1). Analyzing user behavior data
About a year after Andrew Pole created his pregnancy-prediction model for Target, a man walked into a branch of Target and demanded to know why Target would send coupon of baby goods to her teenage daughter.
The manager apologized to the man. A few days later, the man called to apologize because his daughter was actually pregnant.
How did Target get to know a girl was pregnant even before her father? That is the beauty of marketing and sales automation. Detection of this pregnancy was automatic by Target’s software.
Today, the business of marketing and sales has gone beyond trial and error. It has gone beyond hoping that customers will buy your product or service. You must be a step ahead of your customers.
How can you be a step ahead? By utilizing marketing and sales automation to analyze user behavior. A company like Target is able to predict with high accuracy when a lady is pregnant due to her behavior online. Through this, Target has been able to create a multi-billion dollar segment of its business for mom and baby products.
A pregnant lady has needs before she puts to bed which are different from that of a man trying to pursue a career. People have different needs online and their behavior helps businesses to know how to serve them.
Imagine how effective your business will be if you can offer a product or service to a customer that you know will likely buy it?
2). Increase inbound leads at the top of the funnel
As a business, you can't achieve your goals without leads. Your leads go through your sales funnel and if they become convinced, they buy your product or service.
One of the major things you must consider for your business is how to get more leads for your business. Because when you get more leads, there is a higher probability of more sales.
There are many ways you can get leads to your website. One of the main ways is through the content on your website.
Many years ago, it’s easy to produce content for everyone or do a mass advertisement. However, it’s an ineffective way of increasing leads for your business. Marketing and sales automation has made it possible to even tailor your content to the types of leads you're expecting.
Now the key to reaching your target as a business is not only to get leads but to get quality leads. You're able to get data on the sales funnel you have created for capturing leads.
3). Takes personalization to a higher level
Why is Amazon the largest online retailer today? a survey by Survata for BloomReach, Amazon is so big that 44% of consumers start their product searches on the platform, compared to 34% of consumers who search on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
There are many reasons for Amazon getting to that enviable position in the e-commerce marketplace.
One of these reasons is that Amazon makes you come back to buy more. It makes you a repeat customer which is one of the best achievements a business can make. One key to making that happen is personalization.
Your page on Amazon is different from mine. Because your page is tailored to your needs while mine is tailored to my own needs. The recommendations each customer gets is relevant to their tastes and needs.
When you as a customer have a feeling that a business really knows you, you want to buy more.
In the same survey by Survata, 87% of people said they specifically buy from the company that best predicts their intent and suggests the right products for them.
Marketing and sales automation is helping Amazon maintain its lead in the e-commerce industry. Although your company is probably far smaller than Amazon, any business today can still use personalization to deliver memorable customer experience and boost their bottom line.
4). Enhances learning and testing
You must be able to learn which part of your business is not effective and which part is doing well.
The best way to approach this is by testing. Years ago, testing was difficult and you can only test a few metrics. Today, with marketing and sales automation, the number of things your business can test is limitless.
A/B testing has taken marketing to another level. You can perform many experiments on your website and get data on the most effective processes. For example, you can determine whether a blue sign up button will capture more leads than a red button. What about a long-form sales copy vs. a short-form sales copy — which is better?
You can answer these questions and more by testing and getting accurate results. Any business not tapping into learning and testing enhanced by automation is losing out on sales.
Mobal, a company that sells international cell phones online decided to perform tests on its sales page. Its sales page initially consisted of 3 cell phones and none of them was an Android device.
Interestingly, after Mobal replaced one of the phones with an Android device, it led to a 13% increase in sales. The team then performed another test by adding another Android phone to the initial 3 phones to make it 4 altogether. This led to a 27% increase in sales.
This shows how an e-commerce company can improve its sales by testing.
When you learn about your customers, you’re able to meet their needs better. Testing allows you to make your sales process as productive as possible with regards to capturing leads and making them repeat customers.
5). Use of data to define customer journey
There's a way customers go through different channels on your website and social media pages and you must be able to keep track of it.
If customers are visiting a particular page before buying your product, then it makes sense to optimize that page to be even more effective. This also improves customer experience.
Another way an e-commerce business can utilize customers journey is to guide them through the pages you want them to visit before making a purchase. The moment a potential customer subscribes to your email list, you can send this high-converting page via your welcome email.
An e-commerce business can guide different customers through different journeys through their sales funnel depending on each customer’s online behavior.
In fact, 99% of companies believe achieving a single customer view is important to their business, but only 24% believe they have achieved it today.
6). Embrace emerging channels
What are emerging channels? Emerging channels are opportunities for your e-commerce business to get more leads and sales. Because these channels are new and have big potentials for growth.
An emerging channel could be a social media website. A few years back, Instagram and Snapchat were new channels. Now, Medium is a new channel for any business. In fact, 8% of marketers plan to add Medium to their marketing efforts in the next 12 months according to The State of Inbound.
Through testing and optimization, your business can utilize emerging channels to bring in more leads. When you collect user data from a new channel, you can craft a strategy to exploit the new channel. You can create ads at low cost and track their performance.
The beauty of marketing and sales automation for emerging channels is that it gives you data of your performance as you take an action on a particular channel. This is one way an e-commerce business can connect with prospects and customers.
With marketing and sales automation, you get enough data which helps your business to know and connect with your customers better.
The truth be told, the species that survive is not the strongest but the ones that can adapt to their environment. Digital disruption in the form of marketing and sales automation is creating a more advanced business environment.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to satisfying your customers’ needs. Make it your top priority, and you will record tremendous growth in your business.