The empowered buyer makes the purchasing decision long before the sales transaction.
Jason Miller, program manager of social media and content at Marketo, posted an article to copyblogger – “Where Marketing is Going… 2013 and Beyond.” Below is my interpretation of his post on how aviation marketers can take advantage of automated marketing platforms to develop content that produces measurable ROI.
Analytics and automation combine to make better marketing decisions
Early tactics used for lead generation
Business-to-business marketing has always had to serve two masters – marketing and sales. On the marketing side was tasked with building the brand, the sales side with lead generation. Reader reply cards, postcards, direct mailers, fish bowls filled with business cards at trade shows, any and all tactics available were used to get a sales lead. All this was implemented with absolutely no way to qualify the intent of the purchaser or their location within the sales funnel.
Everyone that replied received a phone call and were subsequently segmented as either worthless or worthwhile.
Email – the beginning of automation
As the evolution of marketing unfolded and computing power came down in price, databases became the Holy Grail of marketing automation. The recipients on the databases were bombarded with a constant stream of email offers. Email marketing was fine tuned from multiple subject lines and offers to time of day to send, but again this tactic provided little to score the lead in terms of interest.
The maturing of marketing automation
Early platforms that integrated lead generation and lead scoring while automating the tedious task of lead management were big, clunky, and had lots of moving parts. However, they were better that anything else on the market and thus were adopted. They consisted of the ability to generate emails, create specific landing pages, provide rear-looking marketing data, score and nurture leads.
Enter the empowered buyer
Along the way, the buyers got a lot smarter too! Instead of the seller controlling the flow of content, i.e., the one-to-many communication model, the rise of social media platforms brought together groups of like-minded people sharing information on the same topic. Content sharing and peer review effectively changed the shape of the sales funnel and introduced a new set of influencers.
Content sharing brought about People-to-People (P2P) Marketing. P2P marketing involves taking a leadership role in developing and nurturing relationships through content with influencers and purchasers.
People-to-People marketing answers questions, presents features and benefits, and makes an emotional connection between the purchaser and the brand. Along with the rise of P2P marketing, we are also seeing the influence of content creators, storytellers that bring the content to life and connect with the purchaser at the emotional level.
It is important for marketers in the aviation industry to remember that automated marketing platforms can be a great tool for measuring the effectiveness of the marketing program, but their success will rely on how well their content developers tell the brand story.
To read Jason Miller’s original article, “Where Marketing is Going… 2013 and Beyond,” click here