B2C Marketing Automation Action Plan. 10 Steps to Help You Make the Move from Outdated Marketing to Advanced Marketing Automation

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1 B2C Marketing Automation Action Plan 10 Steps to Help You Make the Move from Outdated Marketing to Advanced Marketing Automation

2 Introduction B2C marketing executives are increasingly becoming more interested in the exciting world of marketing automation. The problem is the B2C world has yet to fully embrace the technological advances found within marketing automation systems. Here is some cool history on marketing automation as a whole: Marketing automation has really been at the center of the B2B world for the last 4 years. Ask anyone in a B2B company what marketing automation is and what it can do and they will at least understand what you are talking about. B2C companies are now in a very unique situation they are seeing the value in leveraging a marketing automation tool to increase online conversions while in most cases lowering their marketing system infrastructure costs. The amazing news is that we are all riding a new and exciting B2C Marketing Automation wave making the move from outdated marketing to advanced marketing automation. The bottom line is you are most likely using an overpriced and outdated platform that is lacking B2C marketing automation functionality. We have created the following 10 steps to help you take control of your B2C marketing automation transformation. Think of this action plan as your B2C marketing automation workbook. Each section will outline the scene and what actions you need to take to get organized. There will also be sections that you are to fill in by yourself. Let s get to work! 2

3 Step 1: Identify Your Marketing Objectives In any complex marketing initiative, even the best marketers in the world sometimes forget to establish primary marketing objectives that reflect revenue targets and ongoing timelines. The reason why this is so gosh darn important is because we need to know whether or not the initiative was a success or not. Clear your head, take a deep breath and think what metrics are important to you and your company. Every company is different so you should think about what metrics will generate more revenue for your organization. Now that your head is clear and you are ready to go, write down the metrics you would like to track. Identify primary marketing objectives Examples Increase online goal conversion rates by 4% Increase online sales 20% Increase ROI by 5% Increase social media interactions by 20% Increase customer database by 100,000 Increase customer engagement by 30% Your List Remember to make all of your objectives attainable and measurable. You will have to come up with an accurate way to measure some metrics. For example, social media interactions would be based upon specific social media channels you use for your brand. Brand awareness can get even more complicated as there are many ways to measure it. One way to consider is measuring brand awareness by looking at page views and or clickt-hrough rates. At the end of the day, keep it simple! 3

4 Step 2: Data and Persona Development and Segmentation Data is everything! The sad truth is if you have terrible data, it will be very difficult to create relevant messaging that will increase online conversions and revenue. One size does not fit all in B2C marketing automation. A doctoral thesis could be written here on data management. All we want to do is get you thinking about the importance of data in relation to your B2C marketing automation initiative. Take the following actionable steps: 1. Look at what data you have and how it can be segmented. Ask yourself if you can segment by the number of purchases, geographic locations, age and gender. If you can, great! This is definitely a start to help you provide a better message to test B2C marketing automation campaigns. 2. Make a list of what offline or online behaviors you are tracking. This is where it really gets fun. B2C marketing automation systems enable you to develop complex logic that will deliver custom messaging to a customer based on their behavioral actions and responses to marketing activities. Map out and understand how your data is collected. 3. Determine how old your data is and make a list of what needs to be updated. In this step, if you can walk away with an understanding of the quality of your database you will be in a better position to understand how it should be enhanced and/or augmented. 4. Work with IT to determine what steps need to be taken to improve the quality of your data. Questions like data cleansing and structure will have to be addressed. The above will help give you some perspective on where to look and what to do to make your data better. 4

5 Step 3: Content Marketing/Planning All companies have content but unfortunately the content does not align with specific stages in the consumer s buying cycle. The pitfall of all content creation is falling into the trap of creating marketing collateral simply for the sake of creating content. Content marketing is not easy but the most important thing to do is get organized and understand what content you already have and what content you really need. Here are some things to keep in mind when pulling together your content marketing strategy: Make a list of content you already have. Create customer personas. Map out your customer s buying cycle. Map out the content you have in relation to the stages in your customer s buying cycle. Outline triggered event content. Determine if you have lifecycle, acquisition and special offer nurture content. List what content you need to create. Identify primary marketing objectives Content You Have Content You Need 5

