1personalizationBuyers tend to seek as much autonomy and independence as possible during their buying decision-making process. As a result, far more than 50% of all purchase decisions have already been made before potential buyers appear on the radar of the sales department, making it difficult to actively influence them.

Deanonymization and personalization

This anonymity means that companies can only passively support the buying decision process of their prospects by providing relevant content. But how can marketers actively ensure that the respective interested party has the relevant content at the right time? Here, Marketing Automation is designed to close the last mile between businesses and their prospective buyers with personalization, based on profiles of the interested parties, which are stored in the marketing automation system. Profile-based communication processes can now pursue two hitherto incompatible marketing goals - personalization and efficient scaling.

Marketing Automation is based on three elements:
1. Relevant content to gain awareness and to assist target customers in successfully completing the decision-making process.

2. Smart data as well as insights of the "digital body language" enable optimal control of content and processes.

3. Marketing automation systems - lead profiles, smart data and logics create automated, dynamic marketing processes.

When marketing automation is deployed along the customer journey, it enables an integrated marketing and sales process that ranges from awareness-building to buying and beyond. Via profile-based, automated processes, an unknown potential customer is becoming enthusiastic in five marketing automation process steps:

1. Attract - create visibility and pull effect with relevant content

The focus of this step is to promote relevant content with maximum reach and visibility to create a pull effect and to motivate the interested party to visit the landing page or website where relevant content is presented. Instruments, such as landing pages, social media, blogs or SEA, are used to distribute content excerpts that lure customers into the deal.

2. Engage - maximize engagement and achieve opt-ins

The goal of this sub-process is dealing with the attracted prospect: content vs. opt-in. To get the highly relevant content for free, it requires a registration in which the potential customer gives the first data (email, name etc.) and declares his/her consent to follow-up communication. As a result, a new costumer is identified and there is a legally secure basis for pro-active communication.

3. Nurture - build up the ability to make decisions successively 

Nurturing is by far the most extensive and complex subprocess. The aim is to qualify the newly won, unqualified lead up to the point of sale. The qualification has two dimensions: On the one hand, it's about gradually providing the lead with the content that it needs for self-education in the course of the customer journey. On the other hand, the focus is on the acquisition of information about the lead, the person’s role in the purchase decision process, as well as purchase intentions. For each content, the deal is sealed with another request for information. The result of this lead management process is a lead that has qualified decision-making capability with the help of the content provided, and a lead profile that allows the sales team to achieve the best possible processing with the highest possible chance to win the contract.

4. Convert - hand over to sales at the right time and convert 

The goal of the conversion is the completion of the transaction and the conversion of the lead into a customer relationship. For this purpose - in the case of personal sales processing - the qualified lead is automatically routed to the sales department at the time of its decision-making maturity. The degree of maturity is determined by the scoring of profile features and interactions (for example, content retrieval) shown in the marketing automation system, which the lead has measurably completed. As a rule, the routing is then carried out by means of fully automatic data transfer to a CRM system in which the lead is prioritized for processing according to its scoring value. That way, the sales department receives a lead and comprehensive personal information at the optimal processing time that can be used to enter into a conclusion-oriented dialogue with a high chance of conversion.

5. Delight - maximize customer experience and expand customer value

After the purchase is before the purchase. Accordingly, in this phase it is important to consolidate and deepen the customer experience with personalized communication, including its activity and transaction history.

Through personalized communication, Marketing Automation enables the effective acquisition of leads, their qualification and conversion to the customer, as well as comprehensive customer experience management.

By Daniela La Marca