Sadly, I think one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to understanding marketing automation is to think it has to be like the other forms of automation we may have seen before. You know, the whole “robots in factories,” with machines building widgets and assembling cars or that sort of thing. It all feels cold and impersonal and not quite human. And, to be fair, the way a lot of marketing automation has been done in the past is similar.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, as I will explain, it can be quite the opposite… at least when you’re looking at marketing automation solutions customized and extended by experienced builders and developers like us at JGRobo. By taking advantage of opportunities for interaction and personalization — and continuously building on those — you can enrich your customer relationships and drive growth using marketing automation.
Here’s a couple of ways that we do this.
CALL CENTER INTEGRATION
One of the things we do a lot of at JGRobo is building systems that allow call/contact center agents to accurately collect data they obtain on inbound and outbound calls. There’s obviously a huge range of calls that we “process” — things like general customer service inquiries, student enrollments, event registrations, event reminders, appointment reminders, donations, and the like. But the common thread in all of this is the marketing automation technologies that don’t try to replace the human agent, but rather assist them.
Our Lead Guardian technology, for example, can help call center agents in real time as they’re entering e-mail addresses (by detecting errors / invalidity), physical mail addresses (by detecting errors / missing data, like suite numbers, invalid zip codes, etc.), and phone numbers (it’s even possible for us to check if a line is actually connected). More serious possible issues, such as known scam or TCPA litigant phone numbers can also be detected in real time. Automation comes into play here with self-adapting call scripts — if an e-mail address is invalid, for example, not only is the call center agent informed of this, but the call script will modify itself so they politely ask the caller to correct the address.
For customer service calls, automation can also play a role. Direct integrations into CRMs mean that we can empower call center agents with instant access to customer data and the ability to modify it, add notes, and usually almost anything else that’s required to meet their business needs. Inbound calls can also, for example, be used to put or move callers into different campaigns / sales funnels. Or, things like requests for information can be immediately triggered by a call center agent and then fulfilled by the backend marketing automation platform. So, you get that two-way data flow that’s critical on so many levels.
While our clients use Infusionsoft to support a lot of these advanced marketing automation solutions, it’s usually fairly easy to implement many of these interactive automation processes with other CRMs / marketing automation platforms — e.g. ActiveCampaign, Greenrope, or Ontraport. It’s also usually quite easy to implement them into other systems, too — even things that aren’t considered traditional CRMs.
We’re in an era where SMS (text messaging) and MMS (multimedia messaging) is often a lot more effective than e-mail to market to customers and send them transactional information. If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t even read 2/3rds of what lands in your e-mail inbox, but you probably read virtually every text message you receive… and often within seconds of it arriving on your phone. But there’s a huge expectation with SMS/MMS — perhaps even more so than with e-mail — that contact is personalized and customized. Again, this is an area where advanced marketing automation technologies can make marketing more, dare I say, human.
Some of the sorts of personalization or customization that can be done are “no brainers” — leveraging for example first names to customize text messages with personal greetings. But, generally, one can do much better. Does a customer tend to contact you in the afternoon? If so, why send them a reminder SMS in the morning? Have they expressed an interest in a specific aspect of your product or service? Why not leverage that and send them more information on exactly that?
There are also many opportunities for interaction, as well. Surveys are a huge one — and SMS is a great, convenient way to do those in many cases. Another one we do a lot of work with is geolocation. In that scenario, we’re often helping direct response marketers who do broader, traditional media campaigns (e.g. radio or television) and who wish to direct their prospective customers to specific regional representatives or events. In those cases, we have set up interactive systems where the prospect texts a phone number or shortcode with a keyword, zip code, or area code. By using geographical data based on that input, we can direct them to the optimal place, person or event and provide them with additional information.
In the near future, we’ll also be releasing some even more advanced personalization products, in the realm of MMS (and, as availability improves, RCS) — delivering highly customized and personalized multimedia experiences on behalf of our clients.
I have mentioned just a couple of areas in which we routinely help our clients “automate, grow, and repeat” the process through advanced marketing automation solutions. If you would like to talk to us more about how we can bring our expertise to your business challenges, please feel free to reach out and set up a free, no-obligation, thirty minute consultation with us. I hope to talk to you soon!