• Marketing Automation and The Rise of Micro-Marketing

    If there is one tech area where the CIO, CFO, CMO and everyone else in the C-Suite agree on investing, it’s the customer experience. This is why Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has remained a top software priority since the mid-90s when it first emerged. Advances over the years have helped businesses understand and better serve their customers – driving tremendous Return On Investment (ROI).

    Marketing automation, once a subset of the CRM offering, is now becoming a driving software priority of its own. That’s a very good sign. Many businesses have struggled for years to develop an effective omnichannel strategy to provide customer service seamlessly across all channels. Allowing customers to interact with a business via their preferred channel – web, text, phone, in-person or video – has been a mantra for more than a decade.

    The rise of marketing automation is a sign that businesses have not only developed an effective omnichannel strategy for customer service, but they are able to proactively market now. Play offense. And this in turn is leading to more targeted marketing, which ultimately improves the customer experience.

    Consider how many times you’ve gotten a call, email and even a text solicitation that was completely off the mark. No, I’m not a recent college graduate. Not a retiree either. For years, many companies have blasted offers out to anyone and everyone on a list – often one they purchased that is sorely out of date. This creates one of my greatest pet peeves – spam! One of the biggest drags on productivity in the workplace.

    Talk to marketers and you get even more frustrated. Many send out massive emails expecting as low as a one percent response rate. Ten percent would be considered stellar. So let’s think about this. A business sends out an email offer to a huge list and only one to ten percent will even respond. Not all of them will close. It’s an incremental approach to business.

    But I’d argue that the business is damaging its brand with 90 to 99 percent of the people on the list. Some will just ignore the email or it goes to a spam filter. But for those who see it and realize it’s not on target, they’ll only get frustrated. Why is this bank trying to sell me on a reverse mortgage? This doesn’t make you want to do business with the institution – even if they have other products that are more appropriate.

    What makes marketing automation exciting is that it allows businesses to focus their efforts and cut down on the extraneous offers – collateral damage if you will. Our analyst Moira Smalley is covering this area and has recently identified the leading vendors for solutions. More Info Here

    She also wrote a great report early this year on micro-marketing, which allows business to narrowly target audiences with highly appropriate content. It is also one of our Top 10 predictions for 2017. This is where marketing needs to go if it wants to avoid the brand-damaging churn game. In fact, businesses that embrace micro-marketing could develop significant competitive advantage with highly relevant and targeted campaigns. Businesses that don’t move quickly enough will likely see steady declines – and might not be around much longer.

    Check out this and other predictions at 2017 Top Ten Tech Predictions