Marketing teams are increasingly taking on more and more functions within the business. Help the sales team nurture leads? Check. Notify customer service if a customer is complaining on social media? Check. Create unified prospect and customer profiles? CHECK.
With increasingly more responsibilities coupled with stagnant or smaller budgets, how can marketers free up time to focus on more strategic functions? In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of building automations within a marketer’s tech stack to open up opportunities for personalization and improve the customer experience.
Top 3 Benefits of Automation For Your Customers
By prioritizing building both further automation and personalization opportunities within your workflows, your customers will see the following benefits:
Receive more relevant and effective communications. Most companies who are manually sending emails are using a batch-and-blast approach. The problem with this is that customers may become annoyed if they receive too many irrelevant communications. You can avoid a growing unsubscribe rate by using Artificial Intelligence (AI). Using the AI functionality within Marketing Cloud Engagement, you can automatically segment subscribers based on the likelihood that they will engage with your campaigns. This ensures your subscribers only receive the most relevant content from you.
Have personalized, omnichannel experiences. Personalization doesn’t just have to affect your customer’s web experience. By establishing a customer data platform (CDP), you can share customer data between the different tools within your technology suite. This enables you to share relevant content via email, deliver personalized web content, and display unique ads to your customers.
Improve customer service. Automation opens up multiple ways for your customers to get in touch with you. Many marketing tech stacks include access to chatbots and tools that simplify live chatting, making communication easier than ever. Plus, automation empowers your team to track customer satisfaction and determine whether they are at risk of churning. This empowers you to better solve your customers’ pain points when they come up.
How To Prioritize Automation Within Your Organization
It’s easy for a marketing team to get caught up in the day-to-day of executing activities such as coordinating event communications, new product availability, promotional announcements, or new content pushes. Automation makes tasks like these repeatable, freeing up teams to focus on solving bigger issues.
“I see the value, but how do I convince senior leadership of the value of further automating marketing tasks?" Here are some tactical tips on how you can drive the importance of automation within your conversations with leadership.
Tasks You Could Automate To Make Marketing Leadership Happy
Marketing leaders have a lot on their plate – they must advocate for their teams’ work while ensuring they have the proper resources to support the work sent their way. Given the budget constraints we discussed earlier, here are some ideas you can incorporate into your teams’ workload that will increase your efficiency and convince your marketing leaders of the value of automating tedious tasks.
Depending on where your marketing team is on the digital transformation journey, here are some ideas you can bring into your organization:
Automate current manual tasks to free up your team's time to focus on more strategic priorities. Consider automating tasks such as sending invitations to events (in-person or virtual) or other communications for birthdays or anniversaries, renewals, re-engagement, or welcoming new buyers.
Focus on decreasing manual or batch sends by increasing email personalization. For example, rather than having 10 manual sends a week – consider consolidating down to only one or two sends by incorporating dynamic content within email to personalize what each recipient sees based on their profile.
Utilize AI capabilities, found within platforms like MC Engagement, to send communications at ideal times of day/day of week. This will help increase click-through rates, drive more traffic to your website, and grow conversions (orders, form submissions, downloads, etc.).
Look for new/additional touch points that make sense for your customers or prospects. For example, you could create a replenishment campaign based on last order date for a particular product; or a cross-sell/up-sell campaign that’s always on and based on the specific’s product last purchase date; or a win-back campaign to customers who may have started using your product less or not at all.
Automate the handoff to your sales team by creating a task once a customer or prospect meets specific criteria. Did a prospect visit the contact sales page on your website? Create a follow-up call task for your sales team.
Driving Home The Value of Automation With Your CMO
These days, CMOs have quite a balancing act to consider – static or decreasing budgets, increased demands of their team, as well as aligning current team members’ skills to those demands. If you are looking to not only impress your marketing leaders, but your CMO as well, then consider how you can adopt ideas such as the ones below:
Use more of your existing MarTech tools to achieve fuller, multi-channel experience for clients and prospects. For example, add contacts in a customer journey to an advertising segment to target via Facebook and Instagram. Or use relevant customer attributes within Marketing Cloud Personalization to personalize your website for that returning customer by showcasing the latest promo or highlighting the product category they recently browsed.
Leverage your CRM and engagement data to create true account-based campaigns. Think about the following scenario: The CMO of Cumulus is browsing the product benefits page of Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud (SFMC). Salesforce’s marketing team can leverage this data from their tech stack within MC Personalization and Engagement to “flag” the entire Cumulus account as a target for SFMC. Then emails automatically are sent, adding contacts to advertising audiences, and personalizing their website to visitors from Cumulus. The rest of the Cumulous Marketing team gets educated on the benefits of SFMC for them, which can drive quicker conversions for the Salesforce Sales team.
Use Marketing Cloud information (email clicks, web visits, etc.) to create look-alike audiences for ad buys, reducing the overall costs to acquire new customers.
Identify at-risk customers more effectively through their service inquiries, specific web page history, or even order/return history and launch retention campaigns (which can also include tasks to Sales or Service teams).
Where To Begin?
Automation... Personalization... With so many responsibilities on your plate, where’s the best place to begin? How do you maintain your current workload, convince senior leadership of the value, and begin to implement marketing automations? Fortunately, you don’t have to do it on your own.
Read our guide on Next Level Personalization to learn some of the do's and don'ts of personalization, and how we can help you bring your personalization strategy to life in a way that will drive impact.