The process of marketing automation has started to fulfill an old prediction made by Don Peppers
and Martha Rogers in their book "The One to One Future." These visionaries foresaw a world in which any business would communicate directly with their customers in a way that is much more personal than anything that was done before.
It has taken twenty years to arrive at this point, the point where technological advances, such as the Internet and social media, have put one-to-one communication within the reach of any business, regardless of their size. Web-based marketing automation solutions now enable businesses to hone their inbound marketing strategy by tracking the behavior of prospects and mapping the customer journey.
Mapping the Customer Journey
Imagine your goal is to map the online journey of customers, because you want to use this information to identify events, or triggers, that happen along the way. When you have identified the triggers, you will use them to approach customers in a way that is most relevant to them at that particular time. All this can only be done if the entire marketing process has been integrated and automated.
Automated marketing tools make it easy for you to track customers on their journey. It also enables you to automatically respond to events or triggers. Triggers can be based on behavior. A customer might read an article in your newsletter, download one of your white papers, watch one of your videos, or like something you posted on Facebook. A behavior-based trigger could also be an inaction, like not opening an email.
But triggers can also be based on fulfilling certain criteria. These triggers usually come from customers' profiles. For example, on customers' birthdays you can automatically send out birthday greetings or special offers. Other triggers can be activated in the course of time. For example, a couple of weeks after a purchase, you send a direct email with fun or useful tips relating to the purchase, or you send a discounted offer for matching accessories.
If you approach a standard communication form, like a newsletter, in this way, you can tailor the content of the newsletter to each recipient. With each email you try to elicit more personal information from the recipient. This way you can deliver increasingly personalized content.
The beauty of marketing automation is that, for the first time, it has become possible to approach customers one to one in a quick and efficient way. The rules of which trigger provokes which reaction are decided in advance and are locked into an automated response system. Communication flows with triggers included aren't complicated to work out. Work yours out on paper first if you need to or inquire about Marketo’s consulting services.