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What is Marketing Automation (MA)?

So, apart from the obvious, what is Marketing Automation?

Creating leads whilst you sleep Zzz…

Have you heard the one about coming to the office, switching on your email and ‘hey presto’, leads are popping up whilst you have been sleeping! Sounds like Nirvana, doesn’t it?

This Nirvana CAN be reached!

…and it’s accessible to businesses from the one-man band to the massive conglomerate! Of course there’s a but, but this but can be ‘unbutted’!

So, in a tiny nutshell, MA is a combination of technologies (on one platform) that combine and automate marketing strategies and repetitive tasks – usually Traffic Generation, Lead Capture, Customer Relationship Management, Email Marketing, Analytics and Personalisation & Product Delivery.

But without a strategy, Marketing Automation is a waste of time and money

Automation needs planning, implementing and managing and it’s all relatively simple – when you know how. There is a way that fits almost any business, a strategy that works despite age, size, financial position or current status of your business. All you need to get started is the will to take the first steps.

So without further ado, here is a brief guide to Automating Your Marketing.

The Strategy

Do not be fooled by the simplicity. The strategy is borne out of campaigns run by some of the biggest and best-known brands; it’s how they became successful! Think Netflix, Starbucks, McAfee and even Barack Obama!

It’s all contained in this simple formula: Attract – Engage – Nurture – Delight!

Some people want you to think there’s more to it… so let’s dispel that myth by examining each element.

Attract

Since starting my business back in 2005, I’ve been branded “the SEO man”. Most questions I’m asked are about SEO. Most businesses believe attracting visitors to their website/presence is the be-all and end-all of Internet Marketing. But, as you may be aware, this is only the first step.

Yes, you need to attract visitors to your website. But what they find there makes the biggest difference to your business.

if I could deliver 1,000,000 random visitors or 10 visitors who really wanted – and could afford – what you sold, which would you choose? If you chose the first group, think again. A million random visitors might look good in some stats but you’re not guaranteed to make one penny piece. Putting your money on any old horse would return better odds.

If you know every visitor is being “looked after” i.e. finding what they want and accessing all the help they need to make a purchase, you don’t need millions of untargeted visitors; you only need tens of highly targeted visitors! This is where the second section comes in to play…

Engage

So you attracted someone to your website. They want, need and can afford to buy – all you have to do is ask for their credit card details. Right?

WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Would you ask a stranger to marry you? I hope not! But, sadly, that’s how most businesses approach Internet Marketing. Unless you sell a commodity where price is key in influencing purchases, you must dangle a carrot to get their attention because, if you don’t ‘snare them’, your competitor is one click away from stealing their business from you.

Smart companies get this; they realise any substantial, non-urgent purchase needs a carrot to dangle in front of the prospects’ nose. The digital marketing industry like to call this a ‘lead magnet’. It attracts attention, engages the prospect and makes them feel you could be a good choice for them.

Looking for examples? Download my 21 Lead Magnet ideas, here…

Nurture

You’ve grabbed their attention and offered something of tremendous value. Next is the nurture phase ie your opportunity to generate trust, demonstrate expertise and build a relationship with your prospect.

Let’s nail the concept. Here are 5 ideas to nurture prospects.

  1. Show don’t tell – instead of saying you’re the best in get reviews on independent portals (Which, Checkatrade, Trustpilot) so they can see for themselves!
  2. Case studies – similar to above but ensure they are true, honest and believable!
  3. Empathise – show you understand difficulties and demonstrate ways your clients resolve problems
  4. Introduce your product and explain how it can solve certain problems
  5. Solve problems with information related to your product – but not the product itself

There are many ways to nurture prospects. If you’re looking for ideas, use the contact page to tell me about your business and I promise to help!

In the nurture phase you can introduce your product or service. BUT don’t assume it helps everyone. A well-considered nurture sequence offers your product or components of it (e.g. a trial or taster).

Delight

Of course you want to delight customers – potential and existing – but, in terms of marketing automation, the delight phase is where you sell your wares and use offers, upgrades and cross-sells to encourage prospects to move down your funnel. So long as you provide genuine value, it’s OK to sell your product/service at this stage.

Automation: can be used to sell, upsell and cross sell; it’s ideal for keeping prospects in the loop.

Have you purchased something online and been delighted with communication regarding dispatch and delivery? Don’t think this is the preserve of E-commerce. Smart businesses recognise continued communication is key to success.

