6 rules to drive success in the age of automated marketing

Libby Margo in Autopilot software on 16th of Apr 2019
Omni channel marketing

Omni channel marketing

What do Microsoft, Greenpeace, and BuzzFeed all have in common?

We all know that they’re super successful brands and well-loved by many. What you may not know, however, is that they all use marketing automation to work smarter and achieve those remarkable results. Not only that, but they also believe in the power of customer journey mapping and an awesome content marketing strategy. They also apply the following 6 rules to drive success in the age of automated marketing:

Think long-term rather than short-term

Identifying opportunities for process improvements is a good thing. The problem? All too often, some businesses get carried away with concentrating on small details and measuring things too granularly that they lose sight of the bigger picture. If you think your business isn’t growing, it’s because you’re spending too much time focusing on the little things.

Switching from short-term thinking to long-term thinking paid off for Patagonia. The outdoor clothing brand ran a newspaper ad with the text “Don’t buy this jacket.” This original ad campaign, which intended to encourage people to consider the effects of consumerism, discussed how Patagonia’s products harmed the environment and how people should only buy what they need. Patagonia’s short-term profits dipped slightly, but their gamble more than made up for this risk — their revenue grew by over $250 million since the ad launched.

Omnichannel marketing

Be holistic with your marketing

In addition to thinking long-term, high-performing businesses also adopt a holistic view of their marketing strategy — and this usually involves taking a multi-channel approach to marketing.

According to Google, financial services companies that optimized for inquiries made across multiple channels (for example, online, by phone and in person) were more likely to achieve better sales results than competitors who only responded to queries from one channel. Similarly, Starbucks allows its customers to top up their rewards card using as many channels as possible (via phone, website, in-store, or on the mobile app) so that they can keep returning for their frappuccinos.

We’ve done the same at Autopilot with our Make the Switch campaign, where the goal was to reach out to as many marketers using competitors as possible. Instead of focusing purely on search or only on video, our campaign was a multi-channel approach that comprised organic search, display ads, Facebook and LinkedIn Ads using matched audiences and YouTube. For YouTube, we used custom intent audiences to engage users that were actively typing “autopilot vs "competitor name” on Google. As a result, we’ve seen our YouTube campaigns improve significantly and overall growth in our brand awareness.

Be smart with your acquisition strategy

The Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule, can be applied to marketing: 20% of your customers will drive 80% of your profits. Unfortunately, some marketers often make the mistake of treating each customer or lead as if they’re all equal. In other words, they’re investing valuable resources on customers that aren’t likely to convert — we call them cold leads.

A smart marketer knows that spending too much time on every single lead is inefficient. Instead, they focus on acquiring hot leads so that their colleagues in sales can prioritize their efforts and increase their ability to convert these valuable leads into opportunities. Autopilot customer Chargify did just that — and as a result, managed to achieve a very high MQL-to-SAL (sales accepted lead) ratio of 70%.

Ensure your existing customers are happy

Thinking long term involves focusing on high-value existing customers and making sure they’re happy — they’ll be the people most likely to help grow your business over time and drive results in the long run.

What you don’t want to see, however, are long term customers deciding they’re not happy with you and ditching as a result. Avoid getting into that situation by identifying high-value customers at risk of churn and retain them with unique offers. Changes in user behavior such as decreased product usage or a sudden drop in your Net Promoter Score can often signal a potential risk of churn. With Autopilot, you can take immediate action when these changes in behavior occur using the following customer journey template:

Optimize the ad experience for your customers

As more businesses get on board with marketing automation, personalizing your content and creating emotional connections with your audience will be increasingly important.

Generic marketing messages won’t cut it. Instead, your customers will expect to see more personalized content and ads that speak to them directly. The first step to personalization involves getting to know your customer; use Autopilot’s new Smart Dashboard feature to uncover valuable data and insights about your customers, then use Smart Segments to cluster them accordingly. Optimizing the ad experience involves using ad formats that resonate best with your customers and using Autopilot to automatically serve the right ad to the right customer at the right time.

Never underestimate the importance of mobile

Finally, even if you follow our advice and create the most fantastic ad experience for your customer, they’re still unlikely to convert if your mobile website experience is lousy. Understand the value of having fast and seamless mobile experiences — at a bare minimum, you should ensure that your mobile website speed is up to scratch. Once that’s done, consider elements such as design and accessibility as well as thinking about how mobile fits into your broader omnichannel marketing strategy.

By following our steps to automated marketing success, you too can work smarter and achieve better results… just like the folks at Microsoft, Greenpeace, and BuzzFeed have done.

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