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6 Ways Marketing Automation Can Help Reduce the Effects of Inflation

6 Ways Marketing Automation Can Help Reduce the Effects of Inflation

While inflation is making it more important than ever to reduce costs and increase revenue, consider what marketing automation could do for your company.

By Salesforce Canada

Whether the economy is running smoothly or experiencing a period of turbulence, successful marketers make sure they are getting the maximum value out of every investment they make.

This could include the channels in which a brand tries to reach its customers, for instance. If most of their target audience is online, it only makes sense to allocate more of their spending towards digital ads or social media than a billboard or a piece of direct mail.

Smart marketers are equally prudent in the kind of marketing content they create. Instead of messages that primarily focus on their products and services, they tend to tell stories that reflect the interests, aspirations and challenges their customers are going through, and build trust for when it comes time to make a purchase.

The other natural opportunity for marketers to optimize their costs and ensure they see a solid return is on the tools they use to run all the key processes their team depends upon. This is where marketing automation has more than proven its worth.

Marketing automation platforms help brands keep their customers at the heart of everything they do by providing seamless way to gather and manage their data. Purchase histories, e-mail opt-ins, social media sentiment – the range of customer data that can fuel marketing strategies comes in many different forms. Marketing automation both centralizes it and helps teams make sense of it.

Instead of manually setting up e-mail blasts or managing digital ad campaigns, meanwhile, marketing automation supercharges team productivity by taking on more work than a human could possibly handle.

Marketing automation is also a way to reimagine how communication and collaboration happens across the team. Using Slack in conjunction with a platform like Marketing Cloud, for instance, coworkers can brainstorm campaigns and stay aligned on objectives no matter where they’re doing their jobs.

With inflation making it more important than ever to reduce costs while increasing revenue at the same time, consider what a strategic use of marketing automation could mean for your company:

1. Attracting more customers through personalization

The current macroeconomic environment will likely have many Canadians being careful about which companies they do business with, and how often. Marketing to them as though they’re just one of the masses is unlikely to prove as effective as demonstrating you’re aware of each customers wants and needs.

Marketing automation can make use of segmented data, as well as data from customer profiles, to personalize everything from what promotions they’re offered to the kinds of ads they see when they’re browsing online. The more you treat customers like you know them, the more responsive they’ll be to the buying opportunities you put in front of them.

2. Lowering customer churn through win-back and upselling programs

Brands are never in a position where they can afford to lose customers, but during times of high inflation it costs more than ever to replace them.

Marketing automation makes it possible to see who’s most active within your current customer base, and who may be in danger of going dormant. The same technology provides a number of options to reengage those customers. You can send specialized discounts to get them back to an online store, for instance, or set up a reminder e-mail when an item they’ve purchased should be replaced or upgraded.

3. Analyze marketing performance to identify priority channels

Most brands now recognize the importance of marketing in an omnichannel fashion, where they show up everywhere a customer might be. This doesn’t mean you have to treat all channels with equal weight, however.

The analytics capabilities of marketing automation can surface trends that might show you’re getting the biggest conversations through social media, for example. In other cases e-mail marketing might be the bigger source of revenue.

As you see those patterns, you can make better use of your budget to either increase what you’re spending in one channel over another. You can also use analytics to discover strategies for improving your marketing results across under-performing channels.

4. Take the expensive guesswork out of campaigns

Is your marketing content inspiring, funny or deeply informative? Great, but that doesn’t mean your campaign generate results that benefit the bottom line.

The creative aspects of marketing might seem suited to gut instinct-style decision making, but those who have used marketing have proven otherwise. They carve out a portion of their database and A/B test everything from the subject line in an e-mail blast to the images on a landing page.

By seeing which works better, they’re able to develop campaigns with greater confidence in what resonates with customers.

5. Make marketing an always-on activity

Employees may not always work strictly between the hours of nine to five, but brands can’t expect them to be operating day and night. At the same time, however, they don’t want to miss opportunities to connect with customers outside of normal business hours, or those who are living in different time zones.

Companies might have once tried to address this by working with many different partners to outsource tasks that needed to be done in other geographies or times of day. Marketing automation provides scheduling features and connects to tools like chatbots that can help companies build their brands 24/7.

6. Unify with other business functions

Some of the costly mistakes that happen in a business can stem from one hand not knowing what the other is doing. Those in marketing might not be aware of how the sales team is moving forward with leads, or customer service agents might not be making the right upsell offers as they wrap up a call.

Avoiding the risk of business silos is a sure way to reduce duplication of effort and errors that could deplete a company’s coffers. Marketing automation accomplishes this by offering a single view of the customer, integrating with customer service tools, the sales team’s CRM and other critical business systems.

Inflation doesn’t make anyone’s job easier. Marketing automation, however, can drastically streamline the path to elevating your brand and contribute to a more cost-effective, revenue-boosting customer experience.

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