There is Human Value in Marketing Automation

T3: Optimize Your Time, Talent and Treasure

By Courtney S. Dade, CEO and Chief Strategist, CSD Marketing and Consulting, LLC

Since the dawning of artificial intelligence, the fear has been that such devices will somehow replace the human experience. People hate being replaced.

But, at least in the case of marketing automation, artificial intelligence does not so much replace a human experience as it replicates it.

Marketing automation is artificial intelligence

In the case of sales initiatives, artificial intelligence is called “marketing automation”. Marketing automation is a software program that allows marketing departments to interact immediately with sales leads. These sales leads may be generated by marketing efforts at those times when the human staff is unable to respond directly.

Back in the day, before social media and email platforms existed, marketing automation was not necessary because all marketing occurred via the telephone or in person. But today, marketing is an ongoing effort taking place over numerous electronic and digital channels (social media, email, texting). It is impossible for a small business staff to monitor all those channels continuously in order to respond to any sales lead that comes in.

That’s where marketing automation comes in.

You’re buying time

With marketing automation, your company is able to respond immediately and effectively to any lead that results from your digital or electronic marketing efforts. If a potential customer clicks on a social media feed, or a link on an email pitch, your automated system replies to that customer.

What matters, however, is what kind of response you send out. This is where marketing automation systems differentiate themselves. And this is where your approach to sales can be integrated into your automated marketing responses.

It’s still all about relationships

For most companies today, marketing is a matter of relationship-building. Few companies thrive on one-off sales; they prefer customers who come back time and again for whatever product or service the company offers.

With that in mind, automated marketing responses do not necessarily shove a potential customer to the pay page of the website. If you want your customer relationship to have a human side to it, your automated response can be built in such a way that each customer receives a message specific to their request. It can indicate that someone from your firm will reach out in a designated time period to discuss the customer needs.

This is beneficial in two ways; it creates an anticipation for the customer to receive a high level of attention, and it gives your human marketing team a timeframe in which to respond, as opposed to needing to respond immediately to every link click you get.

(The theory here is that you are going to be receiving more than one customer outreach a day, and your sales team is doing more every day than just handling incoming contacts).

Replace annoying on-hold music

All consumers know the frustration of trying to reach someone in customer service. Being placed on hold (and listening to repeated musical interludes) remains the bane of any consumer’s existence.

Marketing automation allows you to communicate with your leads immediately. A welcome message with your detailed information regarding future communication is so much better than hearing “your phone call is very important to us.”

If your company offers a variety of products or services, there’s even more value. Your automated response advising them to link clicks can also encourage consumers to look at other pages of your website. They will learn more about your company while they wait to interact with someone from your sales department.

Marketing automation today allows for a very high level of creativity. With the proper software, you can

A well-built marketing automation strategy can reduce the stress that exists in online consumer experiences. It allows your company to nurture a relationship with a potential customer. So when your sales team can make contact, the customer feels appreciated and significant.

Yes, it is a trick. But it is a well-meaning one in which both sides of a sale benefit.

Final thoughts

Marketing automation is a burgeoning business. And you have many choices of software to use. Please discuss your choices with us at CSD Marketing. We have knowledge about which software products work best for different business models. You don’t want to purchase a system and have it installed only to find out it doesn’t match your needs. And it won’t help if you purchase something that’s more sophisticated (and therefore more expensive) than you require.

The right marketing automation solution and strategy will help you manage your time and your customers more efficiently, and more effectively. Let’s get started.