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How Marketing Technology Enables Brands to be More Human

By Daniel Newman – Co-CEO of V3B & Broadsuite Media Group.

Automation in marketing can be a really great option for any business—as long as it’s implemented well. Freeing marketers from the more mundane and repetitive tasks that sometimes come along with the job, allows them more time to focus on the bigger picture. But don’t think you can “let the machines do the talking”—sloppy, boring or even “robotic” feeling marketing is rarely effective, especially in the modern digital era where speed and pin-pointed relevance are crucial to the survival of any kind of company. There’s simply no room for mediocrity when it comes to appealing to customers, and automating too much destroys the human engagement factor vital to a successful digital marketing strategy.

Automating The Human Experience

Automated marketing technology can improve the entire scope of the marketing experience by leveraging new concepts that change how businesses engage with customers. Understanding big data—especially new sources of customer information from the Internet of Things (IoT), social media usage, user-generated content, and the use of sensors—will undoubtedly produce opportunities for effective and useful automated processes. And while the entire concept of big data relies on sound analytics to ensure the collection of information is utilized to its greatest effect, and automating the process should seem like a no-brainer, you still need an experienced—and warm—body to provide the deep thinking and analysis needed to make sense of the numbers.

Marketing automation technology has evolved, and today there are new devices and platforms, marketers should be familiar with, as they can be a lot of help in determining which part of a marketing strategy is actually working: Where in a campaign did consumers engage most effectively, for example, and where should tweaks be made. The time saved and data collected through automation could potentially trigger more brands to spend more time and resources on the most important part of any strategy—their customer base. In fact, if considering using automation, make sure you aren’t letting it detract from the customer experience.

Pitfalls Of Automation

Today, nearly anyone familiar with the Internet can recognize an ad when they see one, and they are almost universally ignored. Marketing technology has often been abused to the point of being pushy, and that is when marketing fails. Customers can spot spam almost instantly, and marketers need to create new ways to engage that aren’t going to be ignored by the better part of their customer base.

Understanding customers is critical to success if you want to use marketing technology, yet not lose that warm and fuzzy human touch. Here are a few basic ways you get to know your customers better:

  • Customer demographics and psychographics. It’s pretty difficult to attempt appealing to your customers when you don’t have a clue who they are, where they come from, what their pain points are, or what interests and opinions they hold.
  • Creating marketing personas of the target customer archetypes you want to attract. These are working models of who you want to be reaching, and understanding them is vital to finding them.
  • Understanding the customer demographics and psychographics. Once you have working knowledge of who you are approaching and what their interests are, it becomes much more natural to engage with them. Meet your customers face-to-face at sponsored events, when possible.

I’ve talked before about automation, and ways in which it can work for your business, but balance is key—make sure your clients and/or customers never feel they’re trapped in some “hamster-wheel-like” automated marketing loop.

Market To Your Customers’ Emotions

Marketers unfortunately fail to maximize the human potential of the digital age far too often, and see diminishing returns in their strategic initiatives. Automation shares a portion of the guilt in this regard—far too many marketing strategies have relied too heavily on automated processes that destroy the human factor of interacting with customers. A shrewd marketing professional will ensure their automation technology is used to save time on mundane data collection and analytics, without letting it govern the ways they interact with their audience. This, in turn, frees up more resources to be spent on engaging with customers. Creating an individualized approach to marketing with emotionally-charged and exciting interactions is vital to staying relevant and valued to your customers.

Additional Resources On This Topic:
Wrapping Experiences into the Business Digital Transformation Journey
Majority See Analytics as Most Useful Marketing Automation Tool: Study
Five Ways Small Businesses Are Powering Growth with Marketing Automation

Originally posted on Forbes and LinkedIn Pulse.

By Daniel Newman – Co-CEO of V3B & Broadsuite Media Group and Contributing Writer at The Marketing Scope, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Social Media Today
Websites: www.v3b.com, www.millennialceo.com; Twitter: @DanielNewmanUV