To entrepreneurs and their marketing and sales teams, the concept of automation is a fascinating one.
Just imagine – robots doing what people used to do.
This technology cuts way down on the “busy work” of content marketing that many marketing and sales teams have had to do, taking them away from other important tasks.
Content marketing takes a lot of time and effort. And the amount of time and effort a company invests has increased over the past few years because the internet has become so saturated with content.
So when automated systems were introduced, a lot of companies jumped on the bandwagon.
Some had great success. Many, though, haven’t.
What has contributed to their automation failure? And what tactics can your marketing and sales teams implement that will actually see results?
That’s what I discussed with marketing expert and award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz.
Why Automation Isn’t Working for So Many Companies
In working with big companies (like Amazon and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) is that budgets for content marketing have been on the rise. This is great because content marketing is one of the best ways to reach out to clients and prospects.
However, Matt’s noticed a worrying trend – the spending increases and content proliferates, but the companies aren’t seen a commensurate tie between that content and their business results.
His theory is that companies are putting out a ton of “crappy” blog posts that make the companies feel good because they’re getting clicks and web traffic. However, that content and traffic aren’t actively translating into business value.
To Matt, marketing automation is the means of creating consistency and repeatability of certain actions that connect the right content to the right prospect at the right time.
But a lot of companies tend to look at automation as “set it and forget it.”
Good marketing and sales technology mean automating something that robots can do better and more efficiently than humans. The robot can be on the lookout for and track your prospects activities.
They can even take care of some of the follow-up work, like sending the next email in your drip campaign when a client takes a certain action, like downloading a white paper or signing up for your newsletters.
But robots aren’t going to (and shouldn’t!) replace what Matt calls “the human touch.”
Prospects don’t want to communicate with robots – they want to communicate with people.
Therefore, the idea that a robot can take care of complex sales needs is a fallacy.
Yet, many companies think that once they purchase their automation software that’s all there is to it. The robot will take care of everything.
There’s so much more to it, though, if a company is to be truly successful, see growth, and garner repeat customers.
Automation Tactics That Will Help Your Business Grow
How can we take advantage of automation technology without losing the human touch?
The first thing we need to do is slow down and come up with a strategy.
To do that, ask yourself these questions.
What does success look like? What is my ultimate goal? (This is usually a sales or revenue number.)
Who is my ideal customer?
What are the issues they care about?
What type of content will you create to fit each stage of the purchasing journey to engage prospects?
Matt made a really good point: before you can sell to someone, you have to have their attention. What are you going to do to earn and keep their attention?
At this stage, it’s best to forget about technology altogether. Right now, the focus is on the client – their needs, their concerns, what they’re trying to accomplish in their life and/or business.
If you address that in your content, you’re more likely to get their attention and get them interested in a particular topic.
The next step is to consider what else you can share with them that is relative to their topic of interest.
Once you’ve figured out what is going to interest your customers at different stages of the sales process – then you can create something that is scalable and repeatable that marketing automation can now help with.
During these initial strategy stages, both the sales and marketing teams need to be involved. They have a good idea of what kind of persona you want to market to and how you’re going to accomplish this.
Then, have your teams figure out when and what the marketing teams should put in front of prospects, as well as when and how the sales team should engage with customers.
Your Key to Success: Everything Should Be Client-Centric
When it comes to marketing, a lot of companies get really caught up in everything they need to get done – their ever-growing To Do list. What they forget to think about is why they’re doing what they’re doing and for whom.
Matt repeatedly told me (and this is something I’m hearing from a lot of marketing experts these days) that we need to make sure we stay client-centric.
One-size does not fit all when it comes to sales and marketing.
Different people want different things for different reasons and at different times.
The goal of a marketing campaign is to get the right information to the right people at the right time.
Always think about your ideal customer – the customer you want to sell to, the customer who really needs your product, and the customer that you want coming back again and again.
Remembering that your clients are people with needs and desires just like you can make that easier. Think about how your product will serve a person or company. Now think about what other ways you can help them once they have your product.
Start with this and you will start to see successful automated marketing campaigns, as well as the business growth you’ve been wanting.
ABOUT MATT HEINZ
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 15 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty. Matt is a repeat winner of Top 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management and Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers.