After years in marketing, we’ve learned that some ironclad rules in the business world are more malleable than you’d think. One very specific example is the Marketing Funnel Fallacy — a common misconception that marketing only works in one direction. The truth is that the customer journey is not linear and customers progress from all directions. Let’s take time to give some insights into what the Marketing Funnel Fallacy is, how it affects your business, and why you should be using marketing automation to engage with your customers.
The “Current” State of Marketing
Customers educate themselves in a variety of ways like reading articles, internet searches, or engaging with ads. The vast amount of content and touchpoints they engage with can make it difficult to pinpoint what are the drivers in the customer journey. Additionally, marketers have been battling with understanding all the various touchpoints and are mistakenly categorizing them within the traditional marketing funnel.
When we take into consideration that customers are oscillating between the various stages within a funnel, we start to understand that the customer journey is not a linear path that the customer takes to purchase a product or service often having many twists and turns, some of which are unexpected.
Marketing Automation to the rescue
The customer journey is so much more vast and complex than stakeholders or business owners think. This makes it challenging to create and execute campaigns that adequately address the multitude of these touchpoints. In order to address this, we should turn to Marketing Automation to help us manage and execute these complex campaigns.
Marketing Automation is a powerful way for marketers to simplify and execute campaigns that are complex, automate repetitive tasks, and manage customer journeys. Through the implementation of Marketing Automation, organizations are able to make data-driven decisions, personalize content, and eliminate manual processes which will allow for marketing efforts to scale. By using Marketing Automation tools like content syndication, dynamic automation triggers, email marketing integration, etc., you can reach out and target your audience with personalized content at the right time at different points within their journey.
Types of Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation comes in many different forms, each specific to the stage your marketing efforts are currently in. In future articles, we are going to dive deeper into various marketing automation tools and how those can help you efficiently execute your campaigns, but for today we are going to focus on these main types of automation:
Social Media Content Marketing Automation
Automatically publish content to drive traffic to your website or social media channels.
Content marketing becomes much simpler and measurable once you bring in automation. The right platform and expertise can allow you to experiment with different posting times and gather metrics around when your audience is most engaged, resulting in increased market awareness and brand visibility.
This also gives your business more time for actual content creation since automation takes the repetitive tasks, from planning to content scheduling/distribution and measurement, out of the way for a more effective marketing strategy.
Customer Service Automation
Send the right (automated) message to the right customer at the right time through any or all of your social media channels so you won’t have to worry about it again.
Using marketing automation tools that tie directly into your social media pages and website gives you access to achieving consistent audience growth and engagement, all while building credibility and staying on top of your customer’s minds. A few examples are using tools for maintaining community management efforts and setting up chatbots for answering simple customer queries even if you’re away from the computer. Pretty convenient, right?
Email Marketing Automation
Create customer segments for bulk email targeting at the right time.
Promotional and informational emails to subscribers are extremely important in all businesses! It enables marketers to send personalized messages to both potential and existing customers on a schedule, often leading to increased engagement or sales.
It’s also worth noting that using the right tool for email marketing allows for maintained interaction with customers even though auto-responders/transactional emails, increased efficiency in communication (new products, services offers, special discounts, and more), and even converting prospects into loyal customers.
Lead Generation Automation
Send automated messages that convert leads into customers without having to do the work yourself.
Aside from taking your email and social media marketing to the next level, there are also countless opportunities to improve your lead generation activities through automation. Incorporating it into your strategy takes out most of the guesswork that comes from manually identifying top prospects, and it can also help you get more information from already-warm leads to close that much-awaited deal.
However, if you’re just starting out your lead generation efforts, you can turn to automation to source quality leads, nurture the relationship you already have with a close few clients, and making use of drip campaigns (a series of well-curated emails for the purpose of leading receivers to make one specific action) to give them a nudge closer to making a purchase.
Automatically follow up with leads and prospects to increase sales opportunities.
Let’s face it: administrative sales tasks can be quite taxing. If you’re looking to focus more on actually closing sales and getting paid by clients on time, then sales automation might be the perfect marketing tool for you to explore. This helps businesses manage the sales pipeline more efficiently through unique features like deal flow management which allows you to keep track of ongoing projects in just one overview table, send follow-ups, invoices, and even payment reminders!
It introduces a more scalable system for all sales team members which allows them to focus on connecting and selling to prospects and customers alike while removing a lot of repetitive and manual tasks. Talk about a win-win situation!
After going through all these automation types, it’s only fair to say that today’s digital marketing process can be complex and challenging. You need to stay connected with your customers, manage social media channels, and create a compelling content strategy that speaks to the needs of your target audience in different stages of their journey. What do you think is the marketing automation needed for your business today?
Contact Moxie Labs for more information about how marketing automation could help your business!