Marketing automation is a term that to many might seem a little out of date, but with the recent introduction of GDPR, it has started to raise it’s head again.
There was good recent article on the Charity Digital News website that discusses what marketing automation can do to help the third sector deliver targeted activity that is also GDPR compliant. Whilst there is some interesting advice and valid points in the article, it is also important to highlight the fact that every organisation is different and similarly, so their contacts will differ as well.
As the article points out, charities can have highly complicated contact strategies, especially when they are dealing with multiple members of one family who are engaged with the charity at different touch points.
However, if you are a B to B business, you are likely to have much clearer marketing requirements and your customers’ information needs will be easier to identify and use. Marketing automation has its place, it can greatly reduce the resource needed to deliver personalised marketing, in can increase your return on investment, but, if not used as part of a co-ordinated strategy, it can also damage your reputation and lead to increasing numbers of unsubscribes.
Research and Planning
Even with complex marketing and communication needs, it is dangerous to rely on automated marketing as your sole platform to engage. As with all marketing, the only way to increase the chance of successful campaigns is to understand you target audience in detail and identify the following:
- Personal profile, including age, location, family status, interests
- Confirm where they go for their information, web, email, post, media etc
- Identify what type of information they want to receive that will persuade them to consider your products/services
Also, understand your competitors, everyone has them. Find out what their products/services are and how they position and marketing themselves.
Once you have this information you can begin your planning. Just like laying the foundations of a house, without structured plans, your marketing will be unstable. Marketing automation may well form part of your plans, but don’t commit to it just because someone else suggests it, do the research and use it then, but only if your audience is likely to respond positively.