The principles of marketing automation are just principles. They work both online AND offline, they just need a different approach to make them work
Most marketing automation platforms are excellent at gathering data for eCommerce businesses and making it available to be used to drive intelligent campaigns and customer experiences
But when you are an offline business with an online presence, or a business that manages and sells to customers through brick and mortar stores, via telesales and through a website, you can miss out on large chucks of valuable data that join up the customer experience
Online, Offline or Everything?
Combine Online and Offline data
To create the most effective customer journeys and experiences using marketing automation tools you need to use all of your data. You don't want to send a customer an email encouraging them to give you a call based on how they have looked at your web content when earlier that day they spoke to a sales advisor and booked a product demo. It looks like your business isn't joined up. Marketing doesn't know what Sales is doing, customer service then doesn't know what the right message is and it gets all confusing for the customer.
Quite simply, you start to look like you don't know what you’re doing and it detracts from your reputation and your customer's confidence in your ability to deliver. Your marketing automation platform only sees the data from the channels that it manages, so it is easy to try and do the right thing and end up taking a backwards step.
So, we know that it is important to join up the customer journey, but the question is how. The answer is in the data, which is to create a single data repository and then ensure that your marketing automation platform, your CRM platform and all the other systems that you use to engage with customers are using the same information.
Connecting the data is the key to delivering great experiences that manage your customer relationship in the most relevant and timely fashion.
It doesn't have to be difficult either. Most marketing automation platforms and CRM systems have the ability to 'talk' to other systems, or export data. This data can then be processed and the necessary information and flags be pushed to the appropriate systems to trigger communications and keep your organisation informed.
Being able to connect this online and offline data turns the example of a disjointed 'book a demo' email to a confirmed appointment into a message of 'thanks for booking a demo, is there anything more you'd like to know in advance?'. It adds value to the customers journey and shows that you know where they are in their cycle of engagement with you. Or more simply, it shows that you know what you are doing and it enhances you in the eyes of your customer.
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