Editor's note: Andrew shows how marketing automation can help connect the dots between customer behavior and their purchasing decision. And if you need help with building a winning marketing automation strategy, choosing or implementing marketing automation software most suitable to meet your business needs, consider marketing automation services by ScienceSoft.
Nowadays, B2C companies tend to grow their brand presence online through social media, email marketing, and converting websites. From my experience, these initiatives have the potential to bring a much higher ROI with marketing automation in place. Thus, B2C marketers who take advantage of automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50%. Below, I share B2C marketing automation specifics, tangible benefits, and the most popular marketing automation platforms.
B2C vs. B2B: Why B2B marketing automation is not for you
B2B companies have been the early adopters of marketing automation. They share a common goal in automating their marketing efforts with B2C businesses — to grow revenue. However, the focus and tactics between B2B and B2C are not similar due to the different customer behavior of each segment.
While B2B tends to have a longer sales cycle and more stakeholders involved in the process, the sales cycle of B2C companies is short, and it takes only one or several people to make the purchasing decision. Automation efforts should be honed to convince consumers to buy within a short timeframe. Thus, you should closely mirror a buyer’s journey and anticipate their next move to seal the deal even before checkout.
B2C marketing processes that can be automated
Marketing automation software smartly segments customers based on available data and facilitates building personalized engagements with customers in each segment while releasing your marketing team from repetitive tasks. Here are four key processes that can benefit from marketing automation:
#1 Multi-channel campaigns
Your customers should be given an opportunity to receive your tailored ads and notifications through email, SMS, in-app messaging, social media. This way, chances are higher for the offers to be seen and remembered. It also makes your brand stand out in the minds of potential and existing customers, leading to more loyal clients.
#2 Welcome and on-boarding campaign
Sending welcome emails to prospective sign-ups is another way of personalized engagement. It’s important to establish a connection with prospective customers at the first opportunity to ensure they don’t lose interest or think you don’t have enough interest in them.
To engage with your new customers, you can send an on-boarding email that details the steps or FAQs to ease their understanding of using your product/service. This way, you build trust in your relationship with customers, which will turn into customer loyalty.
#3 Cross-sells and upsells
Surely, selling to existing customers is easier compared to new ones as they are already familiar with your brand. Make this situation further work to your advantage by automating cross-sell and upsell offers for your customers.
For example, by analyzing a customer’s purchasing data, you can enrich a purchase confirmation email with offers that relate to or complement the recent purchase or by suggesting a premium version of your product/service.
Top marketing automation platforms
#1 Dynamics 365 Marketing
Some of its differentiating features are:
- Customer Insights
Allows unifying and merging multiple customer interactions and data sources to form a complete 360-degree customer view. Then, you can apply relevant segmentation and proceed to tailor communication to customers’ needs and interests for marketing campaigns.
- On-brand email templates
Readily available email templates according to different customer situations, enabling customization according to your corporate style. Some examples are a win-back email, an abandoned shopping cart reminder, and a newsletter.
- Customer Voice
Allows easily collecting customer feedback through forms integrated with emails and events to improve your products/services as well as customer relationships.
Limitations: Dynamics 365 Marketing is only quick to install if used out-of-the-box. Any additional configuration and customization may take time to implement.
Pricing: the plans differ based on the number of apps being used. As a standalone app, Dynamics 365 Marketing starts from $1,500 per month for 10,000 contacts. As an addition to your Dynamics apps suite, it’s priced at $750 per month for 10,000 contacts. The price is also incremented based on additional contacts.
You can refer here for more details or watch our free interactive demo.
#2 Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Some of its unique features are:
- Interaction Studio
Allows providing recommendations on the best action/journey based on the data captured from every customer touchpoint in real time.
- Data Studio
Known as the marketplace of second-party data, you can tap into its customer repository to cast a wider net of prospects for your marketing activities.
- Journey Builder
Allows developing and managing targeted marketing campaigns for a large customer base by creating interaction scenarios for different customer segments.
Limitations: Salesforce Marketing Cloud may not have the best tools for creating and optimizing landing pages and web forms.
Pricing: It has 4 pricing plans with yearly subscriptions that depend on the number of provided features. The Basic edition starts at $400 a month, which enables email, mobile, and web marketing. The most advanced Enterprise edition offers the automation of complex customer journeys across numerous channels. The price of the edition is available upon request.
Check out this page for more details.
Its unique features include:
- Landing Pages and Blogging
Allows creating landing pages and other content without development efforts and automatically changing content based on user categories.
- Social Media
Allows automatically tracking and monitoring engagements on social media, as well as scheduling posts to be seen by the right audience at the right time.
With as-you-type SEO advice, you ensure that your content ranks high on Google and remains easily searchable so you drive more traffic to your site.
Limitations: HubSpot customization capabilities may hinder defining additional marketing requirements that are specific to your company.
Pricing: the price of HubSpot Marketing Hub starts at $50/month; discounts may be available.
What’s your next step in the marketing automation journey?
Companies who already use marketing automation software says among its key benefits are saving time for routine marketing activities, increased customer engagement and a higher prospect-to-lead conversion rate. If you are interested in reaping these benefits and need help with elaborating on a marketing automation strategy, choosing and implementing a fitting marketing automation tool, you are welcome to contact ScienceSoft’s team.
As a marketing automation provider, ScienceSoft will help you optimize marketing processes with platform-based or custom marketing automation software.