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The use and implementation of marketing automation –in the eCommerce and online retailer industries– has always been linked to improve the customer experience and enable better use of time and resources within marketing teams. Businesses that use automation have seen an increase in lead acquisition, a 14% increase in productivity and a 12% reduction in marketing overheads. Experiencing the benefits of marketing automation goes further than welcoming new customers with an email; it’s an essential digital skill for any organisation.
The use of personalisation and immersive technologies (AI and Machine Learning) are making the interaction between brands and customers more human. Automation lets you gather data, track your visitors’ interests and browsing behaviour, and analyse this information into your marketing strategy. Above all, marketing automation will help you identify who your visitors are, give you a better understanding of their online journey and, most importantly, be closer to your customers.
Effective marketing automation is “to create 1-to-1 cross-channel journeys that lead to a unified experience for the customer (…) quickly turning leads into happy customers by using a combination of tactics”, according to Salesforce. Email is one of the most effective channels and a fundamental tool for marketing automation. A customer that converts from an email is valued as three times higher than a customer from social media.
However, don’t mistake marketing automation with email marketing. Automation involves all your touchpoints. It’s an omnichannel strategy to streamline your marketing actions. For example, the use of a personalisation platform, like Recommend, is a good starting point. Recommend not only optimise your eCommerce website but also help you automate your marketing efforts.
The automation of marketing efforts can be for specific audiences and following different goals. While the approach and interests within B2B and B2C are diverse, the automation can help both. Marketing automation can track the interaction between visitors and your campaigns, giving you the right insights to improve your message. B2B is a segment driven by relationship and awareness, so content marketing is critical. B2C, on the other hand, needs to be guided in depending on its stage on the customer journey (awareness, consideration, decision).
Thanks to automation you can spend time on more useful business tasks. While marketing automation will take care of customer communications, lead generation, content scheduling, and social media management, the team will be able to focus time on the strategy and analysis of results. Implementing automation can, therefore, lead to higher productivity and better efficiency for your business.
Most importantly, marketing automation is cost-effective. Rather than spending money and assigning a team member to perform repetitive tasks, you can use those resources for other marketing activities, promotions, acquisition and branding campaigns.
Automation collects and analyses data on leads, customers, sales, campaign success, etc. This helps marketers evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns, and predict which strategies will work well in the future. In fact, the data obtained with automation allows you to create audience segments and adapt your tone. For instance, choose a tight and corporate one (B2B), or something more warm and conversational (B2C) depending on the segment.
With more time and resources to focus your efforts on strategy, automation should not be left alone with the technology without having the human touch. Use the data and results obtained with your marketing automation to bring the personalisation footprint to your brand communications. Your consumers should feel listened and nurtured. The one-for-all approach is no longer relevant or effective.
By using a personalisation platform like Recommend, you will be able to optimise your eCommerce site. Adapt your strategy and communications to offer your users a unique shopping experience. Recommend works with artificial intelligence and allows you to collect and analyse data from your visitors, and use it to improve your marketing activities.
Collect meaningful data throughout the process and use customer experience mapping to understand where is the impact and which actions are having better results. This allows you to make adjustments and integrate new activities and automated processes. For example, when creating automation, focus on different triggers –based on actions taken by your visitors– and try to cover all possible scenarios.
Use this information (demographics, interests, purchasing patterns) to personalise your website content. This personalisation process extends to all your touchpoints and includes everything from product recommendations to transactional messages, push notifications and brand messages.
Automating the testing process is very beneficial. In addition to saving time, automated A / B testing provides real-time data on the impact of your marketing content. This allows you to make quick adjustments where necessary.