Marketing automation: Closing the social-distance gap for B2C brands

May 15, 2020 Michael Brumitt

Needing to adapt to market trends, customer demands, and tech innovations is pretty standard for any customer-facing business. Yet the current health crisis is something no B2C organization expected to face.

It’s forcing brands across the business spectrum to rethink how to keep their operations running and stay connected with customers, clients, partners, and interested consumers. For many, it’s required a greater focus on the digital experience, pivoting from brick-and-mortar transactions to online sales or, for those who are already ecommerce brands, responding to the recent boost in online business. Compared to this time last year, online transactions in the U.S. have increased over 100%, as shown in this year-over-year growth rate chart

With so much digital activity happening, online consumers are creating new opportunities for organizations to connect with them. The better you can respond to this increase in digital demand, the better you’ll be able to stay in step with your target audience and keep your business growing. To do so, you’ll also need the right tools in your arsenal, and with marketing automation, you’ll gain new efficiencies in how campaigns are delivered as well as new ways to create campaigns that generate excitement. 

Don’t just automate—learn how to get personal
Even if this crisis weren’t taking place, marketing automation enables a variety of advantages for your marketing operations and customer engagement. You can automate the campaigns you create, and consequently save your team a great deal of time, but that’s only one of its strengths.

It also enables your team to gather data about what customers respond to best, what their interests are, and the best channel for reaching them. You’ll also be able to gather campaign data and compare your performance with your success metrics to determine what’s driving conversions and where improvements should be made. Your analysis can then be the basis for more personalized campaigns that have a greater chance at resonating with people.

After releasing an email campaign through an automation tool, you can track what content drew people’s attention and better target them later. When running a sale or launching a new product, you’ll know which customers will generate the highest conversion rates. The more personalized your campaigns are, the greater your chance at winning someone over. You’ll also have an effective way of building brand loyalty and creating the potential for a reliable source of revenue, all while helping your business maintain your customer connections, even if they’re digital only.

Preparing for tech integration and user acceptance
Before taking advantage of what marketing automation offers, you’ll need to take some crucial steps and the first is implementation. Onboarding a tool like this will require an extensive integration into your infrastructure, requiring a data integration platform. An architecture map of your infrastructure will be important to complete that process, and you’ll also need a clear understanding of your various customer personas and what their journeys are.

Along with your implementation plan, you’ll need to think about your users. An effective user adoption strategy will cover a range of tasks, including issuing a series of communications, providing training, and establishing a support team once the tool is in operation. To encourage acceptance of the tool, you’ll need to convey the benefits it offers and how it can lead to new business opportunities for the company. Getting user buy-in will be vital so that your team is inspired to use it and excited about reaching new accomplishments in spite of the limitations you’re currently facing.

Measuring what you’re getting out of the tool
After you’ve had your marketing automation tool up and running, you’ll naturally want to gauge how it’s helping your business. One of the central challenges after adopting a marketing automation tool is how to measure ROI and that’s a matter of knowing which metrics to track. These can include everything from open and click-through rates to website traffic. As you begin to personalize your outreach efforts, you may see some gains in conversion rates and sales leads, but your ROI measurement can help you formulate an idea of how the tool is contributing to business growth and maturity in your market.

Depending on your business goals and circumstances, it may be weeks or even months before you have an accurate picture of what your return on investment will be. Whatever the situation, if you’ve done your implementation and adoption stages correctly, and created some engaging campaigns, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to show off some impressive stats to your leadership team.

Adaptability is key to business longevity
Although the situation is far from ideal for any client-facing business, it doesn’t mean your organization can’t roll with the challenges and expand your tech sophistication. Marketing automation can help you navigate this current crisis, allowing you to maintain connections with the clients you serve and create even stronger connections with them while keeping employees safe.

When we can expect things to return to normal is still uncertain, yet by embracing marketing automation you can help your business persevere through this crisis and prosper in the post-crisis future we’re all looking forward to.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you adopt a new marketing automation strategy. 

 

About the Author

Michael Brumitt

Michael Brumitt is a Communications Specialist at Appirio. As a writer and editor, his career has focused on creating engaging content that helps people solve problems, and his experience includes everything from e-books to traditional print-based publications. He currently lives in Indianapolis.

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