Marketing automation, along with personalization, is simply a new way of digital marketing that’s closely connected to customer relationship management processes. Think of it as an ongoing process in the customer journey, not in terms of individual campaigns. The building blocks are software, concepts, intelligence and content. These help companies to monitor and manage all activities in digital channels through a central software platform.
Ultimately, it’s about more leads, more customers and more sales. Customers demand and expect more along their customer journey. Delivering the right message in the right channel at the right time is the key to success. Here’s a five-point strategy for digital marketers aiming to reach this goal:
Create at least one compelling digital touchpoint that acts like a good consultant or salesman who responds quickly, and above all, in a targeted manner. A comprehensive corporate or product website or an e-shop with personalization capabilities and a precise, automated platform for dynamically segmented content is now a must.
What do you know today about your visitors and how does that help your company create and serve relevant content? Just from a first visit, a professional CMS knows more than you would think. Besides location, there are details about how and where they came from, giving you details like the time they visited your site, the search engine they used, and whether they were on a mobile device. Draw your first conclusions from this, very much the way a good salesman in a store picks up clues on what a potential customer is looking for. Then there is information about how a prospective customer moves around the shop, which items he clicks on in the e-shop and how long he stays.
All standard stuff for a good salesman - but now personalization comes into play: Through filters, triggers and rules, your system recognizes the customer and his preferences, and automatically matches his interests with tailor-made product suggestions. A CMS like Magnolia allows you to store visitor interests and other data in cookies, to let you target them with relevant content. Think of it as a salesman approaching a prospect with better service. The more personalized the service, the better the chances for sales and customer loyalty.
But how does personalization help you stand out from the crowd? You achieve this by engaging your website visitors with topics that they want to see. Turn the spotlight on your products in a way that appeals to them and that leads them to the targeted conversion e.g. an online purchase.
And if visitors still leave your website or e-shop, you can tag them to help you get them back later with a good re-marketing campaign. Through this, your website will know more about your visitors’ interests when they return. You can now make your products or services more appealing and entice them with a hook, e.g. a personal discount voucher. This increases conversion significantly. And the best thing is that you can make it all work automatically if you have chosen the right CMS.
Always try to make sure that your visitors interact online with at least one of your touchpoints. This can be an e-commerce purchase or the completion of a form - a contact form or a newsletter subscription - whatever it takes. You want their data, preferably their email addresses, plus as many interests as possible. Be sure to consult your legal advisors beforehand about data protection guidelines, as there are, for example, strict data protection laws in Europe that all companies operating in the EU must comply with.
Marketing automation is about creating dynamic campaigns around strong content that adds value for the target group. As marketing automation goes hand in hand with content marketing, strong content is important. Content is both the weapon and the battleground in digital marketing. Delivering relevant content is, for most brands and companies today, about how to distribute messages at the right time over the ideal channels to individual customers and to simultaneously interpret and save their usage patterns. Turn your digital channels and touchpoints into agile newsrooms.
Marketing automation software links content and distribution workflows with lead generation. Depending on how you use the tools, landing pages also play a major part. An important step is to integrate existing customer data into the data circuit. From this point on, you can constantly enrich your existing and new user data through interactions with your target groups. And through this data gathering, you can achieve better targeting, because you already know who has what interests. A CMS like Magnolia can be easily integrated with your CRM, analytics or marketing automation tools, enabling you to personalize better using the data that you have.
Marketing automation platforms, along with the right CMS, are the right data sources to deliver engaging website personalization. Your website knows exactly which visitors or customers are surfing and what needs they have. Your aim is to match relevant content with visitors at that very moment, live and automatically. Visitors get exactly the information that matters to them.
In short: Your company’s success is built on continuously generated content, e.g. on social media platforms or in dynamically linked online campaigns, in direct e-mails as well as on landing pages. On the one hand, this new form of digital marketing generates leads and new customers. On the other hand, existing customers are automatically integrated into this cycle. You can grow your business through more queries or shop sales.
A powerful and comprehensive personalization strategy, with all the automation behind content delivery, simplifies digital marketing and helps companies move away from isolated campaigns to adopt ongoing, live processes.
About the author and the agency
Michael Glas is CEO and partner at pixelart GmbH. Pixelart is a multi-award-winning, full-service digital agency from Salzburg with 60 outstanding talents. The agency focuses on the perfect interplay between strategy, design, technology, content and marketing. The team creates unique digital brand experiences as well as web and e-commerce solutions for SPAR, Josko, Siemens, Salzburg AG, Palfinger, Löffler and many other brands. The technology network includes commercetools, Adobe, Magnolia and Marketo.