Marketing automation has exploded onto the global marketing scene, it has been adopted by many organisations. In particular, marketing automation has given B2B suppliers an extra push in being able to generate and nurture leads. But can marketing automation have the same success and effectiveness within a B2C organisation?
The short answer is yes, if adopted correctly. Consumer buying behaviour tends to vary when compared to organisational buying behaviour. While organisations like receiving new information and are happy to receive a phone call during work hours. Consumers tend to be more sceptical when receiving information about purchases via email or when directly contacted from an organisation without any notice. So how can marketing automation be used to not scare off the consumer but conversely encourage the customer to make a purchase?
I believe successful B2C marketing automation needs 2 key factors:
Marketing has evolved since the early days of using print and telephone marketing tactics. We now have two more channels to make an impression on our customers: email and mobile phone. To create a streamlined B2C automated marketing system all of these channels will play a role. Being able to generate strong inbound marketing content has become an important feature in generating clients. While outbound marketing channels are still key for many B2B, inbound marketing is becoming a pivotal inclusion in any B2C marketing campaign. Inbound marketing has taken over due to the freedom of information available to customers and the availability of alternatives. So now, organisations need to be able to generate the correct content which attracts the customers to your web page or to give you a call. Consumers won’t respond to a bland, general email which has hundreds or thousands of recipients. Businesses now need to be able to generate personalised email newsletters and ensure the content within the newsletter is exactly what the customer needs. Otherwise, your marketing automation may be generating you leads but your content will be letting you down. In the world we live in now to be on top you can no longer have one without the other.
Much like being hassled in the 90’s by telephone marketers, filling a customer’s inbox with useless emails can push customers away. Therefore, being able to time when to send that key informative email, or send that quick sms reminder is pivotal in getting that customer closer to making a purchase. Without a good sense of timing, the right content and product can be ignored by a customer if the timing is off. So making sure you have the right data and the right cues are pivotal in creating a well-timed automated campaign. This can include giving customers more space or a fast follow-up if they have clicked on a certain link within your email. But miss-timing when to deliver your content can cause a fall in your ROI of marketing automation.
Marketing Automation can absolutely be used by B2C organisations, however what needs to be understood is that their customers and their buying processes are different. So therefore, when implementing a marketing automation system it has to be specialised towards your customers and how they make decisions. Taking into account both your content and the timing of your delivery can have a huge impact on how a potential customer will respond to your marketing. Putting in the effort during the early stages of your marketing automation can lead to a highly integrated and efficient marketing automation system which can generate, nurture and help convert leads into sales. Whether it be in a B2B or a B2C setting marketing automation when implemented and maintained correctly is a highly effective marketing tool.