Insights

How Marketing Automation Can Streamline Your Business and Make You a Star to Your Local Audiences

  • by Philippe Bodart
  • a month ago

At WebriQ goes Mad, we don’t have all the answers when it comes to marketing automation but we have some. And those answers are mainly coming from our own experiences, namely building a global brand with local customers.

One of our main challenges is to effectively communicate with new customers during the first weeks of the project, and exchange critical information. Calls and emails are difficult to automate and track, so with that approach results were random at best.

Marketing automation software gave us the ability to automate the entire data collection process and track all actions taken by customers. We collected much more data, and we collected it in time. The customer experience improved quite a bit doing this through a marketing automation process.

We have built that competency through hard work, a lot of try and error, dedicated human resources and use of technology where needed. We are in a position to share that competency with you so that together we can build a marketing automation program that works for you and your local audiences.

What Exactly Is Marketing Automation?

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Marketing Automation refers to streamlining a process within your marketing endeavors. For example, if a prospect downloads a white paper, her name is automatically added to a database to receive emails relating to the subject. And, depending on the prospect’s actions after receiving an email (open/click/download), she may receive a phone call and offer for a free product trial.

Complex marketing automation can take into account website visits, social interactions, and other digital behaviors, but it generally represents using technology to replace a repetitive task within a sales and marketing funnel.

Local Marketing Automation Vs. Marketing Automation for Local Audiences

Is Local Marketing Automation different from Marketing Automation for Local Audiences? It is very different.

Local marketing automation (LMA) promotes coordination between corporate communication decision-makers and local affiliates. This allows a company to control brand consistency while providing channel partners with the tools they need to execute more effective localized marketing campaigns and marketing materials across traditional and digital channels.

Marketing automation for local audiences is in no way different than marketing automation for national or regional brands. In the same way, national brands do, you will need resources both human and technical that will give you the ability to distribute brand-approved, reliable, accurate marketing information across multiple distribution channels and location. This is key to brand authenticity and trust, and the ultimate growth of your business.

What Does an Effective Marketing Automation Looks Like?

An effective marketing automation project starts with an analysis of data you have from your customers. Be it e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, buying history, buyers’ personas - basically anything you have as reliable data when it comes to your clients.

And if you don’t have reliable data, this is your first action point on the list of TO-DOs. Gather data from customers and potential customers. This can be done in various ways -- website, web form, landing pages with valuable content, website traffic, chatbot, store visits, seminars etc.

The data collected is then put in a sort of funnel that will trigger a set of automated activities (typically e-mails) that are going to build brand authenticity and trust with existing and potentially new customers. And, even more importantly, it will enable your company to engage with customers in a very personal way. This will also give the customer a warm and fuzzy feeling that you, as a company, care about his or her business.

More Business Benefits with Marketing Automation

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Aside from enabling your business to gather actionable data and improving your relationship with your audience and potential customers, marketing automation has other key benefits on your business processes.

For one, it will help you be more effective in managing your staff, particularly your sales and marketing team. With the data available, they can set better goals and set up improved processes that will help achieve those targets. They can also potentially figure out new opportunities that will lead to the growth of your company.

Second, the automation will handle repetitive and time-consuming tasks as mentioned. This means then that you need not allocate staff hours for these. Instead, you can divert that manpower to other areas in your business that could use the help. Marketing automation then can assist in streamlining your staffing costs or even save on that department.

Then, there is scalability. Once you have the data about your customers and concrete measurements for success in place, you’ll be empowered to make better business decisions to grow and scale your business. Marketing automation can definitely support any short-term or long-term goals that you have.

All in all, not only will you be able to streamline your marketing processes and reach a larger audience by using the automation tools, you’ll be able to cut back on costs wherever required. And then scale up your business and further ramp up your marketing efforts.

Marketing Automation Challenges We Need to Face

For a small company that has the ambition to use marketing automation to grow the brand and to build an authentic and trustworthy image, the challenges are quite big:

  • Do I hire an internal resource or do I outsource, and if I outsource to whom?
  • What technology platform do I use? There are about 1,600 vendors in the marketing automation space.
  • What channels do I use - digital only, or printed and digital, and which digital channels do I use?
  • What budget should I allocate to this and how will I measure my return?
  • Is this an above-the-line expense or is it a direct expense?

A ton of questions, and possibly many more that have no easy answers.

Our approach when it comes to marketing automation is no different than when it comes to building your website or improving the visibility of your company online.

As with the other two pillars, we are building trust for your brand and your company and we engage your existing and potentially new customers on a personal level.