Driving a better customer experience through marketing automation, it’s not an oxymoron

Driving a better customer experience through marketing automation, it’s not an oxymoron

By Grant Pattison, Senior Manager, Marketing & Sales Technology, IAG
Twitter: @grant_pattison, LinkedIn: In/grantpattison
I suppose the opposite of marketing automation is manual marketing... manual marketing whereby sending marketing emails, SMS, setting up campaign landing pages and targeting your segmented audience via social media is so labour intensive the customers experience is an afterthought.

But what if there was an easier way? What if you could use marketing automation to drive a better customer experience? Well there is...

Recent research conducted by Aberdeen group suggests that businesses that use marketing automation software effectively can achieve a 53% higher conversion rate when compared to businesses that don’t. Many companies work hard to improve the overall customer experience, yet only a few achieve this purpose due to a myriad of reasons.

Symptoms include a loss in productivity, failure to connect properly with clients, inadequate manpower and an insufficient amount of time to follow up with customers. With all of this, it is no wonder that more businesses are leaning towards Dr. Marketing Automation to return their business to prime health.

Many businesses fear that using automation may make the customer interaction process impersonal and thus counterproductive. The reality however is that when done properly, automation can result in more personal and helpful interactions with your business than occur today – freeing you up to be the value adding icing on top.

I believe doing routine tasks is a waste of time, resources and capability when it can be automated. Instead, I would rather invest time in creating lead nurturing programs or a scalable marketing campaign that makes the sales cycle seamless and more manageable, while at the same time having the sales and marketing teams learn must-have digital skills that are going to be crucial for the on-going relevance of my business!

Marketing automation provides customers with relevant information in a timely manner. It doesn’t end there; it also provides your business with qualified leads that are ready to be approached by the sales team. This eliminates time wastage and unshackles your current revenue focused teams to concentrate on the deals or complex projects that are going to accelerate you down the golden path to your bottom line targets.

In a 2014 study, Regalix reports that 86% of B2B marketers showed improved lead management from using marketing automation. They were mostly able to accomplish this feat through collaboration and understanding the idiosyncrasies of the customer life cycle. Armed with this information and data obtained from the automated process, it’s easier to create targeted campaigns, content and programs that appeals to individual customer personas relevant to your business.

Once you nail these, avenues for cross selling and up selling with the ultimate aim of maximizing conversions becomes a lot easier. There is no denying that digital technology (and marketing automation specifically) has made it easier for customers to become better informed and receive the right kind of information at the appropriate time. When customers receive the information they seek in a timely manner they are more likely to spend money on your business. Even if they don’t end up buying right away, they know where to look when the need arises.

Gartner research predicts that by the year 2020, customer interactions with businesses will be conducted ‘without human interaction’ 85% of the time. This prediction can seem quite threatening; however 2020 is still sometime away which provides an opportunity for businesses to derive strong competitive advantage, protect and even strengthen customer relationships via some type of automation capability.

In case you are still wondering if marketing automation is for you, here are a few points to bear in mind:

  •  Marketing automation makes for a timely response which builds better customer experience.
  •  It is possible to deliver automated, personalised emails that capture the unique importance of your  relationship with you customers. Just think about the amount of birthdays and anniversaries you need to  remember.
  •  Marketing automation makes the conversion of leads to sales a straight forward process.
  •  Customer feedback becomes easy to monitor and concerns are resolved at a much faster rate.
  •  It strengthens the overall customer relationship.
There are a myriad of things that marketing automation can help your business accomplish. The trick is learning how to do it right. Do you think I missed anything? Let us know your thoughts.

About the Author

Grant Pattison is the Senior Manager, Marketing & Sales Technology @ CGU Insurance’s parent company, IAG. Grant is responsible for establishing and driving the enablement vision for marketing & sales through the lens of our Customers & Partners experience.

Grant is an industry leader and has been facilitating and delivering valued outcomes for CGU customers, partners and employees for almost 15 years.

Twitter: @grant_pattison
LinkedIn: In/grantpattison