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Marketing Automation: Evil or Misunderstood?

By: Drew McLellan

 

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When the subject of marketing automation comes up, many purists shake their head and talk about how robotic and impersonal it is. Well—if you do it badly, that’s very true.

In that case, you really do make your potential customers feel like they’re just a number to you and that you treat everyone the same, with little regard to their specific needs.

But when you build the system with your customer in mind, it can be a wonderful experience for them and for you.

It all depends on if you build it once and put it on auto pilot or if you use it as a tool to serve up exactly what each visitor is looking for.

Automation allows you to create a user experience that puts the user in the driver’s seat. They can access the exact information they want, when they want it—and how they want it.  The key is to realize that different people are going to have different needs and you need to anticipate that as you build out the options. Even more important, once you start getting visitors, you need to learn from where they go and don’t want to go.

It’s a given that every potential customer probably isn’t going to want exactly the same information. As you watch and learn, you can create new paths and test the results. At the end of the day, thanks to automation, you can create multiple paths, so each person can have a different experience, based on their own needs and interests.

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Recently, the folks at Marketo asked me to comment on the question “can big data lead to big love?” Check out the article and my comments.

If you’re using marketing automation to make it easy for you and only you, then it probably isn’t going to work so well.  But if you use it as a tool to serve your customers better, it can indeed lead to big love.

This article was originally published by Drew’s Marketing Minute

Published: July 24, 2014
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Drew McLellan

Drew McLellan has owned an advertising agency for almost 20 years, serving local, regional and national businesses. He also coaches hundreds of agencies on business best practices through peer to peer networks, workshops and consulting.  Drew is often interviewed/quoted in Entrepreneur Magazine, New York Times, CNN, BusinessWeek, and many others. The Wall Street Journal calls him “one of 10 bloggers every entrepreneur should read.” He blogs at both www.DrewsMarketingMinute.com and www.BuildABetterAgency.com.

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