What is Marketing Automation? First, let’s define automation:
Automation is the process by which meaningful tasks are efficiently accomplished by a system or process by machinery or technology, which reduces the need for human involvement.
The result of automation is consistency, efficiency, predictability, higher productivity, speed, reduced cost, thus greater profitability.
Consistent, predictable, efficient, productive, cheap and profitable results from your marketing efforts and investments can be yours.
Marketing automation means acquiring customers and keeping them coming back for more.
Marketing Automation means gently keeping in touch with your existing customers. Never forget, it’s not your customer’s job to think about you and remember you. It’s YOUR job to think about and remember them. Automation will do this for you.
Marketing Automation also also means gently keeping in touch with prospective customers who have shown interest in your business, product or service. Prospective customers have visited your website. A website with a purpose is more than just a brochure. It’s a sales representative and an ambassador. Done well, it can initiate a relationship, deliver information and gently invite your new prospect to come do business with you…AUTOMATICALLY.
You already have all (or most) of the component parts of a marketing automation machine. These components exist in almost every piece of printed material, social media activity, your website, print ads, coupon ads, table-top signage, business card, your 30-second elevator speech,and even your Little League team sponsorship. Each of these are examples of marketing.
Question: What Do People Respond To?
Answer: An Offer or a Deal.
As a small business, your best marketing investments are made with direct-response marketing. Direct-response is how to get customers now and how to get customers to raise their hands and say, “Yes. I’m interested.” This is accomplished with an offer. An offer come in many forms. An offer could be a coupon, a gift, an information piece, a book, a how-to guide, or anything of value an interested prospect would accept from you in exchange for their contact information. This is how you fuel your Automated Marketing Machine.
The late Chet Holmes, a marketing genius and author and consultant to major companies and entrepreneurs gave speeches and seminars. Over time, polled audiences by the thousands during his live events. He asked for a show of hands if people where “in the market” for such things as tires, cars, home remodeling, carpeting, technology, etc. What he found was, across the boards, only 3% of any market is in the “buying mode” now.
Observe the diagram on the right hand side of this page. It doesn’t say only 3% of all people are prospective customers. It says 3% are buying now. 7% are prospects.