October 11, 2016

Change Customer Behaviors in Your Favor With Marketing Automation

What does traffic to your website matter if it’s not leading to conversions? If you had to choose, you’d pick completed calls to action (CTAs) over number of visitors any day in your drive to create more leads and, ultimately, sales.

From a purely content perspective, quality over quantity is the key to changing behaviors because it helps you develop deeper relationships with your audience. 

But to get there—to where you can create compelling content—you need to develop a deep understanding of your customers’ existing buying behaviors. With that knowledge in hand, you can personalize your messaging so that it drives readers to take action in your favor. Marketing automation (MA) tools give you the ability to organize and analyze the vast amounts of data coming into your business daily so that you can know your key targets intimately.

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MA goes beyond what even savvy marketers know in their guts about their customers to pinpoint specific attitudes and behaviors that lead to purchases. Data insights gained will also support better ROI calculations and buy-in from business leaders for your marketing campaigns. You’ll be better able to articulate how your messaging (now personalized to the nth degree) will help grow the business.

Your MA tools will help you understand what customers want by tracking the very moments when they are bent on going somewhere, or learning, doing or buying something. With that wisdom, you can develop truly relevant customer experiences.

Here’s a simple example: Use data-derived personalized messaging to customize your landing pages by taking customers’ unique needs and desired outcomes into account. This has been shown to increase conversion rates by more than 25 percent.

What’s more, your MA technology will enable the sharing of customer intelligence throughout your organization, engendering a systemic and holistic approach to managing the entire customer experience with your brand. All in all, 77 percent of MA adopters have seen their conversion rates increase.

Customer retention is another benefit of MA, and another capability that marketers derive from the technology to add value to the customer experience. Once the customer has converted to your brand, your next goal—toward retaining the customer—is to consistently demonstrate trustworthiness with transparency and accuracy. As you continue to provide relevant messaging—now, perhaps, in the form of ongoing product advice and support—your value for users becomes making their work easier, enabling them to be more competitive. Ongoing relevance, derived from ongoing data collection and analysis, is a key driver of customer “stickiness.”

Integrate data for s single view of the customer

A report from Gleanster Research and Act-On Software revealed that top-performing companies are 20 percent more likely than average ones to use MA technology. These top performers use segmentation and behavior-based data to refine their customer engagement practices and increase the relevance of their messaging.

This is difficult to do with fragmented marketing technologies that are not integrated. MA tools, on the other hand, centralize common technologies like sales automation tools, social media, Web analytics and email marketing, enabling marketers to track metrics, such as sales accepted leads, across channels.

Below is a list of recommended tactics from the report based on how top-performing companies are using MA to succeed:

Target based on behavior: Create well-defined segments by combining profile attributes with behaviors (such as attending a particular webinar or visiting specific Web pages). Use sales data to create highly personalized offers to each distinct segment.

Stage message delivery: Automate the roll out of personalized messages so that they map to customer life cycle stages for each new lead.

Track touchpoints: Use your MA tools to determine which touch points led to a sale—whether it was a marketing email, a call from sales or an online chat with a customer service rep. This will show you which touch points are driving leads into the marketing funnel. Watching behavior in this way will allow you to send the right message to the right people at the right time.

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