6 Step 4: Landing Page Optimization There is definitely an art to creating an amazing landing page. Landing pages can always be better than they are. The objective here is to make a landing page that will in the end make your boss happy. How can we make your boss happy? We do this by simply increasing the online conversion rate of your landing page so not only does your company make more money you more importantly look like a rock star. Now, let s look at some ways to tune up your landing pages! Before you have a close look at our to-do list, please do a quick audit of what landing pages you are using. Pick three of your top performing landing pages and let us look at a few things we can do to make them perform even better. Please note, in this section we are using online advertising as our primary marketing channel to make a more concise point rather than confusing our actions with a complex mix of other mediums. Here we go: 1. Look at the ads you are using and make sure you are mirroring the content in the ad to the landing page content. If you are talking about offering 50% off, make sure this is reflected in the landing page itself. Show them what you promised and you will see a better conversion rate. 2. Make sure you have a call-to-action and go one step further. Try and include your call-to-action in more than one place to improve click-through rates. You do not want to have too many call-to-actions though. The ideal number is between 2-3 on a page. 3. Ensure you are balancing your content and description with the call-to-action. You never want too much content and too little of a call-to-action. Make sure both are equally visible. 5. Use the right colors. Customers respond to colors in different ways. If you have a creative expert on your team, leverage their knowledge to produce the best looking page possible. 6. Now, for the most important thing to remember in this section test and tweak the landing pages. For each of the three pages you have selected, take all of the above advice and make four other variants and add them to your existing online advertising campaign. The great news here is numbers do not lie. Run the campaigns for two weeks and review the performance of each of the landing pages. Keep what is converting and remove what is not. Never stop testing your landing pages! You will never get better if you don t test! 4. Get to your goal with as few clicks as possible. Keep it simple! 6

7 Your Landing Page To-Do List Landing page A Landing page B Landing page C Step 5: B2C Marketing Automation Selection Selecting a B2C marketing automation platform is not easy because there are a lot of vendors out there promising the same thing but in reality the offerings and overall capabilities are quite different. Be careful and make sure you ask the right questions. B2C marketing automation is different from B2B marketing automation. Don t make the mistake of buying the wrong platform when moving from marketing to B2C marketing automation. In the B2C marketing automation world, the platform is more about implementing the right B2C marketing automation programs. In your world, it is all about volume, leveraging your data and increasing online conversions. Now let s put on your B2C marketing hat and look at things you can ask a prospective marketing automation vendor. 7

8 Question Keep In Mind Do They Have It? How much volume can the platform handle? What is the pricing model? Will our data be secure? What does your marketing automation platform integrate with? Does it have an open API? What kind of reporting do you have? Is the MA tool able to do progressive profiling? Can the platform deliver dynamic content to your customers? Can the platform do advanced surveys to enhance my database? Does the system have behavioral triggered event capabilities? Does it have B2C Program Flexibility? One of the biggest differences in MA platforms is its ability to handle large numbers of triggered event and volumes. Make sure it can handle your base of customers. Marketing automation vendors often have very different ways of pricing the tool. For example, you could be charged based upon your database size or the amount of you send in a month. Also, watch out for expensive added fees for things like landing pages. Make sure you understand every angle! Make sure you understand what steps the company takes to ensure your data is secure. This is where you ask the vendor what CRM systems they support and if they will integrate with an external web analytics tool. Advanced marketing automation platforms will also integrate with social media channels and other marketing systems. Get a complete understanding of what integrates natively and what you would need to do for a custom integration. There may be systems in the future you would like to integrate with that are not natively supported. If they have an open API, you will have an easier time making a connection to the system in the future. Ask yourself what metrics are important to you and ask the MA vendor if they can measure it. Advanced B2C marketing automation platforms can pull in data you are looking for incrementally. You do not want to sell snow shovels to people in Texas. Ask your MA vendor if they are able to send dynamic messages that are able to offer products targeting specific segments. This is extremely important. Survey systems are a great way to augment your existing customer profiles. If it can t do this walk away. Triggered events are the holy grail when it comes to improving customer interaction. We will get into this more in the next section but ask the vendor if they are able to adapt to custom B2C programs design to improve customer engagement and online conversions. After all is said and done, make sure you talk to an expert in the field of B2C marketing automation. B2C marketing automation platform selection is the first step to improving your ongoing marketing initiatives. 8

9 Step 6: B2C Marketing Automation Program Event Selection B2C marketing automation programs are fun to implement and relatively easy to administer. The problem is professional B2C marketers are too busy with the here and now to even consider what they can do to make things better. The good news is B2C marketing automation platforms will enable you to implement B2C marketing automation programs that are designed to dramatically increase online conversions. Hey, we all love to make money for our company. The only difficult thing here is that there are a lot of things to do in any enterprise B2C marketing automation initiative. The most important step to take in this section is to determine what you already have and make a list of what you would like to implement. We have broken the B2C marketing automation programs into four phases: acquire, engage, retain, and fuel customers. Here is a comprehensive list to give you some perspective. Acquire Customers Engage Customers Retain Customers Fuel Customers Incentive Promotional Birthday Contest Nurture Streams Newsletter Lifecycle Nurture Social Media Double Opt-In Thank You Awaking the Dead Password Reset PURLs Confirmation Progressive Profiling Win Back Survey Post-Purchase/Repeat Purchase Abandoned Form Loyalty Appreciation Coupon Cross-Sell/Up-Sell/Next-Sell Abandoned Cart Promotional Campaign Dynamic Messaging E-Statements Educational Reactivate Integrated Marketing E-Tickets Promotional Renewal Message Reminders E-Receipts Countdown/Limited-Time Offer 9

