How would Don Draper tackle Marketing Automation?

“What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons” Don Draper, early ‘70’s conversion guru

How do you connect a conversion to the marketing source? Is it when a prospective customer initially has a ‘touch point’ (an interaction) with your marketing campaigns, or is it the final point, just before they buy?

Most would maintain the traditional thinking is that it is that first interaction point. Which would be fine, if the marketing strategies of Mad Men applied to the modern world.

Customers now have between 5 and 23 touch points,* on average, per-brand, before making a purchasing decision. So if you have a wide range of marketing campaigns – and they are all segmented according to your customers needs and the various points in the buying cycle – then how do you quantify that initial point of interaction? The fact is that interactions should be continuous. You are no longer talking at your customers. You are in a continual dialogue with them, across multiple channels, and it never ends. It evolves. Like any relationship.

Every interaction can positively, or in some cases, negatively, influence the buyers journey.

Where then, does automation fit in?

1. A responsive framework
A framework for responsive marketing. If you have a.) the knowledge (about your customer base, broken down into segments) and b.) the assets in place (e.g. the right content for the right time and you can deploy across multiple channels: mobile, web, email, social, etc.) then you can play offense. You can respond and react in real time, rather than sending customers spray and pray message blasts on your timescale, you can be sending them information when it is a good time for them to react.

For example, busy parents can be reading about fun things to do with their kids on their tablets, after the children they’ve gone to bed on a Wednesday evening, when they are starting to think about the weekend, instead of 11:00 on a Tuesday morning when they’re at work.

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2. A cumulative impact.
Hearing the same message multiple times across multiple channels has a positive impact. Providing the right customer is getting the right message at the right time. Which is where segmentation comes in. Automation allows you to keep sending messages according to wherever a customer is in the buyers journey, allowing you to stay on their mental radar. So that when, for example, they’re ready to buy a new car they’ll be heading straight to their nearest Chrysler dealership instead of one for BMW. If one had been sending out numerous automated messages with relevant content across various channels during the last few months then the brand (Chrysler) will be more closely aligned with their need at that specific time (buying a new car).

3. Greater control.
The ways people consume media and content has changed. Many people are not tied to a specific screen (e.g. desktop). We live in a world where multiple screens serve as a point of interaction at various times of the day. This puts the consumer in greater control. It also does the same for our marketing strategies. You no longer have to worry someone will miss the message because you have greater control over how and when they interact with your brand. Automation increases the level of control you have because a response to a certain trigger (e.g. a customer mentioning a need for your product or service) can be set up in advance, ensuring no opportunity is missed.

Automation allows for controlled, responsive, reactive marketing, giving you the ability to deploy the right brand assets and materials in such a way as to interact with the customer according to their specific needs. The alternative is for your marketing department to be operating 24/7, so as to respond to all your customers in real time; which makes marketing automation far more cost effective.

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