The Technology for Marketing (TFM) show at Olympia happened at the end of September and I wanted to share a few nuggets of best practice advice from the event.
TFM is a huge show which includes both Ecommerce Expo and Customer Contact Expo. It’s grown considerably, especially since I last attended dressed as a ‘data doctor’ wearing a white coat and stethoscope (but that’s another story).
One of the big ‘pulls’ to the show is the themed seminars - I found myself spending most of the day dipping in and out of the Marketing Automation and Cross Platform Conference Theatre.
There were some of the key themes which seemed to crop up throughout the day event:
- Email is not dead. Email is the one “digital key” which we all still use and one of the few formats that we are happy for brands to contact us through.
- Building a single customer view from all of your different data sources is still a key challenge. This includes extracting them from their various silos (CRM, CMS, Email), de-duplicating them and enhancing them (by suppressing gone-aways, updating address data etc.).
- Don’t become blinded by technology. There were 25 different providers of Marketing Automation technology at the show, most offering to a greater or lesser extent very similar features and benefits. But more important than the technology is working out what you need to do to your business processes to get the best return on your Marketing Automation investment.
Perhaps the best piece of advice is number five below. The most interesting session offered “Five steps to your automation strategy”. This came from an Email Service Provider DotMailer. I am sure that Skip Fidura won’t mind me sharing paraphrased versions of his points here:
- Identify what automation is in place.
There are thousands of different marketing technology platforms, and all of them can send automated email responses. This could be your website contact forms or email service provider contact forms as well as many others. Most of those automatic responses have probably been written by your IT department, and not your marketing department. It’s worth reviewing, cataloguing and improving these first.
- Identify all of your customer touch points.
All of them. Then we can begin to analyse which are the best ones which can be improved with automation.
- Review the opportunity at each touch point.
We’ll need to prioritise which of these touch points are the best for automation. You can build a ‘Cost of implementation’ against ‘Revenue potential’ to do this.
- Decide where to start.
This should be based on what business problem we are solving. And when in your automated communications you hit the “what on earth do we say?” question. The best way to think about this is to ask yourself: “what would you say to this customer if they were stood in front of you, having just downloaded the implementation guide for your hardware?” (or whatever the trigger behaviour is that you are responding to).
- Think big, but start small.
Test a very specific hypothesis, and scale up once it is proven.
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