The purpose of marketing automation is to minimize human effort in the tedium of marketing. This can be a great boon to marketers as it removes the need to focus on busy work and frees up time to focus on more pressing issues. Though this all seems well and good, how much automation is too much? Your leads crave the ease of automation with the personal touches legacy marketing strategies bring to the table. Is there a way for marketers to have their cake and eat it too?
There is absolutely a balance users can strike that affords the convenience of marketing automation while still working personally with leads.
You may have heard the old wisdom that knowing is half the battle. That holds up when applied to your automation balancing. Data and how organizations manage it are the keys to creating the personal experiences your leads hunger for. A strong Customer Relationship Management system can help with this. A CRM’s customer data repository is one of the most effective ways to juggle the overwhelming volume of information concerning your leads.
Granted, this bent towards data requires organizations to be extremely with audits, GDPR compliance, and general day-to-day upkeep. Actionable, clean data is the key to personalization, and companies using it are six times more likely to give marketing teams ownership of their customers. A functional database is a personalized database.
After you establish a healthy database, it’s time to use automated marketing. This is the part of the process you should have the least amount of trouble with for the sole fact that your software is going to be doing most of the work for you. Send out your automated emails, monitor clickthroughs and segment your leads. Do everything you’re accustomed to with your automation strategy, as the real humanization comes after the initial wave of solution-assisted efforts.
So you’ve made your rounds of automation and you’ve developed a list of qualified leads. You could keep using your solution to interact, but you also run the risk of alienating them with more “robotic” marketing. For more humanized and personal marketing efforts, consider using automation as a means to get in the door. After you’ve got them interested, take a more traditional route and interact more personally.
Get to know them a little and engage them on a one-to-one level. This goes even beyond the sale. After a lead has been converted, keep periodically checking in with them. Personalized nurturing develops a relationship between the customer and your brand and is proven to turn leads into sales and sales into repeat customers.
The best way to balance your brand’s humanity with your automation efforts is to develop a unique brand voice. Brands that have a definitive voice are proven to be more effective at relating to their desired demographic. If your automated messages are written with an appealing voice backed up by your brand’s personality, the fact that they’re not being personally sent becomes almost irrelevant. If marketers can turn a brand, which by definition, is an entity lacking an inherent personality, into something personable, they can absolutely overcome the fact that a “real person” isn’t hitting send on that message.
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