Delivered at MGS Europe 19 by Farhad Divecha, Managing Director, AccuraCast.
Get a first-hand account of how Artificial Intelligence and automation are changing the way digitally mature brands and agencies work. The session will cover the benefits and obstacles businesses face when adopting AI, and case studies of successful AI implementation in cross-device marketing campaigns.
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This is a 60-minute webinar recording with Prof. Mohanbir Sawhney to learn more about the upcoming Digital Marketing Strategies: Data, Automation, AI & Analytics (Online) program, followed by a Q&A session.
Digital channels were once a small subset of a brand’s marketing strategies, but they’re now critical to success in virtually every industry. Without a strong online presence, it’s extremely difficult to sell even the best product. This involves everyone, from marketing and sales personnel to web designers and retail app developers.
In this article, we’ll cover three of the top benefits of marketing automation for both physical and online businesses of all sizes. While a subscription to a marketing automation platform might sound like an unnecessary investment, it can help you achieve better results while spending much less time managing each campaign.
Skilled marketers often notice trends on their own, but marketing analytics provide data-driven insights into your performance. There’s simply no replacement for the impact of marketing analytics on long-term results.
Contemporary marketing software can track a wide range of data points for each campaign including click-through rate, cost per click, conversion rate, and more. You’ll also have the opportunity to compare different tactics through A/B testing.
Setting up manual campaigns and ads is extremely time-consuming, and automation tools streamline some of the most tedious and repetitive tasks. Along with better optimization through large-scale data, you’ll likely end up saving money on marketing-related expenses.
Abandoned cart workflows, for example, target users who add an item to their online cart before leaving your store. You’ll automatically follow up with these leads without having to send individual emails. This will give your marketing team more time to spend on high-impact responsibilities rather than simply copying and pasting messages.
Revenue and Sales
Other metrics can be important indicators of performance, but everything comes down to the bottom line. The main reason to consider marketing automation is simply that you’ll make enough extra sales to justify the cost of automation software. Many providers offer several subscriptions depending on the size of your business, so you should be able to find a plan that fits your needs.
In fact, automation leads to an average sales increase of roughly 15%, and 77% of marketers were able to generate more conversions through marketing automation. All things considered, it’s one of the most effective ways to improve your digital marketing results.
Some marketers associate automation with generic or uninteresting content, but the reality is that manual campaign strategies aren’t scalable to the needs of contemporary businesses. These are just three of the countless ways in which marketing automation leads to positive results.
Email automation has become an essential part of any effective marketing campaign. With automated emails you’re able to build lasting, personalized relationships with your customers, sell your products more often, and grow your business faster than ever.
Do you want to download the entire course for FREE? Subscribe, give me your email in the comments and I’ll send you the link. Dear friends, I really appreciate you being on this channel. Here you will learn the latest digital marketing strategies at your own pace. Let’s grow to 20,000 marketing ninjas!
There are a lot of demands placed on marketers today. You’re asked to be jack of all trades, master of all trades. – You need the impeccable taste of a great artist. The rigorous methodology of a highly trained scientist. You also need to be a tech whiz with a grasp of the latest social platforms. And a master of branding, advertising, strategy and media. Even an accounting wizard too.
So, not much to ask, really…
But there’s one capability that’s often forgotten, tucked away out of sight in the corner of the marketing department. Digital marketing operations.
With technology and strategy (the other key components of a successful approach to digital marketing) often stealing the show, it’s all too easy to overlook the importance of operations. So, why do brands struggle with digital marketing operations in particular?
What is digital marketing operations?
First, we need to clarify what we mean by digital marketing operations. The traditional operational, day-to-day side of running a marketing department is only part of the equation. A Marketing Operations Manager must also oversee the convergence of people, process and technology to ensure all three constituent parts work together effectively.
First touted in the early 2000s, marketing operations is now an established field. It goes hand-in-hand with digital transformation efforts across the rest of the business. Marketing operations is – in essence – the marketing team’s digital transformation flag bearer.
And digital marketing operations can generate big results. McKinsey claims that effective marketing operations can improve marketing outcomes by 15–25%.
