Consumers come into contact with so many different brands in so many different ways throughout the day. And they expect these touchpoints to be consistent and come together to form a great customer experience. As a result, companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%. By the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator according to a Walker study.
Marketing is then much more effective if it encompasses all the channels that customers are using to engage with the brand. PWC, in their 2020 report, found that the number of companies investing in the omnichannel experience has jumped from 20% to more than 80%. But creating a great omni-channel experience is much easier said than done. Being present in the right channel at the right time with the right message is a huge challenge for marketers and it ties up a lot of time and resources.
Enter marketing automation! Marketing automation tools enable the precise, time-controlled execution of messages on the basis of pre-defined or real-time customer segments. They also unify the creation and management of email, social, web and mobile campaigns in a central platform. As a result, campaigns can be designed and planned with the actual customer in mind, automated based on their specific characteristics and personalized insights.
Holistic, automated systems are not yet widely use, but they are becoming more accepted, as the latest survey by the Institute for Sales and Marketing Automation of 703 companies shows. Although 42 percent of companies in Germany plan to introduce automation systems in the next two years, 30 percent of the marketing decision-makers surveyed in the DACH region are currently still not using integrated marketing automation.
By using real-time data to automatically trigger communications, marketers can build that highly-sought-after omni-channel experience. Your job will also be much easier if you automate activities in the various marketing channels. Regardless of what type of automation tool you use, the key is that all your customer data is pooled together centrally into a unified profile so that no matter how the customer interacts with your brand, you know about it and can act upon it.
1. Behavior-based targeting
Based on specific target values and segmentation characteristics from customer profiles, marketers can define an automation workflow, i.e. customers who exhibit a certain behavior will receive a situation-specific message. The scenarios for personalized messaging are extremely diverse and range from event-based promotions and loyalty programs to new product testing. For example, people who abandon their shopping cart on the website will receive a reminder in the channel they most frequently usually use. Specific incentives, such as a birthday offer or a volume discount, are a good way to show customer appreciation and intensify brand loyalty. Thanks to artificial intelligence, you can offer a discount only to those who won’t buy without it. That way you won’t interfere with potential new customers in the checkout process who have already made up their mind.
2. Strategic setup of cross-channel campaigns
Modern automation solutions follow the whiteboard principle. They allow marketers to set up cross-channel campaigns from a simple, graphics-based user interface and to expand it as required. Across e-mail, mobile, social, and web, the “whiteboard” illustrates complex contact scenarios and shows the potential for increasing customer engagement. As a result, you will have a better grasp of when, where, and how you are connecting with your customers both on macro and micro level.
3. Continuous optimization
What counts in the end are the results – and often these are different than initially expected. Digital marketers want to be able to analyze their campaigns at a glance and know what measures they can take to improve them in the future. Marketing automation platforms can provide a complete and transparent overview of cross-channel campaigns. For each campaign phase, they provide real-time statistics that show which parameters work best and which have little effect. Mapp Cloud takes it even a step further with insights derived from real-time data to provide marketers with actionable advice to optimize campaign performance.
All marketers agree on the importance of cross-channel digital campaigns, but also on the fact that it’s not easy to implement. A marketing automation platform makes it possible and manageable to build an omni-channel experience that resonates with consumers. Win over customers, accompany them throughout the entire customer journey with personalized messages, and encourage them to make a lasting commitment to your brand by automating your marketing.