THE RISE OF MARKETING TECH
Digital marketing automation is omnipresent and savvy marketers are using this powerful tool to directly target customers – reaching them anywhere, at any time. But to maximise the technology’s benefits, companies must fully leverage the multi-channel marketing mix. Ubiquity helps organisations use automation to cut through the ‘noise’ and engage with their customers. “As every digital marketer knows, increasing customer engagement drives revenue. While digital marketing is ubiquitous, organisations rarely fully leverage all they can do by using a true multi-channel approach,” says Ubiquity’s Managing Director, Nathalie Morris.
“By using targeted marketing automation they can engage customers at the right moment – when they want to hear from you.”
Morris says marketers should have a clear understanding of what they want from the digital tool, before embarking on any campaign. In line with this, Ubiquity focuses its solutions on putting in place a marketing strategy that allows marketers to deliver local, relevant and timely content to audiences. The technology helps marketers measure and optimise the customer experience, and ultimately build long-term relationships with customers.
“As with any traditional marketing strategy, we need to first have a clear idea of our client’s objectives and what their business priorities are – whether it is to get new customers, engage with existing customers or grow strong relationships with brand advocates. From there we can help our clients engage and grow customers throughout their lifecycle, through email and the wider digital marketing mix.” A multi-channel approach for marketing automation also offers greater efficiencies for business processes, such as sending an automated text message to recapture bounced emails. No manual intervention is required and there is less likelihood of missed opportunities through poor data capture.
Marketing automation technology also provides the ability for marketers to automate and scale repetitive marketing tasks, and then analyse those efforts. It uses targeted technology to build relationships with individual customers in a similar way to the local shopkeeper – but on a much larger scale.
“Put simply, it’s sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time – automatically.” Welcome messages are amongst the most opened (and kept) email communications a marketer can send. It’s when users are most interested – they’ve just signed up and their attention is on the brand.
“Onboarding programmes involve a series of carefully spaced communications using appropriate channels. This phase is all about building the relationship – it is not about selling. Marketers remind subscribers of the benefits they signed up for and to build brand credibility, by providing educational information.”
This is also a good time to gather or confirm additional contact information and other key data. This should then be fed back into the communications database to send even more targeted emails.
A typical welcome programme will have one or two introductory educational emails, gradually making customers aware of additional products or services available. For example, Digital TV service provider IGLOO created a four-step welcome programme, with each communication serving a specific purpose to encourage new trial subscribers further towards purchasing an ongoing subscription. “It’s important that the timing of each communication is in step with the customer journey, and the content is of immediate relevance to the recipient; this means we may have to make some logical adjustments to our engagement with customers over time. Fortunately, marketing automation technology makes it very straightforward to do this,” says Morris.
Once the framework is put in place and data is flowing in automatically, then modifying components of a programme can be done with minimal investment – and big results.
“Most significantly, IGLOO added in one more well-timed communication that delivered an exceptional conversion rate for very little additional effort. The company reviewed the effectiveness of the final email in the welcome programme, which landed two days before the customer’s free trial expired.
“People face a lot of distractions. For some it’s not until the free trial is no longer available that they start missing out on the shows they want to watch, and so the call to purchase is much stronger at that point. IGLOO reviewed the customer journey, added an email encouraging purchase on the actual day of expiry, increasing uptake of the subscription by 35%.“ Morris adds that while email remains the most effective medium for reaching customers, it needs to be considered as part of this integrated multi-channel approach.
“The ongoing popularity of text messaging as well as the rise of app use have opened up a whole new realm of digital data. With these channels unified with email it’s now much easier to use marketing automation to maintain engagement with customers.”
Ubiquity applied this approach working with Towe r Insurance, which developed the SmartDriver lead generation smartphone app, a way to encourage users to travel 150kms using the app to qualify for a discount. The main challenge was maintaining user engagement long enough to qualify. Towe r achieved this using a series of email and push notification communications triggered at key points along their journey.
“Ubiquity set it up so the channel used was based on customer preferences and varied depending on behaviour and app usage. It is very important when using automation that there is continuous monitoring and refinement.” The reality is that consumers lead busy, hectic lifestyles. Automation helps target missed opportunities by sending timely reminders to people who are often easily distracted in the digital environment.
“Once customer journey models are established through targeted data collection and analysis, marketing automation can be used to target customers with specific programmes based on these data models. Automation enables marketers to go very directly to the source, in real-time, and in a personal way. Increasingly we are seeing more and more gains around this technology’s ability to continuously improve touchpoint results.”