How can I enhance my digital marketing operations?
Well, there are four areas you can focus on:
1 – Insight and reporting
We live in a world flooded with data. But how much of it are you really using to make data-driven decisions? How much of this data is truly useful? Good marketing operations should always use that data to better understand the customer – what they want, what they like, and what they’re doing.
What you can do: Don’t be distracted by every single dataset – not everything is worth analyzing. Be targeted and focus on data that adds value or provides actionable insights.
2 – Customer experience
Marketing defines your organization’s entire customer experience. Once upon a time it was only specific touchpoints that fell within marketing’s jurisdiction. But today, not only have those touchpoints increased in number and complexity, in-store and online experiences have been subsumed into marketing too.
What you can do: Map every customer journey, both online and physical – especially where the two channels converge. No touchpoint should be left unturned, no link should be left broken, no call-to-action should be missed. That way you can build powerful and commercially effective customer experiences.
3 – Managing technology platforms
Programmatic media, content management, A/B testing, live chat, analytics, personalization and automation, and many more. There are a huge number of technology processes and platforms available that make it easier for brands to engage with customers.
But if different marketing teams are using different systems for the same function, that’s bad news. Marketing ops is there to synchronize and streamline your tech platforms while keeping tight control of costs and processes.
What you can do: Strive to become (and hire) marketing and IT hybrids. This special group of people speak the language of both digital and marketing, finding ways to harness technology to make campaigns more effective and reach your audiences.
4 – Process, governance and team structure
For some, this might be one of the dryer elements of marketing operations. But it’s the area where the potential gains are greatest.
Because this is the phase where you can address questions such as: have you standardized your briefing process? Is your business managing its agencies and contractors as well as it could? Or is work being duplicated, at great cost?
The management of how your organization uses its technology platforms is vital to marketing success. As is the governance process for approvals and stakeholder input, alongside a balanced and complementary team structure – with the right blend of capabilities (and personalities).
What you can do: How you manage your processes and structures will impact every part of your marketing function – and beyond. For example, a poorly governed marketing department could cause problems for your organization’s legal team if it asks for unrealistic turnaround times on approvals. Put rules in place and enforce them.
What you need to do next
To make the most of you marketing efforts and successfully execute a digital transformation, it’s vital to master the operational demands. To get started on your journey, make sure you have a suitable strategy in place, the correct team structure, and the right partner – one with a sufficient depth and breadth of capabilities.
Learn how Avanade can help you make your digital transformation journey easier.
Op donderdag 6 februari organiseren wij op ons kantoor in Amsterdam het Winter-Event! Ons team maakt zich op voor een boeiende sessie waarin je over verschillende onderwerpen kunt laten inspireren door onze specialisten. Dit keer gaat het over: Growth Hacking, Marketing Automation en Mobile Marketing Campaigns
New technologies are radically changing the way businesses interact with customers. As a result, customer expectations are constantly changing. Businesses should innovate and evolve in order to meet those expectations and build relationships that customers value.
To do this, businesses should rethink their approach to customer experiences and engagement.
84% of consumers consider the experiences provided by a company as important as the products and services offered. In fact, a memorable experience with one company has most customers expecting the same from other companies.
Providing exceptional customer experiences can help you stand out from the competition.
How can small businesses create an above average and memorable experience?
Automation and personalization can help marketers attract attention and create memorable experiences. It also allows consumers to advance on their buying journey at their own pace. Personalized experiences through various marketing platforms can increase engagement.
In the process, businesses can build loyal relationships with customers.
What is Marketing Automation?
According to Salesforce, marketing automation tools can help companies manage various marketing processes. They leverage technology to automate and manage complex marketing campaigns across many channels.
Most marketers use automation to handle repetitive tasks and coordinate activities throughout their sales and marketing teams. However, it is much more powerful than that.
Marketing automation gives your business the opportunity to target the right consumers with the right messages. You can target them across different channels, including social media, email, and text. You can also build different messaging variations of the same ad to engage different audiences.
Automation workflows send messages to customers after they perform specific tasks to streamline sales and marketing.
