While artificial intelligence has not gone the way of Skynet (just yet), 2019 has been noted by many digital marketing consultants and professionals as a game-changing year regarding machine learning.
For digital marketers, this means improved understanding of consumer behavior as well as improved digital marketing campaigns and streamlined implementation. This potentially holds a bevy of benefits for business owners.
Today, we’re taking a look at how automation can help you to perfect your 2019 digital marketing campaigns in a way that will build up fat returns on your investment.
Automation Should Focus on Profitable Growth Over Efficiency
It may be tempting to optimize and use an automated program so that certain business processes can be more efficient. But by doing so, you may be limiting how you see the overall big picture.
Optimizing an automated process that focuses on increasing profits instead can be a better option. In other words, you want to focus on what’s profitable in the long run, not what makes you a quick, easy buck. Many businesses in late 2017 began to adopt this philosophy, resulting in great returns.
For instance, HomeAway, a vacation rental marketplace, really put in the elbow grease in 2017 by using automation. In essence, the company — through automation and machine learning — categorized particular members of their audience that viewed certain pieces of content or ads and set them into groups based on their real-time behaviors.
This gave the company the ability to tailor content and messaging that engaged with potential customers until they were ready to make a decision. This simple act ended up skyrocketing their annual revenue by 115 percent!
Automation Should Help You Find the Right Customer
Many of the industry’s top marketers have designed automated programs that utilize machine learning to allocate funds for finding long-term customers. The goal here is to find customers that provide more sales opportunities over a long period of time and weed out the one-and-doners.
And it has been successful. Finding customers that have a higher customer lifetime value (CLV) isn’t always an easy task, but with automation, lots of possibilities are revealed. For those that need a little refresher, CLV is a prediction that takes into account how much a customer will spend throughout the business-consumer relationship. It is determined through many different calculations that we won’t get into today.
But I can provide you with an example.
Let’s say you own a bakery, and occasionally, you’ll have a customer that will come in to purchase one of your most expensive cakes. Not always, but every now and then. Then, of course, you have your regular; the individual that comes in every day to buy a couple of pastries.
Out of either of these two, which one would you consider to have a higher customer lifetime value?
It’s the regular that provides your bakery with a steady flow of revenue every day.
Using automation to help your marketing efforts target these frequent customers over the rare big spenders should be paramount, as it is these people that sustain your business in the long term.
Automation Should Help Your Business Earn More From Existing Customers
As the old proverb goes, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” And when it comes to keeping customers engaged and retaining their business, automation has made that process much easier.
The extra revenue that comes in from existing customers can then be allocated to acquiring new customers.
One way that experts increase CLV is to improve on their cross-selling. What these top marketers do is predict what kind of product a customer will buy next and actively market it to them, sometimes through automation. This information can be garnered from similar purchases made previously, social media likes, content viewed, or a variety of other data points that an automated program can pick up regarding past behaviors.
Another technique to improve CLV is through churn reduction. Having an automated program that picks up on at-risk customers — possibly targeting previous customers who haven’t interacted with your brand on social in some time – and then offering them a heck of a deal to earn their business back works great.
With automation, the sky’s the limit to not only making your marketing process more efficient, but to making it more profitable.