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What is Marketing Automation?
Interpreting it in its simplest form, marketing automation refers to the usage of software to automate repetitive marketing activities.
With the help of the right marketing automation software, you could automate redundant tasks in the likes of social media posting, e-mail marketing, etc. It not only enhances the efficiency of your marketing team but also renders a more personalized experience for your customers.
Marketing Automation for Your Retail Business
As a retailer, I’m sure you’re wondering how marketing automation would benefit your business.
Well, let me walk you through an illustration for better understanding.
Let’s say that Zoey is the customer of a fashion retail store. And let’s assume that it has a brick-and-mortar store, a mobile store where Zoey can make her purchase via its mobile application, and an online store.
Zoey, a fashionista, visits the physical store to look for the latest collections. The sales associate informs her of a limited discount that expires by the end of the month, but Zoey has no intention to shell out money to stock her wardrobe immediately.
However, she takes note of the discount, gives her name and mobile number to the sales associate, and leaves the store.
Down through a week, Zoey visits the brand’s website and is surprised by a personalized homepage banner that reminds her of the limited discount on the latest apparel collections.
Now, Zoey clicks the buy now button. It takes her to the product page. But naw, she drops her decision to purchase the dress.
And as it nears the end of the month, Zoey receives a push notification on her mobile through the brand’s mobile app.
This time Zoey doesn’t hesitate. She clicks on the call-to-action (CTA) button. It takes her to the app that has already added the dress to the cart with the discount pre-applied.
Zoey checks-out and overnight her Bohemian style dress is shipped to her doorstep.
If you look at Zoey’s buying journey here, right from the time she visited the store to the time she bought the dress, the messaging was consistent. Even more interesting, she gets a completely seamless experience across both the online and offline stores.
And this, my friend, is marketing automation in the retail context.
Marketing Automation Stats for Inspiration
Research shows that you could drive a 14.5% increase in your sales productivity with marketing automation. If you have the right platform and the right strategy, you can experience an average of a 451% increase in qualified leads.
What’s more impressive is that lead nurturing through automation can yield 15% to 20% of potential buyers.
Let me now translate what these numbers mean in an actual business scenario.
The Benefits of Marketing Automation
1. Lead Scoring and Nurturing
A marketing automation platform would help you mark lead scoring to notify your sales team when a lead transforms to a sales qualified lead.
This empowers you to do things easier, efficiently, and in real-time. Without wasting any time, you’re thus game to reach out to prospects immediately.
Additionally, marketing automation makes lead nurturing possible. It will help you create drip emails with analytics and tracking systems in place to measure its success.
2. Personalized Marketing
A marketing automation software consists of segmentation and reporting modules. This will help you create more personalized content. You can also target your consumer base on multiple channels - paid ads, social media, and email campaigns.
So, ideally, what’s happening behind the screens is that marketing automation turns your online store or web visitors into leads. And once you know who your leads are, you can simply segment them based on their behaviour.
But keep this in mind, your entire lead nurturing process must be personalized. If someone browsed through baby products, send them a catalogue of baby products with incentives.
In this manner, you would render personalized and engaging messaging.
And what’s more, you can combine the insights you glean from personalization to score your leads.
3. Better Conversion Rates
If you’ve struggled with efficiently managing your leads to increase your conversion rate, marketing automation is all you need.
Your marketing automation tech stack would track your leads. So, you could use that data to retarget visitors who do not convert.
And again, this gives your team more time to analyze your marketing strategy rather than toiling non-productively.
But unfortunately, all these benefits will come to you only with the right tech stack. Without it, my friend, I’ll be honest, your marketing automation can fail drastically.
Did You Know that Marketing Automation Can Fail?
While marketing automation can help you fetch greater personalization, sometimes, it can get downright creepy.
I’ll show you how.
Take a look at this tweet. Sure, personalization can do wonders in getting customers to avail of your products and services. But some retail brands surely have to tread carefully.
So, as with all technology, you need to follow the best practices with marketing automation to drive fruitful results.
Marketing Automation Best Practices
Tips to Choose the Right Marketing Automation Platform
1. Wholesome Marketing Automation Platform
When you invest in a marketing automation platform, ensure that it gives you an all-in-one solution. Otherwise, if you have to depend on disparate plugins and tools, you wouldn’t be able to concentrate on delegating a consistent customer experience.
2. Data-Oriented Marketing Automation Software
You need a marketing automation software whose cornerstone is data. So, the platform must be AI-powered to help you translate data points into actionable insights.
And ideally, your marketing automation tool should give you a true single customer view.
3. Retail-Specific Marketing Automation Tool
Your automation strategy must be backed by a retail-specific automation platform. Only if it focusses on the retail vertical, will it be able to cater to your specific use cases.
4. Autopilot with Marketing Automation
Trust me, investing in a marketing automation software is very important. After all, when you want to tweak your loyalty program, you should be able to do it on your own. If you’d have to depend on the vendor or the supporting IT professional to assist you on this, then your processes are going to struggle.
If you’re looking to shell out money on a cool DIY, customizable marketing automation platform, try Ingage.
Ingage - A Cutting Edge Marketing Automation Platform to Try
There are various marketing automation tools out there - Hubspot, Marketo, Customer.io, and others.
But the main snag here is that they are not retail-specific.
However, with Ingage, you can create campaigns based on dynamic segmentation, build your referral and loyalty programs, distribute your coupons, monitor sales and other important KPIs with exhaustive dashboards, besides other interesting features.
Would you like to get more insights on Ingage? Schedule a product discovery session and let’s explore how Ingage would help your retail business skyrocket its bottom-line.