For example, you can pretty much automate the whole process of lead generation, lead scoring, lead nurturing, and measuring campaign ROI. It helps you identify audiences, create the right content, and trigger actions based on customer behavior.
Doing this reduces human error and gives employees time to handle high-priority tasks. This can help your company increase operational efficiency, promote customer loyalty, and generate revenue in the process.
What is Personalization in Marketing?
Personalization involves delivering individualized and highly relevant content to consumers. Marketers do this using data collection, analysis, and automated processes. This allows businesses to engage a target customer by communicating with them on an individual level.
You send the consumer relevant messages through the right channel at the right moment to trigger a highly intentional result. This involves using consumer information to deliver personalized experiences. Their behavior, interests, and demographics help you determine the right channel, time, place, and person.
Personalization helps you reach consumers with creative and interesting messages that are relevant to their needs. You understand each consumer and can develop exceptional experiences in a personal and meaningful way.
Personalization and Automation in Marketing
When customers have great experiences, they buy more and share their experiences with friends. As a result, brands get more purchases and increased revenue.
Personalization and automation allow you to meet the consumer’s desire for instant communication. But it will require you to adopt automation where it makes the most sense or where it leads to the biggest ROI.
Start by understanding where your resources and staff are having a hard time keeping up with the demand. It could also be where a data-driven approach will provide great experiences to consumers.
Identify the problem, then find solutions that fit your needs and those of the customer.
Some of the areas you can implement automation and personalization include:
Personalized website content depending on the consumer’s location or buying behavior
Automated emails based on consumer shopping and browsing behavior
Automated social media responses through social media monitoring
There are many more areas to incorporate automation and personalization, but keep your main business goals in mind.
Automation and personalization can help optimize the customer experience you’re delivering and make your business processes more effective.
Optimizing the customer journey can help brands turn customers into loyal brand ambassadors.
However, marketers must balance their automation and personalization efforts. It’s possible to take personalization too far, where it becomes spammy or creepy. Balance your marketing efforts between offering customers great experiences and building trust. Provide them with only relevant information and in a concise manner.
Consumers find personalization tactics helpful, especially if they make their brand experiences better. They want brands to understand them better, but also know when to leave them alone. Brands must identify customer needs and execute personalization in a meaningful way.
According to a Privacy and Personalization report by SmarterHQ, 63% of consumers will stop buying from a brand after poor personalization. 68% will tell their family and friends, 41% will leave a bad review, and 33% will talk about it on social media.
Consumers find it creepy and frustrating when brands make incorrect assumptions about their interests and likes.
PwC found that customers define great experiences as convenience, speed, consistency, and friendliness. They also need a human touch. They want brands to use technology to make the experience feel more human.
The second something goes wrong; there should be a human to talk to the consumer. 59% of consumers in the PwC study feel that marketers have lost the human element of the customer experience.
Too much automation, and consumers feel that your brand is inauthentic and detached. The consumer will lose interest when they start receiving campaigns not tailored to their needs. Too much personalization also feels intrusive, creepy, and overwhelming.
To find a balance, remember that technology is there to ease and improve the customer experience. It’s not there to remove human interactions completely.
If you assign an issue to a bot that fails to understand the consumer, they may take their business to your competition.
Personalization also requires paying attention to your target customers. How does your recommendation make them feel? If you received the same message, would you feel isolated or helped?
Always put your customer needs first and logically approach automation and personalization.
Using Personalization and Automation for Business Growth
Today’s consumer appreciates and demands that marketers know who they are. They want businesses to understand their priorities and needs.
RedPoint Global found that 63% of consumers consider personalization a part of the services. 61% assume companies have relevant data on them. Another 53% expect brands to know their preferences and buying habits. They should also anticipate their needs.
Balancing automation and personalization allows you to meet customer needs and expectations. You can interact with customers on a personal level and offer exceptional experiences. It also increases conversions and leads to business growth.
The following are some ways you can use automation and personalization for business growth:
1: Provide Target Customers with Valuable Content
Create content that speaks to the consumer on each communication channel. Sending personalized content results in a higher ROI.
