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Last updated on May 18, 2023

I know this is Marketing 101 stuff but stick with me for just a second before I get into the more advanced content marketing concepts we’ll be covering.

For an ice-cold prospect to become a customer, they will need to travel through several stages.

Failure to provide an ascension path from every piece of content you create isn’t just bad marketing — it’s bad user experience.

Smart marketers anticipate the next logical intent and remove as much friction as possible to create a clear path to conversion.

Are You Using Marketing Automation In Your Business?

If not, there’s no better time than now. 

The general idea is this –  offload some of your most time-consuming tasks so you can focus on other more important tasks.

Things that are repetitive like followup emails, recurring billing, nurturing leads, notifying your sales team when there’s a prospect that’s ready to buy, responding to enquiries… the capabilities of marketing automations are far and wide.

This means increased sales productivity (yay!), reduced overheads (double yay!) and the ability to scale your business with fewer resources (super yay!).

Is it really possible? 

Marketing automation adoption statistics

Don’t take our word for it. The data speaks for itself…

(If you just want to read the how-to, just skip over to the next section)

1. Three quarters of all companies use marketing automations

Also read as: you might be falling behind your competitors if you’re not taking advantage of this

You can either adapt and stay ahead of the curve (which we’re pretty good at helping you in) or give excuses because your customers are “traditional”. 

Our suggestion: 

  • Digitize with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform (try Active Campaign)
  • Have an appointment booking software (Try BookLikeABoss or Calendly)
  • Pixel your visitors (Try Google Analytics)

2. Four in 5 users increased their leads

Source: Invespcro

Marketing automation allows companies to nurture prospects and give them a better brand experience. These smart businesses see a 451% increase in qualified leads (let’s face it, we’re all tired of the “I’ll get back to you” people).

Our suggestion:

  • Retarget your leads (Try Google Tag Manager)
  • Timely, personalized chatbot followups (Drift)

3. 96% of B2B marketers attribute their improved conversion rates to segmentation

Also read as: You need to personalise your interactions with your customers

I’m a sucker for man’s best friend, so I’ll definitely have to give DoggyLoot a shoutout.

This sure goes beyond the “Hey, first name” when you start emails. Personalizing includes the type of content you’re sending them (top of funnel, middle of funnel or bottom of funnel), the channel you communicate (email, messenger platform, social media platform), the call-to-action (CTA) you send etc.

Our Suggestion: 

How Does Marketing Automation Work?

Case study 1: F&B

  1. You have a Facebook ad that goes out targeting your cold prospects to come to your restaurant
  2. Someone is interested and clicks on your ad on your new promotion
  3. They get sent over to your landing page to reserve a table
  4. They fill in their email address, contact details, no. of pax etc
  5. And then get an email confirmation on their booking
  6. A few days before, they receive reminders on their reservation

But here’s also what’s happening behind the scenes:

  1. By clicking on your ad, you are collecting customer data in your business manager account that can help optimize your reach to them and you can target lookalike audiences (others who are like them)
  2. You collect their contact details so you can nurture them with other relevant offers in the future according to their preference (based on what they bought with you)
  3. You save your team time answering the call and having to remember to remind your customer.
  4. All this data is tracked in your CRM system so you can predict how much sales you’re getting, where your customers are coming from (which offer is working), and how much the average customer’s value (ACV) is so you can forecast revenue and you don’t overspend on ads.
  5. Your autoresponder also tracks their activity with you when syncing with your POS system. So it sends re-engagement messages to customers who haven’t been to your restaurant for a long time. 

Throughout this whole process, not once were you needed. The automations handled everything for you. 

Otherwise, it would have taken a toll on your service team, having to run around picking tens of calls every day while attending to existing customers. 

It’s pretty cool, I know. 