10 Using the B2C marketing automation program matrix above, make a list of what programs you already have and then list out what programs you would like to implement in the next year. B2C Marketing Automation Programs You Have B2C Marketing Automation Programs You Want 10

11 Step 7: B2C Program Implementation Timeline Now that you have a clear understanding of what B2C marketing automation programs you have, you must make a realistic plan of when you would like to implement each of the new programs. B2C marketing automation programs are something that does take time to develop but you should set some realistic expectations and a specific timeline to ensure you implement programs to optimize and improve future online conversion within your B2C marketing campaign. In the calendar below, outline the month, strategic completion and B2C marketing automation program with a specific launch date. This will help make sure you stay organized and implement the right programs at the right time. Month Strategy for Program Strategy for B2C MA Program Launch Date January February March April May June July August September October November December 11

12 Step 8: Marketing Channel Review The problem is marketing channels are often isolated within large B2C companies. The social media, digital, and communications teams are not talking to each other as much as they should. The measurement and metrics of each department are also kept in their own divisions. This problem is not being able to determine what marketing channels are really doing the best for the organization. Now, let s get organized! This is a great time for you to evaluate what is working for your company and what is not. Remove any marketing channel that is not really doing anything. Keep only the marketing channels that really make sense for your business and consult with your marketing team to see what other channels should be added. It is time to bring all of the marketing departments together and come up with a plan to reduce waste and better align the marketing channels. Here is how you do it: 1. Make a comprehensive list of your marketing channels. 2. Ask the head of each channels or division what metrics they are measuring. 3. Come up with a way to measure and compare each of the channel s metrics. This will most likely require a business intelligence tool. 4. Track the performance metrics against the actual cost to determine the ROI. 5. Review. 6. Reallocate resources to where you are getting the most bang for your buck. The above list is very simplified but you get the idea. All you want to do as a team is reduce waste in your marketing spend. Measure and adapt and you will see a much more efficient marketing engine. 12

13 Step 9: Testing After your B2C marketing automation machine is running, remember to test and tweak everything you are doing to optimize online conversions and sales. Even the smallest change to website copy or a simple repositioning of a graphic can change the results of an online marketing campaign. Stay agile and don t get complacent! Keep on testing! As professional marketers we have to stop guessing what our target wants and start paying more attention to our marketing test schedule. The following is a testing matrix you can use and apply to almost any online conversion points. We will be using landing page attributes as the variable. Testing Matrix Landing Page A Landing Page B Landing Page C Landing Page D Landing Page E Landing Page F Online Advertising Spend Online Sales Traffic Online Conversion Rate 13

14 Step 10: Measurement Modeling and Statistics Platform Use Goals & Value Metrics Pulling in and measuring the right data can be a challenge for any organization. Disparate data stored in different systems and database structures can make measuring the performance of your marketing campaigns a daunting task to say the least. Get out of your spreadsheet nightmare and look into a low cost business intelligence tool that will be allow you to make better decisions in your ongoing B2C marketing automation initiative. Look for the following 5 characteristics when selecting a BI tool: 1. Fast integration with little or no IT involvement. 2. Flexible metric and attribute selection. 4. Easy data source integration. 5. Low cost of entry. 3. Easy querying and report manipulation. Conclusion B2C marketers are now realizing the importance of marketing automation like their B2B counterpart did four years ago. Advanced marketing systems are becoming more feature-rich while remaining a lower cost option than their legacy B2C marketing platform. If your end game objective is to manage the most effective B2C marketing campaign you require B2C marketing automation to stay at the top of your game. B2C marketing automation programs are the key to staying competitive in the B2C market. If you have any questions, concerns or would like to share some of your experiences making the move to B2C marketing automation, please feel free to share with us your experiences. Good luck with your B2C marketing automation implementation! Happy B2C marketing! 14

15 Get in touch About Revenue Automation RA Revenue Automation Inc. is a digital marketing agency that specializes in B2C marketing automation. RA transforms marketing by developing custom B2C marketing programs making your marketing automation implementation work to generate more revenue. Based in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Revenue Automation Inc. customers are in the B2C space across a variety of industries. For more information, please visit Acknowledgements Revenue Automation would like to thank the following: Silverpop and all of our technology partners. RA Revenue Automation Inc MARINE DRIVE WEST VANCOUVER BC V7W 2S1 CANADA

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