Online marketing needs to be rethought. Especially when we look at the possibilities of marketing automation, it is exciting to think about it. Here are some introductory thoughts.
Modern online marketing
Modern online marketing offers the opportunity to quickly set up campaigns for a large target group – but they are not easy to keep running. This is because it is not only about the targeted playout of content, i.e. interesting content, but also about lead nurturing, the constant development of sales opportunities along the customer journey.
But one after the other.
Marketing is the new sales (by the way, not only since Corona!) and marketing automation is one of the highest evolutionary stages of the still quite new discipline of online marketing. The goal is the automatic development of customers during the decision-making process. So no classic one-time online mailing or the one LinkedIn ad that changes the world. Rather, marketing automation is about the continuous and targeted provision of content and building trust.
Attention – Interest – Desire – Action, the AIDA formula still stands for the essential elements of communication. However, customers today are generally much more critical of new offers and or new business partners. They expect more information. The offer is diverse and the competition may have a similarly exciting offer. In Marketing Automation, we work to earn customer trust over time by providing relevant information at the appropriate time to help gauge our contribution.
Challenges of effective online marketing
To do this, we start by looking at the challenges he or she faces. What are the issues that move the decision-maker and for which we can develop a solution proposal? What pain killers do we have in our range and how can we explain what we have to offer to help customers overcome their challenges? These three sentences are perhaps the most crucial when it comes to targeting customers online. They will only listen to us if they understand the value of our contribution.
We usually choose different targeted delivery formats to play out our arguments. A white paper is not always enough to convince customers. Often, it is the illumination from different angles that leads to the goal. So we first have to think about how to make the different aspects of our added value clear to the customer. For example, what can we say about cost, benefit, time or quality advantages? And what are the appropriate formats for this? Perhaps a combination of the existing (fact sheets) and the new (webinar)? For marketing automation purposes, we can arrange the conglomerate of content components like pearls on a string along the customer journey. At which point in the process do we want to talk about which aspect of our service? Ultimately, this is where we define the sequence of touchpoints that we store in Marketing Automation.
To draw attention to the various content, we make targeted use of social media or online formats such as blogs and content platforms. If customers are interested in our view of their challenges (and we have valuable content to offer) they will be happy to register to receive more information. This is where our automated opportunity development starts. From now on, we can offer targeted content components and determine their consumption through appropriate controlling functions. The more (and more intensively) a customer uses our information offering, the more likely it is that we have a real sales opportunity in front of us here. It’s a give and give – we give away information and insights and the customer lets us know that we are helping them to develop solution scenarios for their challenges. Lead nurturing, the constant development of sales opportunities along the customer journey, is thus one of the highest evolutionary stages of online marketing.
The idea of marketing automation is captivating. And marketing automation – done well – is indeed highly effective: We follow our customers’ desire to receive more and more advanced information up to the point (defined by us) where we talk directly about their concrete project, their concrete inquiry. This is where marketing automation usually transitions into the people-based sales process – with optimally developed leads for sales.