A marketing automation strategy and a personalized approach are effective for lead generation. They both have their benefits and their limitations. However, it depends on your company’s immediate needs and objectives in determining which would be more effective.
Today’s marketing departments need to spend their time and money wisely. There is very little room for error or waste. In many cases an internal debate rages between embracing marketing automation tools and processes or investing in a more personalized marketing approach to generate higher quality leads. Which approach is more effective? Which will give your organization more bang for their buck?
The short answer is both. A marketing automation strategy and a personalized approach are effective for lead generation. They both have their benefits and their limitations. However, it depends on your company’s immediate needs and objectives in determining which would be more effective.
Technology advances have streamlined the marketing process to a great degree. As a result, most large organizations leverage marketing automation tools for their campaigns and many smaller companies will partner with a lead generation agency that uses similar functionalities.
Marketing departments are embracing automation because it brings efficiencies. It allows them to free up internal resources while minimizing costs. It also helps reduce redundancies and human error. Certain consumer research also points to the fact that some consumers want the self-service options that automation provides, so that they do not need to interact or engage with a brand if they don't have to.
Marketing automation can benefit businesses in many ways by taking advantage of big data and predictive analysis. It can also help by utilizing information captured from consumers or prospective customers to predict spending habits, interests, and future needs.
All that said, marketing automation does have a downside. The more automated a campaign, the less personal they become. Today’s savvy customers want personalization and get turned off quickly by spam. So, while marketing automation may cast a wider net, the end result in generating quality leads may not be as successful.
Although many customers are seeking self-service options in some areas, they also want personalization with more than half surveyed preferring a customized experience, according to Adweek. Customized experiences make customers feel valued, and therefore improve brand loyalty. Delivering relevant, contextual messaging is no longer an option. Customers expect it and personalization drives more engagement.
In today’s always connected world, consumers expect content to be relevant to them and focused on their needs. They want what they want, when they want, and how they want it. They will be loyal to a brand that recognizes and connects with them on these levels.
However, creating highly personalized marketing campaigns takes more insight, analysis and careful messaging. Marketers must be able to leverage intelligent personalization tactics if they hope to keep consumers engaged and returning. In fact, according to an Accenture study, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations.
So, where do marketers start when creating a personalized campaign? It all comes down to the quality of your data. Marketers must know their target audience intimately including when, where and how they have engaged with their brand in the past. There are many technology platforms that can assist companies in gathering and mining this type of data.
But be wary, too much personalization can be creepy. Customers want brands to know their interests and buying preferences, but not their entire life story. It is a delicate balance between delivering personalized, relevant messaging and stalking.
Both marketing automation and personalized marketing strategies have their pros and cons. Smart marketers create an integrated approach that leverages the benefits and efficiencies of marketing automation but also create highly, targeted personalized campaigns as well.