If you are a marketer looking to find a good marketing automation platform to help you run marketing campaigns at scale, you will discover that most platforms offer similar features.
All of today’s marketing automation / campaign management platforms give you the ability to upload lists, create segments, send cross-channel communication, nurture them and track responses.
Most marketing automation platforms allow you to track your audience behavior in the website and provide personalized communication.
If all marketers use marketing automation platforms with similar features, why is that some marketers are able to run successful marketing campaigns at scale and some are not?
Isn’t it apparent that the success of your marketing campaigns depends on something more than the marketing automation platforms themselves?
So what is it that is missing from today’s marketing automation / campaign management platforms?
In this post we uncover 4 parameters that are essential for marketing campaign success but are not available intoday’s platforms.
This point of view is based on our experience in managing over 100,000 campaigns for 100+ brands over the past 15 years.
Key ingredients missing intoday’s marketing automation platforms
All marketing automation platforms allow you to create and execute campaigns at scale.
But, not one platform tells you how to run marketing campaigns that are meaningful and successful.
The success or failure of a campaign is largely dependent on the team that conceptualizes and executes campaigns.
If you agree that just possessing Microsoft Word doesn’t produce poetry; possessing Adobe Photoshop doesn’t create awesome designs and possessing a DSLR camera doesn’t result in stellar photographs, why is it hard to acknowledge just possessing marketing automation platforms don’t make you run successful marketing campaigns?
So, what is the secret sauce that differentiates successful marketing campaigns from the rest?
The answer isn’t rocket science. This is what marketing professionals have been taught for decades.
Yet, because they are not available as built-in features on marketing automation platforms, a wide gulf exists between marketers that run successful campaigns and those that don’t.
And, here is the secret sauce or the missing ingredients intoday’s marketing automation / campaign management platforms.
- Absolute visibility into audience behavior
- The right marketing opportunities mapped to each identified behavior
- Accelerated campaign development to act on each opportunity
- Ability to optimize variables beyond email send time
Absolute visibility into audience behavior
One of the fundamental principles of marketing is that “all customers differ”.
Within your customer base, some engage actively with your brand, some decline, some are lost, some will be raving, some are dormant, some are extremely dissatisfied, some, advocating and so on.
But, how do you know which of your customers to slot into which segment?
Conventional demographic segmentation is definitely not going to help you with this.
The only way to slot customers in the right segments is by analyzing your customer transactions and identifying similarities.
You need to consider as many fields as possible. Because, greater the segmentation filters, the finer the segments will be.
For instance, imagine you are a bank marketer and want to slot the dormant customers of your debit card.
In a conventional method, you may simply choose those customers that have not used your debit card in the past 90 days.
If you take a look at today’s marketing automation platforms, none of these platforms tell you that such fine micro-segments exist in your customer base.
Instead, they just execute whatever segmentation criteria you define and throw you the list of customers that satisfy your criteria.
So, it all boils down to your ability to finely-craft the micro-segments that determine the relevance of the campaign to your audience and its eventual success.
Imagine if you have a platform that automatically tells you such intricate customer micro-segments and hundreds of such micro-segments exist in your customer base?
Acquigo is the world’s first and only platform that comprehensively does this.
The right marketing opportunities mapped to each identified behavior
Most organizations and marketers who are constantly under number pressure think that they have to keep selling.
When someone is not a customer and has no relationship with you, then you need to "sell" to them, to acquire them and make them your customers.
But customers are different from prospects. Prospects expect you to know little about them.
In fact, prospects find it creepy when brands they don't know about, target them with too much personal information.
Whereas once prospects become customers, they suddenly expect you to know them and target them better, to understand their needs and wants and states and actions and behaviors, and target them accurately. Not just "sell" to them indiscriminately.
To do this, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of marketing actions that you could take.
So, once you get the ability to finely craft micro-segments as discussed in the previous section, the next step is to map the right marketing action to each identified behavior.
These marketing actions should be relevant to the behavior exhibited by the customers and must be beneficial to them and not for the brand.
We understand that some of you reading this post might have a different point of view.
However, if your customers exhibit behavior that tells you they are not in a mind-set to buy more products from you, what is the point in keep on asking them to buy?
Unless your product qualifies as an impulse purchase, it is almost certain they are not going to buy it.
Instead, when you offer them the right action based on their own behavior, it’s very likely they are going to embrace it.
