TMCnet Feature
July 29, 2013

Unlocking the Power of Retail Marketing Automation

By TMCnet Special Guest
Krishna Mehra, Co-founder and CTO, Capillary Technologies

Consumers are getting increasingly demanding and competition is hotter than Death Valley. In addition to this, retailers need to juggle with multiple channels and customer touch points that offer valuable insights on customer behavior. Against this backdrop of multiple interfaces, how does a retailer manage consistent customer experience across each of these channels? The answer is marketing automation –delivering the right content to the right user at the right time by running backend algorithms to determine the best response. We are talking about sheer power in the hands of the marketer to scale up personalized interactions with different customer profiles across various channels.

Advantages of a retail marketing automation system

Integrated Marketing Infrastructure: This is the base camp for all CRM data – from customers and prospects – pertaining to buying behavior, taste and preferences, etc., offering you a single point access to all touch points and marketing information.      

Engagement Engine: Marketing automation enables marketers to create, manage and automate their online and offline conversations with multiple customer segments. It facilitates B2B grade personalization into consumer engagement by being an engine to manage one-to-one relationships with individual customers.

Analytics Center: Through consistent testing and assessment of conversion rates, retailers can optimize their marketing efforts and drive better revenues.

As a retailer, how can you capitalize on the tools provided by marketing automation?

Cookie-cutter approach won’t work

The biggest payoff in marketing automation is the ability to send focused and personalized communication to customers instead of blanket messaging. Clustering your customers is the first step towards making automation work for you. Categorize your customers into groups based on their interests, demographics, purchase patterns, etc., to derive better responses from your communication. For instance, “colors and patterns of the season” tips for a teenage customer base can be an interesting piece of information leading to enhanced user experience with the brand.

Segment your target audience, tailor content and automate engagement

Timing is everything

Delivery of your communication is critical in influencing conversions. As a retailer, while it is important to constantly seek avenues to build customer data, existing followers or customers can help you make bank by tweaking when your offer reaches them. With big data analytics and a wealth of information on the ideal time to grab your customers’ attention through a specific channel, you can schedule your messaging to make a splash with your customers. Capillary Campaign Manager – a CRM marketing solution – sends frequent data to its users at specific times on days of the week when communications are most responded.

Schedule communications at the right time and drive up conversion rates

No shortcuts to conversions

Lack of a concerted effort to extensively map buyer behavior along the customer lifecycle can hamper your demand generation campaigns. It is crucial to map the workflows of customer interactions and monetize the ‘now’ while engaging with them. Automation is aware of the series of processes to be followed when a customer performs a specific action while interacting with the brand. This also helps in integrating data and intelligence, avoiding repetitive and manual re-entering, and enhancing overall productivity. For example, send out custom automated offers to customers who indicated a wish list to your associate, saved products or preferences, thus personalizing their shopping experience.

Map workflows, customize content and heighten customer experience

CRM is critical

CRM for retail is nothing to simply postpone – with an ability to provide integrated, updated and ready-to-use databases offering a global view of customers, enquirers and subscribers for campaign automation. Despite its significance, 60 percent of marketing automation adopters in brick-and-mortar retail today have yet to perform platform or process integrations with CRM & Loyalty programs. Insights drawn from a robust CRM form the bedrock of customizing content and planning campaigns for targeted customer clusters. For instance, a poorly managed CRM base leads to poor campaign effectiveness and reduced purchase experience.

Facilitate CRM integration, glean insights and design high conversion campaigns

Much has been discussed on the consumer marketers’ ability to extract ROI from campaign automation solutions. However, a recent study by Focus Research revealed that businesses witnessed a 32 percent improvement in customer engagement ROI in as little as seven to 12 months of deploying marketing automation solutions. Marketing automation – at the core of its benefits – offers retailers improved productivity in their customer engagement efforts by streamlining processes and provides customers with tailored brand and shopping experiences built to their interests.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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