Now we go to a more complex B2B marketing scenario…

Case Study 2: Professional Services

  1. You have a Google ad that goes out targeting cold prospects to hire your services
  2. Someone is interested and clicks on your ad
  3. They go over to your landing page to book a free online consultation with you
  4. Then they fill in their contact details and select a slot according to your availability
  5. Afterwhich they receive an email confirmation on their appointment
  6. Leading up to the meeting, they receive valuable content from you via email to prepare themselves. They also receive a brief introduction of who you are
  7. A few days before the meeting, they get a reminder
  8. You two meet and talk online based on an auto-generated link but contact doesn’t take up your offer
  9. After the meeting, there’s an immediate thank you email
  10. Even though they don’t take your offer, you have an email/messenger sequence that goes out delivering more valuable content.
  11. Contact continues seeing your offers and content online in ads. They finally decide to take your offer.
  12. You prepare a proposal and their names are automatically populated throughout the proposal.
  13. A few days later, they still haven’t replied. There’s a follow-up email that’s sent to them
  14. Contact signs and immediately, you receive a notification. You’ve won the deal.

And here’s what’s happening in the background:

  1. Person types a search query that matches the keyword you’ve optimized for beforehand during your market research, where you can track what people are searching for in the search engines.
  2. By clicking on your ad, you are collecting custom data in your business manager account that can help optimize your reach to them and you can target lookalike audiences (others who are like them)
  3. This free online meeting is an extra step that serves as a lead qualification process to ensure your leads are serious before you go down to meet them. 
  4. You collect their contact details so you can nurture them with other relevant offers in the future according to their preference (based on what they interacted with you)
  5. They book a date and time with you without you having to check your calendar or go up and down finding a common slot.
  6. The contact can get to know you through personal email introductions without you having to rewrite them. They also get relevant content that readies them for your meeting.
  7. You don’t have to be so desperate for the sale upfront. Even if they don’t take up your offer right now, you know they’ll continue to be nurtured slowly.
  8. You continue about your day right after the meeting. Your courteous email autoresponder will thank them for you. 
  9. As they continue to interact with your content and offers, they are scored based on what type of actions they take and they receive information they want, how they want it.
  10. They enter a series of nurture and upsell campaigns over a period of time until they decide they are ready.
  11. Your CRM captured all their information before, so you don’t have to do much work with your proposal. It helps you populate everything. You just need to alter the scope of work.
  12. They are reminded about your proposal after a few days of inactivity. Again, you can focus on doing work that truly adds value to your business and other clients. 
  13. You notice that majority of your prospects spend a lot of time looking at the pricing table because your heat mapping tool tells you so.
  14. You can optimize and simplify your proposal in the future so it’s less confusing and they can make an easier decision to work with you.

Throughout this whole process, you were only needed at two points: During the online call and to prepare the proposal. 

This process would be a nightmare if you have to remember to do all these things manually every day, for hundreds of potential clients, don’t you agree?

Marketing Automation in Small Businesses in Asia

Marketing automation isn’t limited to companies with huge budgets or a seemingly never-ending list of customers. It can make a powerful impact on companies of all sizes. 

Here’s how automation strategies can be used:

You know, the Know-Like-Trust concept that we talk a lot about?

Builds relationships: New customers rarely purchase from businesses the first time they learn about it. Which is why marketing automation, like personalized content that’s important. 

You want to build an foster the relationship. By helping your audience learn more about your products and you as a brand, you can prove your credibility as a thought leader and a worthy guide to help them achieve their goals. 

Helps you follow up: There are times when people will browse your website, abandon their cart, or write a customer service query. Follow up messages (whether by messenger chatbot or email) can help them complete their transaction or at least qualify your leads in a more predictable fashion. 

Tracks the customer journey: The more you know about your customer, the better. That’s why you collect more data based on their interactions. You can see how long it takes to make a transaction, what information they need and what assets lead to the highest conversions. Then focus your efforts there.

Final Word to Small Businesses

You need to create the best experience for your customer. Best of all, it can help align all your marketing efforts. 

By packing your content marketing, social media strategy, email marketing, search engine optimization, all with your funnel, you’ll significantly see the benefits.

If done the right way, you’ll be seeing your conversions surge (and stay there) by targeting the RIGHT customers in the RIGHT way at the RIGHT time.