Let’s use another example. A visitor comes to your site and downloads your lead magnet. You thank them and deliver the lead magnet; you also send a welcome e-mail. Next day you send – by post or email – something of value they’re not expecting. Continue to nurture, help, give away etc until they buy something. Over deliver or, at the very least, keep your promise.

Ask for feedback so you can improve. Welcome any criticism – it’s often the most useful form of feedback! Make every customer feel as though they’re your only customer!

Are YOU ready for MA? Still not sure? Read my next post to see how it can help!


Join The £10 Million Challenge Today!

Our mission is to help 100 businesses reach the
£100,000 profit per year mark.

If each business reaches this £100,000 target, that will boost our economy by £10m and help safeguard our livelihoods and our children’s future prosperity! Just imagine what we can achieve if everyone works together to smash it!

Do you have what it takes to break the £100k barrier?

The Challenge starts soon
Sign Up now to join the priority list

Gain more info, tips & advice to grow your business…

10 C’s that Count in Business Branding

Business Growth Tips for Successful Business Branding…

1. Critique your brand

Ensure your offering fulfills your customers needs

First, find out what your (existing and prospective) customers are looking for. And then carefully review your offering to see how well it fits their needs. Develop your brand character to characterise your business, connect with your customers and complement you in the marketplace.

2. Characterise your brand’s personality

Project what’s important to your business

Everyone has their own beliefs and values. They’re what make us unique and determine how we respond in various situations. They also influence the way we dress and the things we say. Few of us think of examining our character, far less changing it. But getting your business brand right is vital to your success.

3. Consolidate your business purpose

Align your business purpose with your brand personality

Why does your business exist? Who is it there to serve? What are your aims in the longer term? If you don’t know, find out! Because these things determine your brand’s identity and position in the marketplace. If your purpose doesn’t fit with your brand personality, you’re pushing success away…

4. Cultivate good customer relationships

Be honest and up-front about what your customers can expect

Customers who are clear on what they’re buying and why, are less likely to want a refund. And it will protect you from a ‘bad reputation’.

5. Choose your tone carefully

Your tone reflects and reinforces your business character

By reinforcing your business character, your customers know exactly what they can expect from your product/service – and what they can do if they feel let down in any way.

6. Carefully construct key messages

Consistent communications are important to customers

Your key messages should blend seamlessly to create and clarify your brand identity.

7. Carve a unique identity

Be original!

Stand out from the crowd. People crave unique, interesting, engaging content. Modern internet users are growing bored with ‘copycat products’. So differentiate yourself and you will stand out.
The key message is be original.

8. Creativity and credibility count

Be open to opportunity and stay flexible!

Big brands are burdened by bureaucracy. Because they have to plan far in advance, they can’t easily change course even when they see a need. Small businesses can be flexible, giving them a chance to grab a slice – maybe even a ‘big’ slice – of the market when they spot a new opportunity arise.

9. Coordinate pricing and branding to reflect your value

Use offers rather than discounts to strengthen your brand

Discounts can often devalue your product rather than attract buyers. But your independence allows you to enhance your offers. And your ethics and efficiency can be great weapons in the competitive battle.

10. Cut ties with the past; brand for the future

Don’t look back, behave how you want to be perceived

Branding is becoming a moveable feast. Small business owner can make decisions ‘on the hoof’ so tailor offers to generate interest and let customers discover how refreshing it is to work with a small company. And then encourage them to tell their friends…


Join The £10 Million Challenge Today!

Our mission is to help 100 businesses reach the
£100,000 profit per year mark.

If each business reaches this £100,000 target, that will boost our economy by £10m and help safeguard our livelihoods and our children’s future prosperity! Just imagine what we can achieve if everyone works together to smash it!

Do you have what it takes to break the £100k barrier?

The Challenge starts soon
Sign Up now to join the priority list

Gain more info, tips & advice to grow your business…

Big Data Top Tips – UKFast Round Table


Big Data Top Tips – UKFast Round Table discuss

Damien O’Dwyer speaking at the UKFast experts round table event on 12th September 2012!

Please watch this short video that provides big data top tips. The experts discuss the best ways to use big data in businesses today.

If you have any big data top tips, questions about big data or would like to speak to Damien about your business, please call 01536 483298 or 07962 308118 today.