In the world of marketing, the bogeyman is called barriers to purchase. Everyone who has been in the field even a short period of time knows how hard it is to overcome these barriers. Turning potential customers into short term ones, and then short term customers into long term ones sometimes seems nigh impossible. A lot of talk these days seems to be about the magic of marketing automation. But what is it really, how can it help you overcome the dreaded barriers, and get you those coveted clients? Let’s see!
What Barriers Are You Facing?
First things first: let’s take a look at the barriers to purchase. What are they? Simply put, barriers to purchase are anything that is preventing people from buying what you’re selling. A lot of the times, it’s the price. Is your product or service too expensive? Do your prospects not see the link – how they personally would benefit from purchasing your product? Do they think your product is too complicated and they won’t be able to use it? Are they refusing to recognize their need? Your job, as a marketing specialist, is to recognize exactly which barriers are standing between you and your prospects and neutralize them so you can finalize the purchase. Sounds simple, but in reality, it’s very hard work.
What’s Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation seems to have become a bit of a buzz word lately. Everyone is talking about it. But are you sure you know what it actually is? The term refers to software that is meant to help your marketing campaigns by automating repetitive or predictable tasks. This way you can increase productivity with less time spent. Different marketing automation platforms have many various features and you can use them to automate lead generating, social media, emails, ads and text messages. Once your database starts seriously growing, managing all of these fields becomes impossible, or requires a large team of employees. Of course, when things become convoluted, human error lurks behind every corner. Automating these processes costs you less in the long term and minimizes the possibility of error.
How Can It Be of Use To You?
Marketing automation is a brilliant tool to make customer lifecycle marketing effortless and successful. In order to attract a customer, sell to them, and keep them, you must maintain contact with them in a carefully thought through way, using a variety of different channels. Once you have built up a database of prospects, you can use that info to cultivate them into different groups. This will give you the opportunity to tailor your marketing campaign to each individual group, depending on their age, gender, interests and similar. Once those prospects turn into customers, automating processes have even more potential. Why wouldn’t you use them to send your customers special offers, coupons and promo codes? Are you running a restaurant? Send your customers offers to book a table right before Valentine’s Day. A clinic could send reminders to schedule regular check-ups. A beauty salon can offer discounts for customers’ birthdays. The options are endless. Every expert knows that follow ups are just as important as that first sell. In fact, turning a short-term customer into a long term one is one of the hardest tasks. People want to be wowed, and they love a personal touch and a discount or added value. Automation is an excellent tool for this, otherwise tedious and complicated task.
If you think that only large companies use marketing automation, you are mistaken. While they do lead the way, many smaller business have seen the benefits of this approach. In the long run, it’s sure to bring you new customers and help you keep your old ones.