Insights 9 October 2019

Marketing Automation : A Future Marketing Tool

Old-school marketing may not be enough to make us thrive in the digital age. 

As people are concerned with time and becoming more sophisticated, the old ways of marketing alone would no longer be effective in meeting customers’ needs. Marketing in the digital world is not only about getting clients to know our products, but also knowing how to offer them what they really want at the right place and time, and with convenience and speed. Today, most consumers use “mobile phones” as a part of their life that can do everything. As such, businesses in the digital era must develop products and services to support mobile phone uses.  

As consumers are becoming more interested in mobile phones, this seems to be good news and marketing appears to become an easier task. But it is not as easy as it seems. That is, customers pay shorter attention to information, and search based on comfort and convenience. They expect businesses to understand themselves without sharing much information and to offer the right products at the right time. Such behaviors lead to a dead-end for the traditional ways of marketing, and

Do less, gain more: Improving the way marketers work with marketing automation 

Marketing Automation is a technology used for analysing customers’ behaviours and understanding their wants with a view to sending the right messages to the right customers.  It has become an efficient marketing tool that creates the ripple effects much wider than a conventional one.

According to the information from VentureBeat, businesses adopting marketing automation saw the number of visitors (leads) growing up to 80% and the rate of conversion from visitors to customers increasing up to 77%.

Why does marketing automation overwhelmingly win over traditional methods of marketing?  

  1. Understand customers – It helps marketers to precisely analyse customers’ behaviours through brand-selling channels and to gain insights into customer segmentation, knowing special preferences of particular groups of customers.  This enables marketers to gain direct connections and access to customers.
  2. Create economies of scale – With the better understanding about the customers, products can be customized to reflect their needs. Even with the same amount of investment, the results can be skyrocketing.  
  3. Save time – Time-consuming manual activities can be reduced with the automated system. For example, campaign releases can be pre-scheduled, thereby saving time and manpower.  
  4. Reduce errors – In the automated system, human errors such as entering wrong information will be reduced. 
  5. Automatically store data – The system can store customer data and behaviours through “sales funnel”, hence the ability to analyse and maintain both new and old customers. 

From all the benefits mentioned above, it is unsurprising that marketing automation is one of the tools that grab the attention of digital-aged marketers. It helps marketers’ work to be more accurate, efficient, and less labour-intensive, for example, using a chatbot to answer customers on a website, entering customer data into a database, etc.

With this marketing tool in place, will marketers still be needed? 

With marketing automation becoming widely used, many people may wonder if we still need marketers in the future. The answer is “Yes.” This is because no matter how far the marketing automation technology will go, marketers are still needed in the field of marketing.  Let’s picture marketing automation by comparing it to the efficient operations of arms and legs; they will not be able to function without an instruction from the brain. Therefore, a marketer is like the brain that has the duty of planning the use of technologies as appropriate. The more the brain coordinates well with the arms and legs, the higher the return on investment (ROI) and the better the compensation for the costs. Thus, sound marketing really needs both ingredients: a good marketing tool and a brilliant marketer.   

Examples of new marketing automation technologies worth watching  

1. Internet of Things (IoT) combined with 5G triggers marketing strategies that lead to new forms of sales such as location-based marketing. For example, airlines use an automated system to track and support the customers who would potentially miss the flights. The system analyses customers’ past behaviours with frequent late check-ins, follows up on customers’ travel status through their locations, and identifies the customers who haven’t arrived at the airport. Then the system will send appropriate service offers to such customers at that particular time such as a “fast track” check-in service. This strategy is a very important tool to both provide personalized solutions to the customers and increase sales volume for businesses at the same time.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data together are used to analyze customer data in “sales funnel” to observe customers’ behaviors at different stages and diagnose causes for their disappearance on the way. For example, a real estate business uses AI and Big Data to calculate and analyze things that are hidden in the customers’ visits via the website, or to make the customers change their mind and come back to buy houses by analyzing the reasons for their fading away; such business then provides promotion programs that most suit and satisfy the customers.

3. Critical Development of Chatbot. Currently, a customer communication tool called “Voicebot” has been developed to help improve work efficiency and interact with customers without taking much of their time. The tool is a perfect combination of technology and human.

“Voice Chatbot” fills the gaps which could not be overcome by “Message Chatbot” such as voice-activated chats with bots that allow users to do something else while chatting without having to concentrate on only one particular service. Another advantage of “Voice Chatbot” is the feature that allows real-time voice interactions. This helps gain a better sense of human connection compared to a communication through letters.  

Your Turn to Change

Marketing automation is not only applied by large organizations but also by many successful startups who achieved high growth based on strong market automation strategies.  For example, “Airbnb” offers products according to specific interests of individual customers. It has drawn more than 150 million users worldwide. Another obvious example is “Grab” that offers restaurants that potentially cater to the tastes of customers by analyzing their past patterns of food orders. It achieved a high success as the value of food orders in June 2019 rose 900% over the same period last year.  

From all the examples above, it shows that sound marketing tools play an important role in strengthening and driving businesses at the digital age towards successes. Those marketing tools have constantly evolved and transformed every day. Thus, marketers in these digital days must always seek to learn and study new tools. It is well noted that choosing the right tools for the right products and services could help increase opportunities to exponentially add value to organizations.