A lot of clients ask me about “Marketing Automation” because they’ve heard the buzzword and wonder if it’s something they should be doing.... and as with everything in technology nowadays it can be hard to keep up (especially if you’re a small business and marketing is not your area of expertise).

Marketing Automation is used extensively in the US retail market, but in Australia we are a little way behind. There is so much more that marketers could be doing with the technology - and early adopters in Australia will be streets ahead of the competition.
Do's and Don'ts of Marketing Automation

In essence Marketing Automation is software that helps you create, automate and measure very engaging marketing campaigns… across email platforms, social media and your website. The benefit of the technology is it delivers personalised and specific campaigns that are actually relevant to customers across all your marketing channels. In reality it is a tool that can put you way ahead of your competition and is the future of reaching retail customers online. Technology can be the most powerful tool in Marketing, providing you understand it and use it effectively.

So in layman’s terms, what are the Do’s and Don’ts for retail businesses using Marketing Automation?

  1. Use it to create truly effective email campaigns with great content - that target your specific audience through technology. This ‘nurturing’ or ‘dripfeed’ campaigning ensures each customer receives personalised messages with relevant content – creating meaningful interactions in real time;
  2. Accelerate a potential leads’ journey toward becoming a customer, by interacting with them at each stage of the purchasing lifecycle. The customer receives messages and content that inspires and motivates them, just at the perfect time;
  3. Track and respond to your lead’s digital body language by using Marketing Automation to track what each customer is doing on your website. This allows the technology to ascertain where they’re at in the purchasing lifecycle, and therefore what message and content will interest them;

  1. Don’t sit back and think the software takes care of all your business growth, including generating new leads. This can be a misconception that many marketers make, leaving them with a sophisticated tool to automate the communication with customers, but no solution to generating new leads to nurture in the first place.
  2. Don’t forget about generating in bound leads… it’s one thing to buy a list of email addresses as part of your outbound lead generation strategy, but you also need to nurture and generate inbound leads for long term growth.
  3. Don’t neglect the other fundamental areas of lead generation - SEO, blogging and Social Media Marketing. These are crucial to enticing potential customers to take that first step of engagement that allows you to use Marketing Automation to secure the sale.

So what are you doing to reach out to your existing and potential customers? Could you use some strategies and technology to generate more leads?
The answer is in the technology…

Lisa O'Keeffe has 20 years’ experience in retail marketing in Australia. She has worked extensively developing marketing strategies and implementing campaigns across multiple marketing disciplines.Initially establishing her retail expertise as Advertising Manager for Bunnings Warehouse, Lisa then formed her own successful marketing company, providing marketing strategies for over 100 retail businesses. 
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