Marketing Automation: Advice from the other side

As someone who’s been in your shoes – looking at the enormous bridge you must build to reach the other side – let me tell you it’s worth it. Right now it may look like a never-ending stretch ahead, but by the time you’re done, you won’t have just built yourself a bridge. You’ll have built a super power complete with new possibilities, once the stuff of fiction. Superman and Spiderman don’t need bridges to reach the other side.

Marketing automation brings meaningful ways to interact with your customers across touchpoints. It’s something smaller businesses are able to do simply because the same people are often involved across the different areas – from eDMs to customer emails and phone calls. They retain meaning just by using common sense.

But for larger and more complex businesses like ours, it gets difficult to process all that’s going on in ways that maintain that relevance, across different channels that are scaleable but still personal to the individual customer experience. Enter: marketing automation.

Think of it as a customer experience enabling tool, that with the right capabilities and the right partner, can almost completely unconstrain your thinking. The question becomes: what super powers will you employ to wow them?

One of our best successes to date is using marketing automation to drive our touchpoint Net Promoter Score (NPS) programme. The tool automatically gathers the details from customers who contact us across all inbound channels and sends an email inviting their feedback on our customer service. We use a sentiment tool to assess the responses and flag those that need attention quickly, and get onto them quickly. In just a short time we’ve increased our NPS score by 15 points. What once would have been impossible to do in a consistent, scalable way has become a success story for identifying issues and improving customer service quickly.

What will be your first success story with marketing automation? When considering how to deploy your new super power, my advice is to ask these three questions:

  • Can you do it? do you have the the internal resource, the technical capability etc.
  • Should you do it? Is this legal, ethical, and does it pass the ‘creepy’ test? With the level of sophistication marketing automation affords, it may be pushing the boundaries by getting a little too personal with them.
  • Will you do it? You now have a lot of options which you can focus attention around, but you’re still restrained by priorities and quickly run into opportunity costs. Assess your options based on the value it will bring to your customers, and the ROI it will generate.

If you’re still starting out, I recommend talking to people who have gone through it already. We’re more than happy to talk about our experiences – if you want to come and see what we’re doing, get in touch. After all, as Uncle Ben said to Spiderman – “With great power comes great responsibility” and it’s worth getting it right.

Grant Torrie, Audience Growth Marketing Manager, Fairfax Media