There are over 200 marketing automation solutions in the marketplace and over 59% of Fortune 500’s B2B companies use the technology for good reason. Marketing Automation has many benefits:
- 451% increase in qualified leads
- 14.5% increase in sales productivity
- 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead
There is a hidden insight in these numbers, though. Marketing Automation is helping companies achieve growth and improvement for one reason: it improves the customer experience over the duration of their relationship with the company.
Since Gartner Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, Tiffani Bova, taught us that “Customer experience is the last source of sustainable differentiation and the new competitive battleground,” we can ascertain that successful marketing automation implementation is dependent upon a company’s continued focus on customer experience.
Marketing Automation features that ameliorate customer experience
When a business, like New York City’s The Protein Bakery, is shopping for an ecommerce platform, they don’t care if Shopify uses HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua, or no marketing automation solution at all. The customer chooses Shopify because their experience with the brand is consistent, customer-centric, and pleasant.
Shopify, however, unbeknownst to their customers, utilize many features of their marketing automation solution of choice, HubSpot, to ensure the customer experience is a smooth and positive one – making every customer feel like Shopify was created just for them.
Here are some features of marketing automation that enable companies like Shopify to prioritize the experience of their prospects as they progress through the purchasing cycle:
Using marketing automation tools enables companies to easily personalize the experience across multiple channels and digital touchpoints. For example, by creating buyer personas, companies can tailor the customer experience per each audience segment.
If a business, Verizon, for example, targets both Millennials and Baby Boomers, they can use a marketing automation solution to personalize content on their site and in their emails based on the recipient’s persona, serving each client content and offers that are relevant and timely.
Doing so ensures that “Technology well suited for the 65+ crowd” is delivered to Boomers and their streaming mobile TV, go90, is targeting the younger crowd. To the end-user, the Verizon customer, this means getting content and offers that interest them.
Consolidated user analytics
By adopting a marketing automation platform that serves as a single source of truth, companies get advanced analytics insights into their customers’ journeys and experience. Managing multiple channels and campaigns from a single solution gives executives a high-level view of the vitality of their customer experience.
The ability to have real-time high-level statistics, along with the ability to drill down into the granular data, enables marketers to optimize customer experience at every touchpoint.
To the customer, this means that companies can assess which communication channels they prefer and serve them in the way they like – perhaps Verizon’s Boomers prefer a customer service 800 number while the Millennials opt for online chat.
Customer journey tracking
Using a marketing automation solution enables companies to track the online behavior of their customers and can automatically ascertain their progress in the customer journey. Whether their online behavior signifies that they are at the Awareness stage (downloading general information white papers, viewing problem-centric videos) or the Decision stage (requesting a demo or a quote), marketers can continually tailor the customer experience to fit the needs of each user.
The users, in return, get exactly the information they need to make the decision they are ready for.
Companies of all sizes are developing a social presence on multiple networks. Whether yours is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest…or all of these… it becomes increasingly hard to track, measure, and synchronize – unless it can be consolidated within a marketing platform that can tie social engagements to other marketing activities. Marketing automation provides the missing link between disparate channels and synchronizes among all customer touchpoints.
The resulting customer experience creates a subconscious emotion of “this company really understands me, my needs, and where I am in the purchasing process.”
Today’s consumers expect that what they see on one platform will be aligned with other platforms and devices. For example, when Amazon delivers a retargeting ad into Skype for an item a user explored on his mobile, he needs to be able to seamlessly purchase the item on the Amazon app or the Amazon site from his laptop.
This is an example of a seamless customer experience and it not only sets companies apart in today’s competitive climate, but it is becoming a real differentiator, as foretold by Gartner.
Decisions for the wrong reasons
If your company is considering marketing automation because of the statistics that point to increases in leads’ quality or quantity, you are doing it for the wrong reason. In fact, the companies that are most successful in their marketing automation implementation are the ones who focus on one reason: improving customer experience.
The increase in lead quality and quantity come as a result of the improved customer experience.
By maintaining your focus on your customers and their experience with your brand, you will experience results that are exponentially better than ‘more leads’ – you will create loyal advocates that promote your business and grow your reach organically to the right people.