Take your customer engagement to the next level
Are you ready to take your marketing automation to the next level this year? Then start by considering your marketing automation readiness and focus on creating the right customer journeys.
The world has been in turmoil for the past couple of years. Together with the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, technological advances, data privacy requirements as well as the changing role of marketing in driving the company growth, marketing has probably never been as complex as it is today. A lot to digest at the same time when customer expectations are growing, and more human touch is required by companies to win the hearts of the customers.
Marketing automation technology offers great opportunities, but without a solid strategy, its value remains unclear. Learning new skills, routines, and ways of working takes time for an individual, and in a similar way, direction, patience and planning are required to adopt marketing automation in an organisation. All those different elements – data, personalisation, journeys, automation, orchestration of various channels, analytics – is too much to handle at the same time if there is no clear plan.
Assess marketing automation readiness
No matter if you are taking marketing automation technology into use or have already been using it for some time, it is good to do a status check on a regular basis. This means an assessment of marketing automation’s core enablers: is it providing the value it is expected to, or if not, then what’s preventing that?
So ask these questions:
- Are there clearly defined business objectives and KPIs for marketing and marketing automation? Are those objectives measured on a regular basis? Are there any actions taken based on the findings?
- Does marketing automation have a dedicated owner within the organisation who ensures the system is used and its development is going in the right direction?
- Do you have specific use cases that benefit both the business and the customer?
- What does the customer data look like: is there enough data for proper customer understanding, is that data accessible and actionable and are the required GDPR processes in place?
- Does the marketing team have all the crucial skills to run marketing automation and analytics?
- Are there clear processes for campaign and journey management?
Well done, if you answer “yes” to all of the above! But even if all the core enablers and building blocks were in place, you still need to focus on the right activities.
Understand the moments of truth
Too often, we are focused on our products, services and our brand, eager to promote them to our customers. At the same time, there is a risk that we forget what the individual customer needs and wants at that specific moment in time.
So-called “moments of truth” help us understand what is important for the customers and what makes them buy your services and products. And not only once but repeatedly, turning them into loyal customers.
When thinking about these moments of truth, a good way to start is to put yourself in the customer’s position and think about how they are interacting with your organisation: at what point of time do they connect with you, through which touchpoints and channels, and with what content.
I often start defining the customer’s journey by sketching an overview of the flow on paper or on a digital whiteboard. I start from the point when the customer makes the first connection with the company, through the buying and decision-making to further engagement phases. It is obvious that there are probably as many customer journeys as there are customers or personas, so each individual path is different. Do not get stuck there, but try to understand the journey on a high level, identifying the life cycle stages and channels, touchpoints and technological capabilities that are linked to those.
After that, it is easier to proceed to a more detailed analysis with the help of customer data. Data is our key ingredient for proper customer understanding. It gives us insights into how our marketing activities, such as campaigns, automated programs or events, are performing and how the different individuals are behaving and reacting to messages they receive.
If we don’t look at the data and analyse which are the critical moments that matter for the customer experience, customer satisfaction and ROI, we are just guessing and risking focusing on the wrong things.
When there is a high-level picture of the customer lifecycle, it becomes easier to identify the “moments of truth” where it is important to make a difference, both from your business and from the customers’ point of view. But remember that everything cannot be changed overnight, and it is impossible to invest everywhere with the same level of effort. Think about your business and marketing objectives to decide where on the journey to start. After that, start planning the use cases and how technology can support automation.
Are you ready to take your customer engagement to the next level in 2022?
If you feel like marketing automation is not providing your organisation with the value it is expected to provide, make a plan on how to change that in 2022. It requires some discovery work, identification of existing pain points, business objectives, and customer needs, as well as the readiness of the system environment and data. I promise you it is worth it.
At Fluido, we are on a daily basis dealing with possibilities and challenges companies face with marketing automation: how it should be used to improve customer understanding, customer experience, marketing and communications, and to provide value. With our expertise and experience, we at Fluido are happy to guide you on your journey.
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