At Silverpop’s Amplify 2014 conference last week, I was excited to see that the experts’ vision for the future of marketing automation is in line with the vision we’ve already been putting into action here at The Mx Group. The conference was jam-packed with valuable information and best practices, but there are three specific takeaways that have stuck with me:
- The buyer’s journey is a circle — not a funnel.
- Effective automation is all about context
- You don’t need to be involved in every single decision. (Non-marketers, listen up!)
The buyer’s journey is a circle — not a funnel.
Your customers no longer depend on marketers to bring information to them — they have become empowered shoppers, and they are changing buying dynamics in today’s world. Buyers now have more information at their fingertips than ever before, and the only thing that gives us a real advantage over our competition is the type of relationship we have with our customers. In other words, how “customer-obsessed” we are.
The reality is this: A buyer’s journey is a circle. As a marketer, your job is to help prospects sail through that circle effortlessly and seamlessly — even after they become your loyal customers.
Effective automation is all about context.
Targeting isn’t enough anymore. Marketing automation is no longer about segmenting your database and blasting emails. It’s about understanding your prospects and using this knowledge to build campaigns that allow you to engage through individual interactions.
The power of marketing automation is not that you can use it to mass email your database. Its power is found in the fact that it can be leveraged to enrich and gather information on your buyers — information you can then use to proactively recognize them. When you learn how to recognize potential customers, you are able to place the right content in front of them at the right time, exactly when they need to see it. Instead of seeing transactions with your buyers (emails, direct mail pieces, banner ads, etc.) as one-off communications, start seeing them as one of many strategic and dynamic value exchanges.
You don’t need to be involved in every single decision.
If you are reading this and you are not a marketing professional, then this — my biggest takeaway, from conversations with dozens of Amplify 2014 attendees — is for you: If marketing is not your thing, then focus on finding the right team and truly entrust them with it. Hire professionals and lean on them to make the best decisions based on your guidance.