When this happens over a period of time, your customers start having a perception that you really care for them and you only recommend actions that are beneficial to them.
So, when you recommend a new product when their behavior warrants it, it’s certain that the adoption will be far greater.
To be honest, there are several marketing objectives like the ones below that you can map to your customers, including cross-sell and up-sell that will be greatly beneficial to your brand.
If you can conceptualize and create campaigns related to the above objectives, today’s marketing platforms can execute and carry them out, as per your instructions.
However, none of today’s marketing automation platforms tell you when to run these campaigns or on which segment of your audience, which is essential to the success of your marketing campaigns.
Imagine how beneficial it would be for you if you had a platform that presented the campaign opportunities across marketing lifestages and your portfolio.
Acquigo is the world’s first and only platform that comprehensively does this.
Accelerated campaign development to address each identified behavior
Every marketing automation platform today, allow you to develop campaigns. But, do they empower you to leverage every single opportunity offered by every single customer micro-segment?
It depends! When you have an army of resources and fat marketing budgets, this may be possible.
But not for brands with lean marketing budgets and limited resources.
Typically, to create a campaign from scratch using an enterprise marketing automation platform today, you need about 40 hours.
Going by this, assuming you have a 100 customer micro-segments across your products, you will need more than 4000 hours to create these campaigns, which isn’t viable.
It’s not just this.
The time taken to generate creatives for multiple channels is often overlooked.
When you take a day or more to generate one creative, it is not a problem if you sent brute force one-size-fits-all creatives.
But when you intelligently micro-segment your customers, each segment needs a finely-crafted creative most relevant to that segment. This needs a Creative engine that can design and deliver creatives at scale.
None of today’s marketing automation platforms can help you with this.
In fact you would have to depend on multiple platforms to create emails, SMS, push notifications, landing pages, short URLs and tracking code generations.
This extends the campaign development time further.
So, even if you had the capability to finely craft micro-segments and the ability to map marketing objectives to each micro-segment, the success of your marketing campaigns is not guaranteed.
Because, your ability to act on all identified opportunities is limited and you will not be able to reach all customer micro-segments.
So accelerating the campaign development process is a key ingredient to executing successful marketing campaigns, at scale.
While today’s marketing automation platforms allow you to run recurring campaigns with very little effort, creating the initial set of comprehensive campaigns is a humongous task and a nightmare for most marketers.
Imagine, if you had a platform that allowed you to create campaigns in just a click so that you can act on every single identified opportunity, continuously.
That’s exactly what Acquigo offers.
Ability to optimize variables beyond email send time
You see the email send time optimization feature in most enterprise marketing automation platforms.
What it does is that it delivers the email at the time where the recipient is most likely to open it.
While this is indeed good, this is not enough to make a marketing campaign successful.
Let’s see why.
Digital channels have proliferated over the past few years and the adoption of Omni channel is on the rise.
In this scenario, where your audience prefers different channels to engage with brands, how is just optimizing only your email channel enough?
What if your audience is more receptive to SMS or Push Notifications or WhatsApp?
And, optimizing delivery channels is only one aspect of optimizing marketing campaigns.
In fact, optimizing the responses to marketing campaigns is a function of optimizing segmentation criteria, optimization of the marketing action, optimization of delivery channel (preferred channel), optimization of delivery time, optimization of creative and optimization of landing pages.
The most important thing is, all these optimizations need to happen simultaneously and comprehending variables influencing each is practically beyond human capability.
And none of today’s marketing automation platforms do this comprehensively, leaving the responsibility of optimization to marketing campaign teams.
Since the optimization of all variables that influence campaign responses is beyond human comprehension, most optimization efforts are one-off and fail.
And this has a huge impact on the success of campaigns.
Imagine how well you can maximize the responses of your campaigns if you had a platform that automatically optimized all response-influencing variables without you doing anything, constantly?
This is exactly what Acquigo does with its auto-pilot feature.
Here is how Acquigo goes about optimizing your campaign responses.
Although today’s marketing automation platforms come with great capabilities to execute your instructions to run complex campaigns and cross-channel journeys, these platforms lack key ingredients that make or break your campaign.
We also discussed what those features are and we truly believe this article is a valuable resource in determining what features you should ideally be looking for while choosing the right marketing automation platform for your brand.