’ event.
Ideally, a combination of the above four elements is vital in creating a workflow. At a minimal framework, you need at least a trigger and an action. Subject to your enterprise size, the number of channels, personas, and possible triggers and actions, you can even have hundreds to thousands of workflows.
In its simplest form, every workflow will have this basic structure: If X, then Y.
Let’s see how you can create a marketing automation workflow with Ingage.
As a case in point, let’s suggest that you want to send a welcome e-mail with relevant content to your Customer A who has opted-in to your e-mail list. But let’s assume that at your customer’s point of entry, his prior behaviors indicate an interest in a specific product.
Now, let’s say that your Customer B who has also filled out the same form, however, has a different interest. So, here he wouldn’t receive the same value from the exact same content meant for Customer A.
This is where the need for greater personalization arises.
You cannot afford to send prospects nearing the point of purchase to a landing page delegating an introductory webinar. Because, by this time, the prospect-brand relationship has already been established. The customer is well familiar with your brand and would have been exposed to the information already. So, in this case, you would preferably want to send this prospect to a landing page that nudges him to book a demo.
However, in most cases, you wouldn’t want these actions to take place immediately. An e-mail drip campaign is sometimes all you need to illustrate and effectuate the concept of delays in action.
So, in an e-mail drip campaign, you have a specified sequence of e-mails sent with pre-determined delays between those messages. This is applicable while delivering e-mails in a sequence designed to gradually convince a prospect to make a purchase over a few weeks or months.
By drip automating this campaign, you could send the next message in the sequence of every few days, rather than bombarding your prospect’s inboxes.
The image below is a simple illustration of how you could translate our discussion points so far on our tool, Ingage.
Watch the video below to see how you can effectuate an e-mail drip campaign with actioned delays using Ingage.
Besides, the following are other tasks that you can automate in full or in part using Ingage.
- E-mail Marketing
- Behavioral Tracking
- Lead Generation
- User Onboarding
- Campaign Management
- Data Management
Marketing automation can yield long-lasting results for your business. If you are planning to start, do it now.
And here are the three main activities that you need to get automated.
- Time-consuming tasks
- Repetitive tasks
- Triggerable tasks
For your business forefront, classify your activities as under these three bullets. If you would need help, simply let me know.
Awaiting to hear from you!