"The attention economy is not growing, which means we have to grab the attention that someone else has today." — Brent Leary

I remember Brent Leary, a partner at CRM Essentials and a well-known subject matter expert on CRM, making that bold assessment a few years ago, and it still rings true today. 

The battle for customer attention has never been more intense. Fortunately marketers are finding a few ways to help ease their efforts to retain customers. 

Marketing automation is one of those effective digital balms. 

Here are three ways automation unleashed valuable analytic strategy. The key is through timing and segmentation, which leads to analytic decisions that highlight meaningful operational support.

Save Time

Marketing automation can save businesses time by communicating on frequently asked questions.

This reduces repetitive questions that clog team inboxes or lessen frequent phone calls surrounding the topic. This is particularly useful for customers in the early sales cycle.

For instance, a customer service department may be receiving countless phone calls from new customers requesting guidance during initial cable setup.

A marketing team can then setup an email campaign that automatically sends a guide to new customers.

That email would provide brief step-by-step directions concluding with a link to their knowledge base for access to more in-depth instruction. The result: new customers who are impressed with the response while providing customer service more time to focus and support customers with bigger issues.

Offer Tailored Messages

As you can probably imagine, marketing automation helps businesses enhance their messages to specific customer profiles.

Planning for automation directs attention to a deep dive into how customer view specific products they are using.

An automated solution can continuously receive information related to customer activities, such as email opens, link clicks and form submissions.

This activity related data is stored for future use. Marketers can then use it to develop recommendations or solutions based on customer activity, history and interests indicated. Measuring message performance based on customer profiles can lead to more tailored feedback and support, faster and more efficiently.

Enhance Customer Understanding

Marketing automation encourages accurate analytics for understanding how a potential buyer or existing customer interacts with a brand, be it through email link clicks, website visits, or downloads.

Automation enhances the metrics behind these actions so that a comprehensive picture of a prospect’s potential readiness to connect with your business is formed.

Instead of making decisions on a few isolated metrics, a marketer is now considering a set of metrics that serve as clues to a customers willingness to learn about a service or to purchase a product. The approach taps into the statistics regarding the unconverted – that large percentage of a website visitors or app sessions in which no action takes place.

E-consultancy discovered that 83 percent of online shoppers expect support to complete a purchase, within minutes. Therefore, marketers must corral a business’ touchpoints with customers to provide the best service.

Insights into what the customers have consistently viewed or downloaded can highlight where the right information, or even the right contact, in the buying cycle can help. Targeted feedback and assistance will lead to more satisfied customers, increasing the chance of purchase.

The quote from Brent Leary is almost 3 years old, and since that time numerous automation tools have entered the market, such as programmatic ads and more advanced CRM solutions.

But regardless of the combination of solutions marketers choose, incorporating marketing automation into a strategy can be a great path for increasing analytic capability, and ultimately increasing sales.