When you use a marketing automation tool that does its job properly, you’re able to capture leads from your website and social media channels, move prospects more swiftly through your sales pipeline, and enjoy a stronger collaboration between your sales and marketing teams.
Experts are Urging Distributors to Innovate
Earlier this month, an article was published in MDM urging distributors to put smarter, more strategic marketing in place in order to stay competitive.
“Institute campaign management and marketing automation,” advised Ian Heller, MDM’s newly appointed President and COO. Heller also served for 7+ years at HD Supply as their VP of Marketing and eBusiness, so he knows marketing and what distributors should do to stay successful.
He goes on to write “Great marketing is highly relevant to customers and prospects. Ideally, you want to customize your communications with customers based on their actions (e.g., purchase history) and what you know about them (demographics like job function, etc.) It takes large data sets and good technology tools to monitor customer data and extend relevant offers before your competitors do.” Quoted from The 10 Commandments of Distributor Marketing | 2018-01-03 | Modern Distribution Management
As quoted in my previous blog, you’ll find similar statements from folks such as Distribution Innovation Guru, Dirk Beveridge, and Denise Keating, President of Datagility. Marketing technology, content marketing and the collection and analysis of marketing data are the common threads, in fact, that flow through just about all of the articles written lately about innovation in the distribution industry.
How to Choose What’s Best for Your Distribution Company
The right marketing automation tool will grow with your company as your company’s needs grow, and it will be one of the most important investments you can make in your marketing. It will serve as a true hub for the rest of your marketing strategies as well as many of your sales strategies.
It should be relatively user-friendly so you can be up and running quickly, and it should be as compatible as possible with your ERP and/or the CRM you have in place right now. Unfortunately, there is no “perfect solution” because you’re dealing with multiple iterations of technology, so research is important when it comes to choosing the right tool for you.
Good vs. Better
A good marketing automation tool will tell you when a VIP has filled out a form on your website, opened your email, or clicked a link you placed before them. These behaviors will give you valuable hints about what interests them, opening up more successful opportunities to connect with them.
A better marketing automation tool will give you all of the above, AND give that VIP a more interesting, more robust, and more valuable experience when learning about your company.
With a better marketing automation system, emails can be tailored to the recipients’ industries and their preferences, presenting a unique, tailored experience for each recipient of the same email. More importantly, these dynamic experiences take place not only in emails, but during website visits as well.
For example, your business may serve restaurant owners and deli owners. You can set up your marketing automation so that when a restaurant owner opens an email from you or visits a page on your website, he sees only images of restaurant-related scenarios and wording related to his specific needs.
At the same time, when a deli owner opens the same email and visits the same page on your website, his experience is quite different. He sees only images of deli-related scenarios and wording related to HIS specific needs. Crazy, right?
It’s all very easy to do these days, and like most technology, becoming more affordable as well.
And Then There’s the Best
The very best marketing automation systems available today, of course, do all of the above, and then a bunch more. The technology is amazing … but be warned … it’s also amazingly expensive. From artificial intelligence to account-based marketing technology to retargeting ads to incredibly sophisticated workflows, it’s amazing how far the technology has come in just a few years. Do I think this is the best solution for your company? Well, let’s just say: learn to walk before you run. Unless you’d like to drop a bundle on the technology and the ramp-up, you’d be very well served by choosing a middle-of-the-road proven marketing automation tool without too many bells and whistles.
Nevertheless, no matter what level of marketing automation is best for your company, if you’re not taking advantage of even the most basic features mentioned above, it’s probably time for a change. We’ve been working with providers who feature a quick, out-of-the-box set-up, list building, and more at a very reasonable price, and we’ve successfully led several clients through the journey of getting their marketing automation on track and producing results. The book below will help you to get started! Or, call us today to learn more!
Let’s do this … Together!
Right now, you can have an entire marketing agency available to fulfill all of your marketing needs – for a fraction of what it would cost to hire and manage your own team. Next Level iMedia is available to execute and manage a unique marketing plan tailored to your distribution company.
If you want to improve your company’s marketing efforts – or even start from scratch – and you don’t know which way to turn, Next Level iMedia can help. Give us a call at your convenience for a complimentary, no-cost consultation.