Marketing automation is one of the fastest-growing software industries. It’s currently worth $6.1 billion and is predicted to double in size by 2023, according to SharpSpring. In 2021, North America dominated the marketing automation software market with a whopping revenue share of 49.5%, led by global giants Oracle, Salesforce, HubSpot, Adobe, SAS, and ActiveCampaign. Understanding who wants to buy from you and providing them with solutions that matter to them is essential to business growth. Brands across the globe are investing in solutions that help capture, distill and present customer data – by automating how leads are generated, qualified, nurtured and converted – from prospect to opportunity to customer. It should come as no surprise that, when Invespro asked marketers what their most important strategic goal of marketing automation was, 61% answered lead generation. Another 57% responded lead nurturing, followed by sales revenue at 47%, improving customer engagement 36%, marketing productivity 29%, and improving campaign measurability hot on its heels, at 28%.
Adapting an automation mindset
When you spend time on manual data entry, preparing estimates and proposals, reconciling accounts – or even creating email campaigns – you eat away at your bottom line. But when you can pinpoint those repetitive and often error-prone tasks, not only do you become more efficient, but you can prevent mistakes from causing customer casualties. Similar to Print MIS, which automates a print shop’s production workflow (aka, “the back of the house”) or an ERP, which automates “front of the house” business processes, marketing automation software connects digital campaigns to digital platforms. This lets data flow seamlessly in and out of any number of platform touchpoints – including website, CRM and social media platforms – for more precise, more targeted and more personalized campaigns.
Marketing automation tools mine and house data – like images, videos, audio clips and more – so you can provide a highly-personalized and customized marketing campaign, generate more leads, and increase the chances of them converting into pipeline opportunities. Knowing how to capture, store, manage, output, and present data has become crucial for companies to attract new business – or grow customer ‘wallet-share.’ As the transition from analogue to digital technology progressed from the mid-1980s, it affected many industries and manufacturers, especially print. With this transition, the dominance of data – and consequently the ethos of marketing – turned a corner. While early solutions provided companies with a simple, affordable means to send personalized emails and newsletters to prospects and customers, today these solutions are integral to delivering a comprehensive omni-channel experience that encompasses digital, social and even print touch points throughout the customer journey.
Delivering an opti-channel experience
Providing an experience that seamlessly blends the offline physical world with an online digital one increases brand awareness, loyalty, and excellence. This points directly back to the data, and its role in keeping customers engaged with targeted information that matters to them across all digital, mobile, and physical channels. Direct Mail plays an important role in providing the opti-channel experience expected by a new generation of print and business buyers. According to the Direct Mail Global Advertising Report 2022, the average open rate for direct mail ranges between 57.5% – 85%, while the average response rate ranges 2.7 – 4.4%; email averages a measly 0.6% return rate. Canada Post proved how physical print-mail increased conversions when combined with digital e-mail. Integrating direct mail with digital actually was better at driving consumer action than just using one or the other. People spend 39% more time engaging in direct mail versus digital campaigns alone, and nearly 50% retain direct mail for future reference.
A multi-touchpoint, engaging and relevant omni-channel experience is a brand-showcasing opportunity at every touchpoint throughout the customer acquisition journey – including retention. It includes all assets, from your website to your invoice to your digital campaign to your direct-mail campaign. Salutations, naming conventions, logos and taglines all leave an impact on the customer experience – however subtle, positive or negative. Print and marketing services providers who make use of all media platforms for targeting prospects, and who extend their workflow automation mindsets to marketing automation, will optimize their data and increase open rates, conversion rates – and ultimately, success rates.