Marketing Automation — The Web Gets More Personal

So much to do so little time. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed that I have no idea what to do next. Write this, write that, on and on... I often think to myself, ‘Isn’t technology supposed to make my life easier?’ Why does it feel like the opposite?

Every day I feel like I am bombarded by new techniques, platforms, hardware, standards, and software that I should have mastered yesterday. So as you can imagine I was more than a little skeptical when all my friends last year started telling me about Content Marketing Automation (CMA) — are you as thrilled as I am for yet another acronym?

After some investigating CMA makes some hefty promises: automated content delivery, sales pipeline nurturing, lead prioritization based on interaction among other things. But, can it deliver? Intrigued, I did a little more digging.

To summarize some of what I learned: CMA is the automated delivery of outgoing content delivered to customers based upon pre-determined criteria, with the intent that pertinent and targeted information will help a customer move through the sales cycle more efficiently – try saying that ten times fast. Let me take a shot at unpacking that: in an ideal world the people coming to your website everyday would be greeted warmly and given only the information they are looking for when they want/need it; this is what CMA intends to do. I love anything that increases a companies ability to project excellent customer service, so at this point I was hooked at the potential of CMA.

So what are we to expect from CMA? If I connect this to my content management system will puppies and unicorns come raining down from on high? FALSE. Just like all technology this is yet another tool, that can be used to help prospective customers. There will undoubtably be businesses that plug a CMA systems in and implement it poorly, so instead they will have found a new way to spam people – not cool. So what is to be done?

At first glance anything with the word automation gives the appearance of simplicity and ease, sadly this is not the case with CMA. However, there are some real benefits to CMA that I believe are worth investigating.

First, I looked at CMA from the perspective of a consumer. As a consumer myself I like the idea of receiving information only about things I am interested in. For example consider this scenario:

Car Shopping
While perusing your preferred brands website you find a car you are interested in, and you decide to build one out to your specs to see how much it would cost. But before you begin you have to give them your email, this is where the CMA kicks in, and the you build your car. Now the car dealership has your email, but instead of sending you numerous emails pertaining to things you have no interest in: special financing, mini-vans, etc. They send you an email inviting you to check out the cars they have in stock that best match the one you built. Maybe they even offer to drive one out to your place of work so you can test drive it. The options here can become endless and will depend on the needs of your customers.

This scenario can translate to numerous categories: contractors, doctors, and anyone else who offers multiple services within an umbrella category. For example, contractors would be able to offer guides on kitchen design, but only distribute them after an email had been captured, this in turn would set in motion a pre-determined series of emails specific to the needs of those looking to remodel their kitchens. The topics and frequency all determined by the clients interaction with the content sent them.

This is by no means an exhaustive example of what CMA can offer. CMA uses the inherent value of your website’s content to drive data capture, this data is then used to drive the customer through the sales cycle by delivering relevant content to your customers. This could in turn benefit your marketing and sales teams; marketing will have better analytics to judge the quality and effectiveness of their content, and sales will have more qualified leads coming from the website.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how CMA may be used to expand your websites capabilities fill out our contact form. We look forward to engaging your customers with the latest technologies to grow your business. 

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