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Why Automation Needs to Be Part of Your Strategy (and Not the Whole Thing)

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Why Automation Needs to Be Part of Your Strategy (and Not the Whole Thing)

Okay, so you’ve definitely heard me talk about marketing automation a few (alright, a lot) of times over the past year.

I know it’s still a subject that can divide a marketing panel, but the thing is automation is kind of like the mobile phones of the marketing world. You might have your reservations about this new piece of technology but pretty soon everyone’s going to be using it, and ten years from now we won’t even remember what marketing was like before it.

But before I jump into my lengthy laundry list of why marketing automation needs to be one of your top priorities for 2019 (and don’t worry I will), for those of you who are new to the debate, what exactly is marketing automation?

Marketing automation.

Marketing automation is about creating a series of automated pathways or funnels that will help to gently nurture your leads and take each potential client down their own unique pathway to purchase.

For example, if I sign up to your site and tick a box that says I like to go skiing, I’m going to get an email when your ski gear goes on sale. If I then purchase a pair of snow boots, I might get a text message offering me 10% off your range of snow jackets. I might also get a follow-up email a month later asking me to review my snow boots and jacket.

Or if I purchase your range of skin products and you know that on average they last around two months, just before the two-month mark I might receive a special loyalty offer giving me 5% off my skincare bundle or even just reminding me that I’m due for more.

Alternatively, it could have nothing to do with products, this funnel could be about promoting your upcoming workshop series; the more links I follow, the more engaged you know I am.

Funnels and cause and effect triggers.

These will look different for every business, but the point is that you can nurture your leads and keep your current customers in your ecosystem with very little input from your marketing team.

It’s not about making your marketing team redundant so that you can save on wages. It’s actually about making them more efficient by taking these menial tasks, that literally, a robot can do, off of their hands and giving them more time to be creative and focused with new marketing campaigns and what they do best.

But beyond all this, there’s one big reason why you really should be using automation, and it’s a pretty simple one: Everybody else already is.

I know what you’re thinking, “If all the top marketers jumped off a bridge would you?” And, well, no.

But if all the top marketers are using a particular platform, I’m going to want to know why, and the fact is that 70% of companies say that marketing automation actually improves the targeting of their messages and with very little sweat from their staff.

Marketing automation needs to be a part of your 2019 communication strategy, but it shouldn’t be the whole strategy.

Why? Well, for the exact same reason you need to do it, everybody else is using it. Automated messages aren’t some fancy feat anymore; it’s actually just what your customers are expecting of you as a legitimate business.

The way you go beyond that is by integrating your automation strategy with some personal flair.

When you’re a Small Business this is so much easier to do than you may think:

  • It’s having a face to face conversation with your clients wherever possible.
  • It’s responding to their comments on your social media pages with personal responses and not just automated ones.
  • It’s taking the time to give your most loyal customers a call every now and then to check in.

Automation is what will give your business credibility, but these personal touches are what will set your business apart.

So it’s safe to say that if you haven’t already, 2019 is definitely the time to start dipping your toes into the great big world of marketing automation. But don’t worry, your business doesn’t need to sacrifice its personal charm, and in fact, it really shouldn’t.

It’s about finding a way to integrate these strategies so that your marketing can be both professional and personal and so that your marketing team can work smarter and not harder.

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