Customers direct most of their buying journeys independently of brands, making it more important than ever for marketers to understand and engage customers on an individual basis.  

“Marketers need to find tools that help them redefine rules of engagement,” said Anastasia Pavlova, senior director of marketing at San Mateo, Calif.-based Marketo during the May 5 CMSWire-Marketo webinar, “Build a Business Case for Marketing Automation.” 

How Marketing Automation Helps

It’s less about point-in-time campaigns and more about the need to have a more “continuous and relevant discussion” with audiences and customers over time. Marketo, a marketing automation provider, believes marketers must connect with people on an individual level with an anticipated outcome depending on where they stand in their journey.

And marketing automation is the engine that makes this works, Pavlova said during the webinar.

“Marketing automation is a technology that allows companies to streamline, automate and measure marketing tasks and workflows to increase operational efficiency and grow revenue fast,” she said. “It acts as a central database for all marketing data and all different digital channels like mobile, email and offline data.”

Marketers in the central database can mine data, drive insights from data and make it all work in an “engagement marketing engine.”

“It enables you to create, manage and automate marketing processes and conversations across offline and online channels and gives you an analytics engine to test, measure and optimize your marketing ROI," Pavlova added.

Principles of Engagement Marketing

Through marketing automation, marketers can engage with prospects and customers on new levels.

Pavlova explained how during the webinar:

Engage as Individuals

Marketers must treat customers in a personalized way that’s relevant and applicable for just their needs.

“As a marketer that’s difficult to do,” Pavlova said. She cited the example of a Marketo client that has a beach vacation destination. The web offers would be different, for instance, for college students vs. empty-nesters.

“You need to understand the needs and market products in ways that are relevant to them,” she said.

Engage in What They Do

Another Marketo client has multiple web domains and must be able to personalize home pages based on the needs of visitors. They’ve seen five times the number of conversions through personalized web pages.

Learning Opportunities

“What’s even better,” Pavlova said, “is not only are they personalizing the experience for known visitors but also for unknown visitors, which has magnified their opportunities.”

Engage Continuously Over Time

Do not conduct quarterly campaigns or schedule them monthly. Marketers must shift from point-in-time campaigns to campaigns that allow them to capture customers at the right moment.

“Instead of one-off campaigns you’ve got a whole database where you can market to customers continuously,” Pavlova said. “You’re developing relations that last a long time.”

Direct Everything Toward Outcome

screenshot from marketo webinar on marketing automation

All marketing campaigns must be directed toward an outcome, Pavlova said. Ultimately you’re driving customers toward a purchase, but you want to ensure they’ve successfully adopted the product and use it well enough where they want to repurchase or renew.

“Start building trust, and you can get them to share their experiences once they realize the value of your product or services,” Pavlova said. “They can become an advocate for your brand.”

Title image by Anna Vander Stel

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