It was recently reported that 60% of global marketers have put Marketing Automation at the top of their priority list for 2014 - and it seems this is for a good reason. A survey of marketers attending Loyalty World Customer Week in London indicates investment in this area is well overdue:
- Only 22% of loyalty marketers are actively converting social media fans and followers into loyalty program members
- 44% said they wanted to but simply couldn’t figure out how
- A whopping 71% said they had no integration at all between their social profiles and customer data.
Social media is the cool new kid on the block that everyone wants to play with. However most marketers still struggle to determine what ROI (if any) social platforms deliver. In the meantime an email database or loyalty program is still the most effective tool at their disposal.
Social Media is a Door Opener
Inviting Fans and Followers to join a marketing database or loyalty program isn’t hard, but how they are invited matters. If sheer numbers is the objective, offering a prize will make the database grow. If quality is the objective, outlining the benefits of signing up is all that is required. There will be fewer conversions, but the integrity of the database will be maintained, along with open and conversion rates.
Choose a Weapon
Most marketers use platform independent tools to manage a database or loyalty program. That same tool should also manage cross-channel promotional activity enabling the roll out of a promotion across a range of digital channels – social, mobile and web – for little extra effort. Not only does this allow everything to be managed through one central interface it also makes it easier to identify and share results and insights with key stakeholders.
Build Brand Advocacy
Linking a customer database to point of sale or magnetic strip loyalty cards enables marketers to identify those that are most passionate about their brand - those who are not just buying products, but also posting on social media, creating content and sharing information.
Harnessing the power of these customers isn’t just for big brands with big budgets. Even the smallest brand advocacy program can be a powerful marketing tool if it is well managed. Inviting a small group of customers to try a product before it hits the shelves makes them feel incredibly special and builds even stronger loyalty.
Combine this with the ability to collect their reviews or feedback and any content they’ve created for amplification across social channels and you have a win-win situation.
This kind of functionality is readily available through most Marketing Automation tools (and if it isn’t, then talk to us), however few marketers are taking full advantage of all of the features on offer.
Widen Your Objectives
So many brands offer prizes and rewards to Facebook fans while ignoring their most loyal customers - those that have subscribed to an email database or joined a loyalty program.
Having a centralised entry mechanic which sits behind a Facebook page, email newsletter, SMS alert and other digital or social media assets makes a campaign bigger and better for relatively little extra effort. What’s more, the experience is consistent regardless of which channel they interact through, and the rules of entry can be consistently applied.
The campaign is managed through one interface, and all of the entry data is collected in one database which makes drawing winners and delivering redeemables such as unique codes and coupons a simple and automated process. Most good tools can also contact winners by email or SMS.
The Digital Marketing goal posts are constantly changing. Leading marketers investing in backend technologies are reaping financial and business rewards. With investment in Marketing Automation at the top of most marketers’ wish lists in 2014 it’s only a matter of time before full integration between social media channels, marketing databases and loyalty programs is the norm. Is your business ready?
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Touchpoint Group is a leading provider of Digital Marketing software in Australasia. For more information about our products and services visit www.touchpointgroup.com.