Marketing automation has fundamentally changed the way marketers do business. To be able to schedule cross-channel campaigns that deliver on time and on target frees up a lot of opportunity for marketers to focus on things like strategy, creative, and feedback loops. Campaigns run with fewer resources, still generating and nurturing leads. But unlike the flawless “set it and forget it” reliability of, say, a crock pot, automation has its risks.
Because marketing automation helps companies run complex campaigns with fewer resources, the software is growing in popularity. According to MarTech, a marketing technology forum, more than 50% of companies currently use marketing automation. 70% of companies, they say, plan to institute it in the next 12 months.
Marketers have the opportunity to make smarter, better informed, more strategic decisions about the way they do business and allocate their budgets. That opportunity is a real one and it already exists as untapped potential within their organizations. Their data needs to start meaningfully contributing to the bottom line. Marketing data needs to get a job.
Let’s face it, email has gotten sloppy. In a fight to stand out from unsolicited spam, you would think marketers would be using all the latest technologies and taking an optimized approach to converting emails to sales. But, as you can see from your own inbox, many marketers are either on auto-pilot and use one voice for all people, or are confused about the length, frequency and voice so they just end up missing the mark on all three.
Whether we’re out to lunch or window shopping, mobile is playing a bigger role; it’s more than a distraction from your date or vibration in your pocket. It’s our tether to the world – from text alerts and app-driven push notifications to mobile-enabled websites and social media streams. And more often, it’s an up-sell being added when we agree to have our receipt sent to our email or our phone.
As privacy has become more of a buzz word among consumers – from viral Facebook posts regarding privacy settings to full-on doomsday preppers – marketers need to be dialed in to make sure their messages resonate, while meeting client’s privacy concerns. In the end, marketers want to be the singing telegram that shows up at the start of the birthday party, not the roofing company who shows up asking for referrals at dinner time the day before the kid’s school vacation week. Here are a few things to consider:
As a marketer, I am rooting for marketers of all stripes to “get it right” at every channel. When a timely and relevant offer comes in, I give quiet praise for the marketing machine that made that stroke of genius happen. And I reward the company with my dollars. It’s a graceful exchange between consumer and brand when done right and a clunky, embarrassing gesture when it misses the mark.