Marketing automation… overload?
Let’s kick off with some jargon… ‘lead nurturing’ refers to the process of ‘developing relationships’ with potential buyers at every stage of the ‘sales funnel’ administered using a ‘lead scoring system’ to deliver ‘dynamic content marketing’ across appropriate ‘digital platforms’.
Or put another way… if you show interest in a product or service online you may then automatically receive content, (in theory) of specific interest to you, over time, possibly across multiple channels. Then depending on your actions to this content, yet more content may follow… or perhaps a phone call if you’re really lucky, until such time that you succumb… or are identified as a hopeless tyre-kicker.
Crunching the numbers
Big businesses are crunching the massive numbers involved in the digital space to target and ‘nurture’ customers. Ahh the romance of it all. Some of the bigger players in the world of marketing technology were exhibiting at the recent Technology for Marketing Show in Olympia. I had an interesting day visiting numerous stands and learning more about a whole range of topics including marketing automation, email marketing, web analytics, 3D photography, CMS systems, ecommerce, content marketing, data… all good stuff.
Main thoughts afterwards? All of the established digital marketing channels and tools are still expanding; websites, email marketing, social media management etc. The use of marketing automation is on the up. Email marketing suppliers are adding new levels of triggered automation and interest to their software. Interest in automation platforms like Hubspot and Marketo is on the rise.
But whilst clever automated emails, website pop-ups, coordinated campaigns etc. are helpful, the triggers that action these automations need to be very carefully set up so as not to simply annoy potential customers. In the past I have been bombarded with automated emails from some businesses, who seem to think I want to hear from them every day.
And that’s the point. Marketing automation can be extremely effective, but it has to be set up appropriately to deliver the right content at the right time, to genuinely help potential clients understand whether a product or service is for them, rather than simply trying to force them through the sales funnel.
I came away from the show with some excitement about automation, but also a feeling of nostalgia for traditional marketing. I recently received a very nice mini brochure through the post from a holiday business. They explained in their blurb that after many years of email marketing they had decided to return to print. The brochure is sitting expectantly on my coffee table. I think I’m going to book something with them…. so what does that tell you?