Great Marketing Communications (MarCom) is a bit of a mystery. It evokes emotions to which we connect a brand and lets us dive deep into another world for a few moments. In contrast, a Gartner study projects Chief Marketing Officers will invest more in information technology than the information technology department itself by 2017. Hell froze over.
Today’s MarCom is part of the trimmed-to-efficiency revenue engine of a company. Thanks to digital media (potential) customers can be addressed individually, orchestrated across multiple communication channels at unique time points. There is little imagination needed to see this is a bit too much work for manual labor – so please welcome to the stage: Marketing Automation!
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Companies are looking for solutions capable of measuring and analyzing the performance of brands, forecast market trends and use new communication channels. Integrated collaboration between agencies and IT vendors is needed to optimize campaigns and will mark the definite end of gut-feeling MarCom.
Pairing agency’s creativity with understanding of customers and market segments from big data can boost financials drastically. In retail, the operative margin can be raised by 50% based on expert estimates; early-adopters from the area of online-retailers already confirm this number.
Operationalizing Automated Marketing
But automation might be a bit of a misleading term, as it is suggesting less work. To benefit from the value of Marketing Automation, lots of work is ahead. Marketers have to familiarize themselves with new software and strategies have to be adopted.
Some core elements handled by Marketing Automation are the tracking of customers, direct marketing, integration of campaigns and ultimately a data link to CRM. As a result, thanks to individual profiles the right content can be presented and only tailored offers are made. Mailings are sent out only in times when prospects show activity on the web and direct sales only approaches hot leads. But all this happens only after Marketing Automation procedures have been established across the corporation. Big potential benefits first require major efforts.
So what is holding Marketers back to take their relationship with data to the next level? A recent HBR article argues many “senior marketers don’t buy into data and technology because they’re worried that the results will prove their intuition wrong. And, that more often than not, those intuitions are wrong.“ Dear senior marketers: Be assured creative genius cannot be replaced by data. But enhanced.
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