Marketing, Technology… And Making More Money

By Dennis Diaz, CLA Member posted 26 days ago

  
Boost Your Digital Marketing Success with Automation Techniques, Solid Analytics and a Retargeting Program

Technology is a game-changer.

Since the year 2000, we’ve seen the invention, adoption, and removal of advancements like MySpace, multiple generations of smartphones, and even the almighty and innovative iPod. You’re now in a world where the only constant is change, and that means you have to adapt. Even the laundry industry is feeling the shockwaves.

This year’s Excellence in Laundry Conference was an eye-opener for many, with regard to how far technology has taken us over the last few years. More importantly, it’s a wakeup call for the average vended laundry owner about the inevitable tide of technology adoption. For better or worse, your world is changing.

However, as with all changes, it means that you have a path forward. You can still ride this new wave to success, and it’s not going to require you to rewrite your playbook. I’m talking, of course, about marketing – or, more specifically, “martech” (marketing technology).

Although you may not have noticed, there has been an equal shift in the world of marketing that runs parallel to the technological advancements in the laundry industry. Recent years have seen a surge of improvements that give the average business owner an enormous amount of control over his or her digital presence.

In this world of constant change, your biggest goal is still to provide a service that meets the needs of your customers. That will never change. But to accomplish that, you’re going to have to change the way you approach them. You need a secret weapon.

So, I want to give you a taste of some of the impressive, money-making tools that the marketing industry has to offer the laundry industry. I think you’ll find this new technology to be intriguing, intuitive, and ultimately a good investment.

Automation

In an ideal world, marketing automation would be a one-size-fits-all suite of software and strategy that allows you to hold your customers by the hand and sell to them without any manual input. You would just need to purchase a service and then reap the benefits of a delighted stream of customers. Your revenue would spike, and your return on investment would be like a magical golden egg.

But the reality is much different. If you asked three people what “marketing automation” meant, you’d likely receive three different answers. Part of the reason for this is due to the diversity of automation available, while the other part is due to misinformation spread by those who want to manipulate you for money. Allow me to explain.

One school of thought – the “take your money and run” school – views automation as a game, wherein you hand over the reins of your social media, website, email, and other digital assets for a fee. They take your money, score you a huge number of “leads” in just a few days, and claim they’ve done their job. If that sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is.

Although getting a whole bunch of followers and page visits to your website sounds nice, chances are you’re just being sold a bunch of web bots and dead leads that will never actually spend a dime in your business. You can’t just buy email addresses or social media followers. It doesn’t work, and it will waste your time and money.

That brings us to the second approach of marketing automation. This approach is a difficult – but ultimately very profitable – initiative that requires time, attention to detail, and a willingness to nurture your online brand. You’ll need to create a strategy, find tools to help you implement your tactics, and nurture your brand for years to come.

However, the tradeoff is that you’ll also be in a better situation when trying to find more customers and make more money in the years to come. This requires investing in tools like Hootsuite or AgoraPulse to manage and maintain your social media presence. It also means you should look closer at services like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign to make sure your emails are sent automatically when a potential customer takes an action.

Those ideas are just a taste of what you can do with true marketing automation. The key to remember is that you’re trying to build relationships, not just make more money. If you look deeper into marketing automation strategies and do it right, you’ll accomplish both of those.

Don’t look for a quick-fix at the end of your sales funnel. Spread automation throughout your digital marketing efforts, and take steps to refine your approach.

Analytics

Speaking of refining your approach, let’s talk about the second piece of martech that can make a splash in the laundry industry. You might hear the phrase “marketing analytics” and yawn – however, this definitely isn’t a topic on which you should hit snooze. Hear me out, and you’ll see why.

Since the creation of marketing, one of the most frustrating tasks has been attempting to measure return on investment, or ROI. In fact, Harvard Business Review published a study, in which 80 percent of the respondents felt dissatisfied with their ability to measure ROI for their marketing. That’s a whole lot of “we don’t know if we’re actually making money” out there.

Marketing analytics, as a discipline, is dedicated to measuring and analyzing a marketing effort to prove ROI. Understanding how to approach this will enable you to justify and improve your marketing campaigns in ways that ultimately grow your revenue.

If you dig into the details of analytics, the value quickly becomes obvious. If you’re doing something that costs more money than it makes for you, you should reevaluate it. You’ll also find that the companies measuring their ROI make more money than their competitors and are more efficient overall.

When it comes to marketing analytics, the advancements have been profound. There are tools that allow you to use heat maps, click maps, or actual visitor recordings to analyze and pick apart every aspect of your website to create a more pleasant user experience. When you have a better user experience, you win more leads and make more sales. And just to make things even better, those leads typically spend more in your business overall.

With the right analytics in your toolkit, you can create a product offering that’s virtually irresistible to the right audience. You can leverage customer surveys, capitalize on industry trends, and build a customer support reputation that your rivals will never match.

All it takes is a willingness to test, test, and test some more. If you chase the data, the data will make you money.

Abandonment

Last but not least, I want to talk a bit about a dark horse technology issue that’s likely losing you more money than you know.

A few years ago, I was helping a friend with his website. We noticed that, at a certain point in the signup process, the majority of his users were stopping. They would close the tab and never come back. They were abandoning the process altogether.

In that situation, the trend was concerning. Those users largely came through paid ads, which meant that almost all of the abandoned signups were costing him money. If the trend continued, there would be no justifying his continuing those efforts as a way of winning business.

Fortunately, we discovered that we still had the emails of every single user who has abandoned the signup process. Since the process asked for that information first, we were in luck. Instead of trying to shift strategies, we set up an automated campaign to help remind these people that they needed to sign up. While not all of them came back, a good many did. We were able to continue the campaign, which was ultimately profitable.

This type of abandonment is called “process abandonment,” and it’s one of many ways in which a potential customer can interact with your brand and then leave without a trace. But you can still put your brand back in front of them, if you have the right tools.

Process abandonment touches on some of the automation techniques we talked about earlier, but I want to highlight a different type of abandonment that you may have experienced.

If you’ve ever browsed a website, closed your tab, and then opened up your social media to notice an ad from that very brand, you’ve been the subject of a retargeting campaign. By using a piece of code (sometimes known as a pixel) on your website, that brand was able to drop a cookie into your browser. Later on, that cookie was able to tell an ad provider that you had been to their site and were a potential subject for the retargeting effort.

This type of approach is a virtual goldmine. Best estimates claim that only 2 percent of your website’s traffic will convert on the first visit. Retargeting allows you to put your brand back in front of the other 98 percent of those who showed interest but needed some time to think about it. Given enough time, your ads will bring them back and create more conversions in the long run.

Whatever retargeting effort you use, the result can mean more people are spending money on your business.

All in all, spending some time looking into the fascinating world of marketing technology can be daunting at first, but it’s a wise choice if you want to grow your business in the coming years. By focusing on automation techniques, strong analytics, and retargeting your abandoned visitors, you will begin to notice positive returns on your marketing like never before.
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