Personalization and automation – a perfect marketing team
We generally associate automation with aspects such as speed, increased efficiency and often, with some negative connotations, with mass processing. We probably don’t think about personalization. On the contrary, personalization and automation seem to be incompatible. Nevertheless, marketing automation has been one of the top topics in marketing departments for quite some time. And that although customers increasingly expect a highly personalized customer experience when interacting with companies.
So to what extent does automation contribute to the growing demand for personalization in marketing? In this article we present three approaches.
Definition Marketing Automation
In recent years, Marketing Automation has developed into a broad term with different approaches to definition. Basically, marketing automation is the software-supported automation of marketing processes. This often refers to the automation of purely operative, repetitive processes, such as the sending of e-mails. This leads to time savings and efficiency increases in the marketing team, as less manpower is tied up. But modern marketing automation goes much further: In addition to the pure processes, the enrichment of these processes with intelligent insights can be automated and thus the processes can be continuously optimized. In the areas of sales and service there are further possibilities for automation.
The goal of marketing automation is not only to reduce manual effort, but also to increase personalization and thus improve the relevance of the communicated content. The following three examples show how this works.
Three approaches for personalization through automation
The right target group: Perfectly fitting selections
Surely you know this – instead of addressing all persons from your newsletter distribution list, you only want to address a certain subgroup of them, e.g. all female customers who did not buy product X last year and are between 30 and 50 years old. Now a complex process begins in which you have to collect and evaluate demographic and transaction data of your customers. Often the support of the IT department is needed for this. At the end you have an Excel list that you have to upload into your newsletter tool and then you can finally get started.
An appropriate marketing automation solution simplifies this significantly. Here you have all relevant data such as transaction data, demo-, psycho- and geographical information as well as the contact history at a glance (this is also called Single Customer View). With just a few clicks, you can independently create a selection with the right parameters for your target group and transfer it directly to your newsletter tool or campaign management system. Such a selection can also be saved and updated again and again with newly added data. This means that once a selection has been defined, it can be used over and over again or can be used as a dynamic selection.
Instead of sending the same content to everyone, you can use selections to ensure that only those people for whom a particular content is relevant receive it.
Tie Rigid Timing: Event-Trigger
Through sophisticated selections we know exactly who should receive a certain content. However, the right time for transmission is just as important for the success of the marketing message. To do this, it is crucial to know the customer situation and the phase of the customer journey in which the customer finds himself. The solution is provided by so-called event triggers.
Event triggers offer the opportunity to react to measurable changes in customer behavior. A distinction is made between time-based, internal and external triggers.
Time-based triggers usually refer to a date in the customer’s personal profile. This can be a birthday, an anniversary or the date of a specific purchase.
Internal triggers are based on certain actions or transactions of the customer. Examples are shopping basket cancellations, the achievement of a certain number of loyalty points or the amount of money spent so far or within a defined period of time.
External triggers refer to external events, such as the weather or the stay at a certain location.
By defining appropriate trigger rules that determine under which conditions a campaign should be launched or a message sent, it is ensured that customers are contacted when the content is most relevant to them. This is another key factor of personalization that can be achieved through automation.
The right channel: Omni Channel
As different as the customers are, so are their preferences regarding the channels on which they follow content. Some like to scroll through their social media feed, others like to read e-mail newsletters or walk attentively through their mail in their mailbox. As a company, it is therefore important to be present on the channels on which the customers are. A prerequisite for this is knowing the individual channel preferences of customers, regardless of the customer journey phase they are in.
The keyword here is Omni-Channel Marketing. In contrast to multi-channel marketing, where communication takes place through many channels that are not linked to each other, in omni-channel marketing all channels are linked via a common database.
Automation also supports Omni-Channel Marketing: a corresponding solution collects the response data, analyzes it and reflects the insights gained about the preferred channels directly back into the campaigns. Marketing Automation thus ensures not only consistency but also a high degree of personalization in terms of channels.
Our examples have shown: In marketing, automation and personalization are not a contradiction, but a perfect team. Marketing automation goes far beyond the simple automation of manual processes. New, decisive insights can be gained with Marketing Automation and integrated directly into campaign management. At Apteco we call this approach “Insight into Action”. In this way, we are able to determine precisely fitting target groups, the right timing and the right channels, thus ensuring a high degree of personalization, which in turn significantly improves the customer experience.
On the side of the marketing team, this not only leaves more time for strategic measures, but above all for analysis and creativity, e.g. with regard to content variants and formats.
About the author:
Kristina Kramer works as Online Marketing Specialist for Apteco GmbH in Frankfurt am Main. Under the motto “Insight into Action”, Apteco GmbH specializes in software solutions that comprehensively cover customer analytics and campaign automation from a single source.
Note: This is a machine translation. It is neither 100% complete nor 100% correct. We can therefore not guarantee the result.