Segment your audience depending on their levels of engagement with your brand and then send targeted content. For example, send simple reminders of a big sale or a promotion that’s coming up. You can also send abandoned cart emails to get consumers to complete their order.
Use dynamic content to customize your emails, depending on subscriber data. For example, are they male or female? What is their location? What demographic information do you have about them?
Offering valuable content requires that you know what message type resonates best with your audience. Are your target customers into podcasts, blog articles, images, or videos?
Luckily, there are content automation tools you can use to drive people to seek out your content. These tools use consumer histories, behaviors, and industry to identify content that resonates with audiences.
Cortex, for instance, predicts how your target customers react to various aspects of content. What kind of images should your content have? What version of your content will resonate better with your target audience?
Cortex ensures you create content that inspires your target customer to act.
Other tools like inPowered and OneSpot can also help you produce content that drives business results.
With automation and personalization, you can produce purposeful content. You will be able to meet customer needs while still delivering on your business’ monetary needs.
2: Enhance Customer Experience
Bad customer experiences drive consumers away. PwC found that 59% of U.S. consumers will walk away from a company they love if they’ve had several bad experiences.
Use automation and personalization to improve customer experiences. Become available to customers across channels and at each stage of the sales funnel. Automation allows you to monitor, listen, and improve interactions.
You gain access to social media posts, mentions, survey responses, and reviews in real time. You can then reach out to them immediately to provide a resolution. Customers can also actively engage with your brand.
Customizing experiences to customer needs makes them feel valued. Offer customers a seamless journey by using analytics and data to anticipate their needs. Then you can use those insights to make informed decisions.
This personalization then increased conversions and loyalty. A Genesys CX report found that customers value customized and personalized experiences. It encourages them to repeat business with the brand and recommend it to friends and family.
3: Increase Productivity
When used efficiently, automation tools can boost productivity. Then your sales and marketing teams will not have to spend time nurturing unqualified leads. They use email automation to segment customers so that only the sales-ready leads are passed on to the sales team.
The sales and marketing teams work together to define a sales-ready lead. They then set parameters based on customer activities using the automation tool. The parameters qualify a lead based on how closely they fit your ideal buyer profile.
Once qualified, the marketing team transfers them to the sales team to follow up. The sales team then nurtures them with targeted content and campaigns that drive conversions. Automation combines data and technology to engage and communicate with customers better.
The team controls all aspects of a marketing strategy with real-time data. The insights help them improve and change their strategies. The teams can also access information from all platforms in one location. It makes collaboration easy, boosts efficiency, and improves sales.
4: Cross-Sell and Up-Sell
Automation allows your business to collect information about:
Pages a customer visited
Items they considered
Once the customer returns to your site, you can recommend products they may want to buy. Recommending products based on data collected makes the customer feel connected.
You can use predictive analytics to predict customer buying behavior based on purchases from similar customers.
For example, a pet store can recommend a litter box to a person who buys cat food, based on purchases by other cat owners. This predictive method allows you to up-sell or cross-sell while boosting personalization.
As the customer information comes in, use it to build customer personas. The personas help you visualize your ideal customer and improve your marketing strategy.
Automation helps you analyze and recognize patterns in the data. Continuously testing your marketing efforts ensures you learn from the data collected. Marketing analytics maximize results by telling you what you need to improve.
Track engagement across channels to analyze performance. You can then provide a more personalized experience, engage customers more effectively, and grow your business.
Personalization will help you interact with customers better. Automation offers you insights that can help you improve your marketing strategies.
The two work together to help you understand customer needs and personalize their experiences.
However, you must remember that automation is only a tool that helps you market better. Your customers will still need a human touch. It offers you technical solutions while your team builds lasting relationships with clients.
By using personalization and automation, you can improve experiences leading to increased conversions. The strong relationships you build become the foundation of your company’s growth.
These strong relationships then lead to you getting additional purchases from good recommendations and reviews, which leads to your brand becoming trusted.
How have your personalization and automation efforts impacted your growth?
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant, named the #1 social media consultant in the nation by PROskore Power Rankings. He has expertise in business development, online marketing and is an SEO specialist who has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and a number of A-list celebrities.