Technology is taking every business on a life-changing grand tour. Customers become more demanding every day. Due to increasing knowledge on how technology can unleash possibilities they force businesses to rethink their product or service offering. Business models, operational models and internal processes all need to change to keep up with the pace of customer demands. How can marketing automation contribute to that and get internal and external stakeholders to adopt new solutions?
Business relationships are changing. Helping each other to move forward is key. Ecosystems are the fruitful soil on which relationships can continuously evolve. It enables businesses to become flexible and adaptable in order to survive. Do what you do best and involve others for leftover tasks. A way of working that allows creating value to prevail over product-focused approaches.
Also relationships with prospects and customers change. Their voice becomes more and more an integrated part of innovation and development processes. The big challenge is how to take available components and combine them into product or service versions that will both satisfy customer needs and maximise profits at the same time.
Identity as cornerstone
The main goals companies have when thinking through their digital business initiatives is raise engagement and boost the efficiency of customer services. To do that they need to discover their customers’ identity. From ‘cold’ selling to listening, caring and providing. One of the building blocks to achieve that could be marketing automation.
Getting people to use new services and new technology is hard. Whether they’re customers or employees. The importance here is to handle the onboarding and adoption process properly. It is one of the biggest headaches of IT and marketing departments. Personalisation is key here, especially covering the ‘what’s in it for me’ part. And with the right data, marketing automation will simplify this process and – in return – deliver data. That’s important, because you need to know who you are dealing with. Not just in terms of target groups but on an individual level.
Many see automation as a complex process for large enterprises. In large organisations or labour intensive businesses automation require a high level of expertise. But automation can already be useful when applied to minor tasks. Here’s a shortlist of various examples of automation technology, almost all accessible for sme’s.
MailChimp is an easy to use email marketing software (EMS) – with even a free version with far-stretched possibilities – which enables you to communicate with prospects and customers via automated emails on an individual level, triggered by a certain action.
Izooto is a push notification tool that enables companies to increase traffic and activate dormant users of a web application or an app. A smart way to get people that downloaded your app or get stuck on your website to actual use it to the maximum extent. When implemented wisely and with understanding of needs, this can really boost engagement.
Oracle Eloqua is a cross-channel marketing solution for large enterprises that enables marketers to plan and execute automated marketing campaigns. It helps companies to create a personalised customer experience.
Conclusion API Management
API’s, which stand for stands for Application Programming Interfaces, are an important part of automation strategies. Conclusion’s API Management is a software integration tool that enables companies to seamless connect and integrate software and improve workflows.
It lets applications communicate faster, simpler and secure.
Hubspot is a trendsetter in inbound marketing. It’s an all-in-one tool that provides marketeers with marketing automation as a part of the concept. This stretches from automating social media posts, curating content to sending automated e-mails.
These days people often use multiple devices, from laptop, tablet to smartphone. But also emerging technologies such as wearables and smart thermostats stepped into the game. Adoption is not just about understanding the provided service, but about connecting with its advantages and being able to understand it almost effortlessly, through any device at hand.
Customers and employees have high digital expectations on the one hand, but feel threatened by them somehow as well. So usage needs to be easy and have clear benefits. This starts with mindset; one that sees technology as a useful and practical tool instead of a scary threat. In practise that means reducing friction: make it easy for people to sign in, navigate and transact.
Adoption requires a well thought through marketing strategy and a certain degree of automation, depending on the size and nature of your company and service. But, as said earlier, it will provide your business with more information about behaviour and desires. Data is the new gold, enabling you to really engage with customers and create a highly personalised customer journey.
Millennials at the heart of marketing
Millennials are mostly more flexible and more tech-savy than older generations. So, you could call these digital natives the role model for digital transformation. Not only millennial consumers, also employees, by the way. This generation will make up 50 percent of the workforce by 2020, according to PwC.
What we can learn from millennials is that they don’t think in channels, they see the world as one big ecosystem of smartphones, tablets, communities, stores, and so on. They don’t see automation as an intimidating approach, but as an efficient way to communicate with the world. This different mindset towards connectivity, accountability and career-building is one that we need them to virally pass on to the world. At least it will make a whole lot of lives easier.