Marketing automation isn’t just designed to make your life easier — it’s also meant to make the customer’s life better. Earlier marketing methods focused on interrupting and pitching (cold calls, TV and radio ads, etc.). These strategies relied on the power of persuasion to dictate a customer’s wants and needs. Obviously, this put all the power in the hands of marketers.
While some old-school types might look back on the age of ads with nostalgia, the glory days are over. Only 1% of millennials — who comprise more than one quarter of America’s population and one third of its workforce — say that a compelling ad would make them trust a brand more.
Today, marketers don’t need to interrupt — they need to educate and serve. This is the customer-centric approach, and marketing automation makes it much easier.
How marketing automation helps you become more customer centric:
1. Target the right people.
Have you ever been walking down a street full of shops or through the mall when somebody standing in a storefront tries to hand you something? Whether it’s a free sample or a discount coupon, these offers are meant to draw you inside the store. However, the success rate is always low — most people just walk right on past.
That’s because these offerings aren’t personalized. Rather than targeting a desired persona, they’re targeting everybody. It’s a numbers game.
This is an inefficient strategy, and — at scale — an expensive one. That’s why companies use marketing automation tools to reach the right people with the right content through the most effective channels.
With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, for example, B2C organizations can deliver targeted social ads, emails and mobile notifications based on a customer’s likes, interests and previous purchases. Imagine if that person standing outside the storefront could tell who among the passers-by had a purchase history that aligned with their store’s products. I’d venture their success rate would be a lot higher.
2. Give them what they really want.
Targeting the right people is crucial, but just as important is what you’re actually offering them. According to HubSpot, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a big purchase. That means people are looking for quality content that will teach them something, like blogs, ebooks, webinars and more. If you want to be a great marketer, your job is to provide that content.
All of that sounds customer centric, sure, but how does it actually translate to sales? If that’s the question you’re asking yourself right now, check out this basic workflow made possible by a marketing automation tool:
- A B2B software company publishes a blog titled “The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Cloud Storage.” At the bottom of the page, the writer has included a link to a related ebook.
- Through a Google search, a consumer finds this blog and — wanting to learn more — clicks on the ebook link. They’re taken to a landing page that asks for some basic information in exchange for a download. When the consumer fills out this form, a corresponding record is created in the software company’s CRM.
- Noticing a new lead, a member of the company’s marketing team can reach out to this consumer to offer more content or answer questions. If the consumer is ready to make a purchase, they’ll be connected with the sales team.
In this example, the software company isn’t trying to interrupt and pitch. Instead, they’re offering educational content that’s meant to start conversations with the right kinds of people.
3. Keep them happy.
Of course, being customer centric doesn’t stop after you close the deal. Nurturing relationships with existing customers is one of the best ways to create a stable business. According to a report cited by Business Insider, for example, returning online shoppers are twice as likely as new customers to place an item in their cart.
Marketing automation tools allow you to keep delivering relevant, personalized and educational content to your audiences. In this way, you’ll be able to continue serving the customer base that makes your business possible.
Looking for other ways to make your business customer centric? Check out our ebook, “3 Critical Steps to Becoming Customer Centric.”