From emails to social media tools, marketing automation is finally enabling businesses to reach customers in a more consistent, personalised and multi-channel way. But in New Zealand’s relatively small business market, the concept can still seem elusive to some.
“In the New Zealand market, marketing automation is still a relatively new discipline for some organisations,” says Nathalie Morris, managing director of New Zealand marketing automation company Ubiquity.
“But over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a much greater level of interest and understanding of the possibilities of marketing automation. I think 2017 is going to be the year that we really see its growth among businesses here wanting to take action and start taking marketing automation more seriously,” she says.
As a tool for both mid-tier firms and large corporations, marketing automation—in its simplest terms—refers to the software and technologies that automate certain marketing actions. And as it makes marketing for businesses both more effective in reach and efficient in value, the benefits of automated marketing are exponential.
“What we’re seeing with automation is a move away from a campaign-type approach to more of an ‘always-on’ type of approach which is more effective since it’s getting messages to people at the right time for them,” explains Morris.
“It also allows marketers to be more efficient because rather than being on this constant mode of running campaigns, they can set up an automated programme which runs for them and allows them to move on to the next programme.”
But it’s not as simple as having a one-size-fits-all solution for every business out there, says Morris. While some businesses have databases rich with information on their customers, others fail to make the most of data-driven marketing’s potentialities, often ending up sending the same message to everyone.
“I think what we’re seeing is a growing understanding within the market that when you’re not using data to talk to people in a more personalised and relevant way, you miss out,” says Morris.
“Consumers are starting to expect that the communications they receive are going to be tailored and personalised around them, so marketers need to use that data to customise and target their messages.”
Often, businesses starting out with marketing automation don’t have a complete data set, so Morris advocates for a more gradual approach which allows them to build it up over time.
“They might not necessarily have all the data that they need but they can plan to build more information,” she says.
“For example, the Ubiquity Engage marketing automation platform can track which content within an email someone is engaging with and use that to understand more about their interests, or put tracking codes within websites that links people’s behaviour within those websites back into that central marketing database.”
“That enables us to start building a really rich picture of the customer through the core information we have about them and looking at their behaviour across a range of different touchpoints.”
For anyone working in the current marketing environment, one of the biggest challenges is dealing with the constant flow of change in both consumer behaviour and technology. Because of the continuous state of flux marketers have to deal with, Morris stresses the need for a marketing automation partner that will support you through challenging times. And with one of Ubiquity’s key points of difference being its full range of strategy, execution and optimisation services, their team of locally-based experts understand how to use data and get the results.
“Marketers need to be confident that the partners they’re working with are actually helping them navigate that change and what it means,” says Morris. “Marketing is becoming more complex and there’s a need for marketers to quickly understand a much wider range of channels and technologies. Because there are a lot of people who haven’t done it before, it’s important that providers like Ubiquity are helping clients understand that wider picture.”
This story is part of a content partnership with Ubiquity.