Last week, Beehive agency partners and marketing automation experts Jennifer Zick and Emily Youngblood from Authentic Brand and Ryan Ruud from Lake One joined us to talk about the power of data and automation to turn potential customers into loyal brand advocates.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation exists for the sake of efficiency. It eases repetitive marketing tasks and brings clarity to data collection, helping teams make strategically informed decisions on how and when to communicate with their customers. The strategies will look different depending on the type of customer and where they are in the buyer’s journey. For example, new customers in the awareness stage might be targeted to sign up for a company’s newsletter or follow its social media accounts. Existing customers, on the other hand, would see advertisements for similar products of what they’ve purchased before.

Why use marketing automation?

Effective marketing automation empowers communicators with the information they need to analyze and respond to user activity in real time. It enables marketers to create personalized relationships with every potential customer who shows interest in learning more about a brand.   But remember: marketing automation is only effective with a well-articulated brand story and smart marketing campaigns.

Where does marketing automation go?

The simple answer: tastefully, everywhere.   Marketing automation can – and should – occur at every stage of the buyer’s journey: from awareness to consideration and, finally, decision. Despite its name, Zick cautions, “There is nothing automagical about marketing automation.”   After you’ve acquired a new lead, the next step is to create communication “touchpoints” or crafted messages designed to meet a customer need. These are the automated marketing tactics that exist throughout your website, on social media and within your customers’ inboxes. Touchpoints should integrate the customer experience across all of the brand’s platforms.   Some examples of touchpoints are prompts asking to sign up for a newsletter, download an e-book or start a conversation with a representative. Touchpoints should be tastefully placed, with the goal of creating a personalized experience that meets the customer’s need in that moment; keeps them interested, invested and coming back for more.

So, what?

Without marketing automation, Millennials and Gen X-ers are leaving brands behind before companies know who they are. Brands can make the most of consumer’s increasingly shorter attention spans by showing them exactly what they need at every stage in their journey. Marketing automation helps companies reach goals faster without compromising the authenticity of the brand’s story.

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