4 Ways Growth Marketing Automation is Re-Writing the Book on Engagement
Marketing automation was born out of the need to streamline lead generation, but as the needs of modern marketers have changed, the technology has evolved with them and can now do much more than ever before.
Growth marketing automation is transcending lead generation to create powerful automated experiences that improve engagement through each stage of the customer journey, transforming one-time buyers into brand evangelists.
Driving Initial Interest
Building on the need to go beyond just lead generation, the martech industry evolved to develop powerful growth marketing automation technology, like automated emails and SMS. These are effective ways that brands can earn the attention and interest of leads and deliver early experiences that set brands apart from the competition.
Lifecycle marketing automation is intuitive technology that captures a consumer’s behavior on digital platforms and uses it to communicate with the customer using messaging specifically curated to encourage engagement. It analyzes consumer behavioral data and sends customized messages designed to pique the interest of the customer. In today’s connected, digital world, consumers demand and expect personalization across every channel. Email marketing is one of the best ways to achieve this omnichannel experience and is helping marketers across the globe drive superior customer experiences.
For example, if a brand wanted to drive interest in a new product through an email announcement, it would be cumbersome and expensive to send a large batch email to their customers at the same time, and with the same message. Instead, email marketing automation can be used to send a personalized, unique message to customers at the right time when they are most likely to engage. Not all customers are at the same stage in the buyer journey, so it’s important to nurture individual experiences by sending data-driven messages that are specifically designed (through message title, channel, vertical, etc.) to resonate with the receiver. Each small interaction can go a long way.
SMS marketing technology is another powerful marketing automation technology that helps drive initial customer interest. With a 95% open rate, it’s an incredibly effective way for marketers to share information with potential customers. But it has to be used the right way. Customers should opt-in to receive these messages, or else your brand will come off looking like spam, and potential customers will be immediately turned off.
For example, Old Navy could share an exclusive deal on swimwear for cardholders who have opted in to SMS messaging by sending a message thanking them for their loyalty and extending the offer.
Additionally, SMS marketing technology can be used for more than just deals or discounts. It can be used to send invitations, product updates, surveys, and more, all to keep customers engaged with a brand.
Moving Beyond the “Attract and Capture” Model
Eighty-six percent of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. In other words, customer relationships must be nurtured. Gone are the days of the “attract and capture” model of customer experience, where a customer completes a desired action and is then forgotten about and not nurtured for future purchases or to become a brand evangelist. Instead, customers want to be invested in your brand and have a genuine relationship with your company.
The best way for marketers to win the modern consumer and evolve beyond the “attract and capture” approach is to focus on driving positive experiences, which helps create lifelong customers and brand evangelists. Growth marketing automation allows businesses to stay in constant communication with their customers by sharing the right content at the right time so that customers feel connected to and valued by a brand.
Additionally, growth marketing automation empowers companies to grow with their customers. As consumers’ interests and behavior changes and adapts, so too do a company’s messaging and tactics.
Evolving from Funnel Marketing to Lifecycle Marketing
The issue with funnel marketing is that you can’t meet customer expectations because it assumes that your brand is in control of the journey (when the opposite is true). As customers engage with multiple touchpoints while they browse, it’s essential that businesses use marketing automation to meet them where they are with content and recommendations that best apply to them. Because funnel marketing is based on driving lead volume, not revealing customer interest and intent across your digital channels, it keeps you from seeing the bigger picture about who your customers are and what they want. Marketing automation solves that.
Through growth marketing automation, brands can achieve lifecycle marketing, a phased and extensible approach to understanding, engaging, and delighting your customers at every stage of their journey. Growth marketing automation allows businesses to track customer engagement every step of the way,so that you can even anticipate customer behavior before they know they want or need something.
But the automation shouldn’t stop as soon as the customer completes a purchase. Automating the post-purchase experience for the customer is as important as automating the lead experience because happy customers equal future lead sources.
Going from Lead Nurturing to Experience Nurturing
Lead nurturing is mostly focused on addressing the needs of your leads, which is just one small (albeit critical) part of your funnel. That’s why focusing exclusively on lead nurturing can actually limit your company’s growth potential. However, with growth marketing automation, you can move beyond lead nurturing into a more balanced approach where you focus on both lead nurturing and experience nurturing. After all, experiences with a brand are as — if not more — important than the actual product. Consumers want to trust the brand. They want to feel connected. That’s why using automation to drive positive brand experiences should be a critical part of your broader growth marketing strategy.
Where lead nurturing focuses on the pre-purchase part of the customer journey, experience nurturing provides a layered, contextual framework for delivering meaningful brand messaging that gets customers on board with your offerings, while placing them comfortably in the driver’s seat. Through growth marketing automation technology, like automated email programs, SMS, and in-product messaging, you can nurture customer experiences throughout the entire lifecycle, not just when they are leads, to create more authentic connections with your customers.
Growth marketing automation is far more than just a lead-generation tool. It’s a new approach where powerful technology is used to not only support direct lead and pipeline growth but also to drive memorable experiences across the entire lifecycle and in the product. It empowers marketers to go beyond the lead by helping them dissect the entirety of the customer journey and engage with customers every step of the way. It also enables marketers to have frequent touchpoints with customers across multiple channels at the same time, allowing them to provide a cohesive message and relevant experience, no matter where they engage.
From driving initial customer interest with an email or SMS to understanding the full customer lifecycle to nurturing customer experiences, growth marketing automation is powerful technology that, when wielded correctly, can turn customers from casual consumers into brand evangelists.
David Greenberg is CMO at Act-On Software.