Occupying the digital middle ground between major brands, marketing departments and agencies in Australasia puts us in a position to spot trends - the most concerning being an obsession with the marketing ‘campaign’.
Here’s a shocking statistic: up to 70% of people on marketing databases aren’t engaged with in a relevant, timely and compelling way.
This is concerning on three levels:
1. A database is usually full of actual customers who have asked to be marketed to
2. Customer retention is more cost effective than customer acquisition, and
3. Digital is the most cost effective and measurable communications channel available today
So why do so many smart Marketers consistently ignore these three facts when planning how to meet the business objectives they’ve been set?
It’s not a lack of data – these customers are known entities with a transactional history and segmentable profile all existing in real time.
It’s not a technology issue – digital marketing platforms are readily available, easy to use and increasingly cost effective even for small businesses.
The problem lies with a fixation for planning and executing marketing activity in targeted campaigns - and seemingly the need for agencies to bundle, sell and report on their services in convenient packages – at the expense of engaging with existing customers perpetually.
“Marketing Automation” is a term that makes marketers and their agencies nervous. It doesn’t fit into a campaign box with a fixed start and end date, it’s budget often can’t be allocated easily to specific product areas, and as its ‘always on’ it doesn’t have a schedule and it doesn’t require a suite of creative assets to be built.
Yet Marketing Automation provides opportunities to engage with customers automatically and with devastating efficiency. Forget the ‘welcome’ email, the e-invoice, the scheduled newsletter and the SMS alert. Instead, think about using all of the functionality your digital marketing platform has to deliver a personalised, relevant and compelling message at exactly the right time, all the time.
1. Retrieving lost sales: In almost a quarter of cases people who abandon a shopping cart still intend to purchase – they just got distracted. A well-timed, automatically generated email can turn a lost opportunity into a sale – particularly if combined with an offer or incentive.
2. Anticipate customer needs: A lot of products have predictable lifecycles. If the initial purchase can be captured, consider sending an automatically generated reminder.
3. Surprise and delight: birthdays, anniversaries and holidays are all good excuses for a triggered email with a relevant message and offer.
4. Cross sell and up sell: Dynamic email templates feed relevant content based on customer preferences, history, events and interactions across all of your communications channels
Automatically triggered emails outperform scheduled newsletters across all metrics, yet so many marketers overlook using them because ‘always on’ activity is difficult to fund using a traditional campaign budget mentality.
Those who use Marketing Automation as the digital foundation upon which campaign activity (including digital elements) is then overlaid are rewarded with increased customer engagement and loyalty, and improved ROI.
Top notch digital marketing automation isn’t all about technical excellence, sophisticated planning and mapping of transactional triggers – it does benefit from great creative, great messaging and dynamic content to optimise success. Similarly you can’t deny the power of the stand alone campaign to deliver to a marketing objective - just don’t try to ice your cake before you’ve baked it!
Touchpoint is a leading online marketing technology platform used by agencies and brands across Australia and New Zealand as a high security, high frequency and high volume solution for multichannel marketing.