You've heard about it, you know plenty of marketers infatuated with it, but at the end of the day...what is marketing automation and how can it help your event marketing? Chris Pile, Sales and Marketing Director for the Ticket Factory, explains more.
“Not so long ago we had genuine and meaningful relationships with all of our customers. Face-to-face wasn’t just a choice, it was our only option, and it worked, because the essence of any marketer is the customer. It doesn't matter whether you ply your marketing trade in brand, experiential, digital or novelty chicken - marketing is a customer-centric business.
In a bid to better understand customers, businesses have dabbled in brand marketing, content marketing, social media and face-to-face, but these glorious, customer-championing marketers haven’t lost sight of what matter most - sharing a one-to-one relationship where they totally understand their customer.
I'm a passionate digital marketer and I love the fact that digital has helped get brands - and event organisers - back to understanding and engaging in a genuine relationship with their consumers. I'm also a big believer in the power of technology in cutting workloads, streamlining marketing efforts and enabling innovation. So logic suggests that I'm hugely behind the current move towards marketing automation...but rather than a definite ‘yes’, I’d say I more of a nervous "maybe".
Is Automation the future or a step backwards?
Marketing automation feels like the way forward for a lot of brands. If you know the time that a customer is likely to open their emails, email them then. If it's raining outside, don't try and sell sun cream, dynamically change your message to sell a brolly. If someone has just walked by and ignored your event promo, send them an instant offer they simply can't refuse. If someone doesn't open your first email, tweak the message and creative and talk to them again. If your e-commerce conversion rate is lagging, automatically run AB tests that optimise on the fly. The automated possibilities feel endless.
Due to innovations in smart phones, CRM systems, location based triggers, behavioural indicators and a myriad of other factors it seems to right time to litter our marketing plans with automated emails, personalised and dynamic websites, behaviourally influenced advertising and everything in between.
So, here's my nervousness...the fact that perceived familiarity – even with the most predictable of schedules – can actually backfire.
Routines are established through observing behaviour. If your CRM approach is then totally automated with carefully targeted emails and Beacon-induced automated triggers, you can actually start to lose sight of the behaviour that gave you the insight in the first place. The danger is that once you’ve got your customer into a neatly thought-through automated CRM programme you could view your work as done. In fact, you may even forget about them completely.
In other words, does more automation ultimately lead to less customer understanding? What if – after a period of observation and understanding, followed by a period of ignoring your customer completely – they suddenly change their preferences? Who will be there to see this and respond to this change? Unfortunately, you’re still talking to them about things they used to care about. You might have started with excellent intentions and a shared context, but you’ve inadvertently become faceless and no longer understand your audience.
Automated CRM Journeys
We have strived for some time to regain an understanding of and personal context with our customers, so it would be a shame if we lost that now in the pursuit of increased marketing efficiency.
The antidote is, of course, a neat balance of the two; automation has huge potential and can help maintain the relationship you’ve worked so hard to build by testing your theories, methodologies and practices annually. Importantly, you can watch pre-registration levels grow year-on-year, responding to the constant stimuli automated CRM offers.”
For more information about how Ticket Factory can help ticket your next event find out more at: https://www.theticketfactory.com/workwithus/