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Does the atomisation of audiences make marketing automation the only way forward?

Our audiences are shattered into thousands, possibly millions of groups. The ‘WhatsApp over 25s’, ‘Snapchat 12-16s’ (with screen shots), ‘Snapchat over 25s’ (no screen shots allowed), ‘45+ on Facebook’, ‘30 something on Instagram’ or the ‘24-year-old on Instagram stories". The old models of digitally targeting ‘Gen X' or ‘millennials’ are more difficult than ever. Yes, some of the groups share the same needs. But, they differ massively in consumption, for example:

Target group A:

Target Group B:

So, how do we serve your content to both groups without either ignoring other groups, formatting content that’s wrong for their device, or serving the same content again?

Marketing automation journeys are programmed to know at which point you have connected previously, and so it serves you the next stage of the journey.

For example, I look at a car advert on my mobile (it’s a promotion on a certain vehicle):

  1. The next time I seen a banner it’s of the car I looked at but pointing me to more detail on the offer.
  2. Later, I go to my desktop and visit the brand’s site, and I am served the correct car with the offer I was viewing.
  3. Then, I get a targeted advert on Facebook on my mobile that points me to the local dealer that has the car in stock and the offer I looked at.
  4. Because I have engaged with some content, the next touch point is an email from the brand with the car I was looking at, with a full finance quote, the benefits of the offer – also telling me to come in on Saturday to do the deal.

A simple, ‘Err no...’ If you look at the chart below, you’ll see all of our potential customers take different journeys, at different times, and require different content for different personas.

So, rather than trying to guess (and it is a guess in some markets today) when and where your target group gets your content, develop a marketing automation plan that will help you chop your long form content into bite sized chunks, and is based on rules around serving your target personas:

The right sized piece of content + right message for the stage it’s at in the sales funnel + right time for the persona (the content will change but ‘right size, right message at the right time’ won't).

In summary, if you are not looking at marketing automation you are already behind the ball. Yes, it’s another cost but the efficiency and the uplift far outweigh the initial outlay. It gives you time back, as you are not constantly reformatting and re-planning, and that’s time you have to harvest the insights your platform gathers to focus your content and follow up your leads more effectively.

It also gives you an ‘always on’ marketing model as opposed to 9-5. Marketing automation is not a matter of ‘if’ you need it, but ‘when’ you decide to start using it.

Gavin W H Anderson | Head of Strategy | 10 March 2017

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