I was visiting the far south coast of New South Wales last weekend, a few days to get out of Sydney and spend time with family. Sunday morning is generally when I blog, it’s a time to look back over the past couple of weeks and find something that I think will be of value to my readers. I found something.
It's all about the customer
Marketing Automation is a wide ranging tool that you can use for much more than just lead generation. Once you take the time to map your buyer’s journey from unaware to repeat customer, you can look at each stage of the journey and determine what you can do as an organisation to help the prospect and then eventually the customer, to progress.
Over the past few weeks I’ve met with a range of customers and prospects. The prospects I’ve spoken to are in two camps:
- They have an existing Marketing Automation platform which, for a variety of reasons, is not meeting their needs.
- They have a growing database of contacts and have determined they need a smarter way to engage with their prospects and customers.
In each scenario, it’s clear that the way we engage with prospects/buyers is different to the way we engage with customers.
When we communicate with prospects, we’re trying to understand where they’re up to in their buyer’s journey and then determine what we can do to help them progress through that process faster and respond to their business needs in a direct and “value add” type of way.
For customers, it’s about helping them realise that you understand their business and simply because they’re now a paying customer, you haven’t dropped them as you go hunting for net-new business.
But how do you ensure it's all about the customer?
I think the answer to this question is more of a cultural question than a technology question. I’ve read a number of articles about how marketing departments are discovering that the make up of their team does not support the technology organisations are employing to help them keep the customer at the centre of what they do.
There’s the old chestnut of the battle between Sales and Marketing. Sales have no idea what marketing is doing and marketing believe their only goal is either branding and events and perhaps lead generation for the sales team. What happens to those leads once they get passed to sales is anyone’s guess.
Can I introduce you to your customer?
I often see in new Oracle Marketing Cloud customers the need for a paradigm shift. A shift from a mentality that says “I have a contact database of 80,000 contacts and a message, so I’m going to email 80,000 contacts with my message.”
A Modern Marker’s view in this same situation is more like this… “I have a message I need to get out to my contacts, but first I want to segment my contacts based on those who, through their Digital Body Language, have indicated they are more likely to respond to my message.
EXAMPLE: Oracle Marketing Cloud is having a launch event in Sydney and Melbourne on the 1st & 3rd of September, 2014. I initially thought we should let the entire database know – but trying to practice what I preach, I took a Modern Marketing approach.
I segmented our Eloqua Contacts by those who have been more engaged than others over the past 90 days. I then split them into two groups. Firstly, those with a job category of Marketing Manager and secondly those with a job category of Marketing Executive including the C-Suite.
It was interesting when I analysed the open and click-through rates that the executive audience responded better than the manager audience. Each segment was targeted with slightly different messaging and the executive audience email was sent at 7:30am, while the manager email was sent around 10am.
To round out this example, I sent a list to the Oracle Marketing Cloud Marketing team of those contacts who had reached our Learn More landing page or had clicked directly through to their registration page. They checked this against their registration list and 15+ of our targeted contacts had registered. Success.
One Example of Keeping the Customer at the center of what we do.
Following my trip to the South Coast, I spent two days in Melbourne this past week with customers and the Oracle Marketing Cloud marketing team. My visit with one customer was specifically in my role as their Customer Success Director.
At one point the customer asked me “Is this what you do with most customers? I feel like a beginner with the questions I’m asking.” I laughed, I told her that my objective with all customers is to help them get the most out of Eloqua and to maximise the return on their investment.
A Success Story
This customer is a not-for-profit organisation and they work on a membership basis. They use Salesforce as their CRM and have it integrated with Eloqua.
On a previous visit, about five months ago, we developed a campaign to target those members whose membership had lapsed but for less than 90 days. They refer to this as the “grace” period where they still offer services to the member even though their membership has lapsed.
The campaign was designed to get their lapsed members to renew. We developed a Segment within Eloqua to identify members whose membership has lapsed, but not for greater than 90 days. The campaign would then automatically send the member an email reminding them to renew – but first Eloqua would check to see if their membership fees had been paid within Salesforce. The integration took care of this action.
The campaign then repeated this process once a month for three months. Since running the campaign, they’ve been able to attribute 100+ membership renewals per month as a result of the campaign.
But There’s More…
We used the Eloqua Segmentation tool to identify those members who had opened the email, renewed but not visited the online membership renewal page.
The logic being these people saw the email and it was a trigger for them to call and renew their membership via the call centre or perhaps by post based on the standard post reminder they would have received a few months earlier.
Stay the course or adjust as necessary
The example above is just one of the many ways technology can help to keep the customers at the heart of what you do. As a membership based organisation, my customer must continually provide outstanding service and value to ensure the renewal process is a simple decision.
In addition, Marketing Automation can be much more than a lead generation tool. When integrated with your organisation’s business processes it can help to achieve results like the example above at a fraction of the cost of direct mail or outbound call centre campaigns.