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The trinity of marketing automation: Data, content, media

This is a story for the intrepid marketer who is ready to discover new frontiers (marketing automation), but doesn't want to make the same missteps others have made before him.

Adventurous means something totally different to all of us. Where one prefers to be dropped in the middle of some hot and humid rain forest, with nothing but a machete and a string of rope, others might find venturing to the nearest convenience store already a daunting challenge…

This article is for those who, at the end of the day, prefer returning to a nice cabana, hammock and cocktail (home) instead of building their own shelter for the night in order to survive (troubleshooting).

Here’s a few tips about data, content and media that’ll guide you while exploring.

Data, content and media are the closed loop ingredients to any direct marketing campaign. Closed loop, because only when combined the three will provide optimum results.

So before you start automating, check your current assets for available data and content. You might find that a lot of work has been taken care of already.

Data

Data offer a gold mine to a marketer. Personal details are just a small fraction of all data you can use to be relevant and timely. In the connected world, there’s data everywhere: On your website, in the bricks and mortar store, on social media, review sites, etc.

Data can come from anywhere you have people interactions. Go beyond the obvious spreadsheet, and look for useful information in the place where actual interaction takes place. On your site this can be pages visited, time spent, clicks and orders. From a bricks and mortar place, like a shop, club or restaurant behavioral data can also come from visit frequency, activities and purchases.

By collecting this big amount of data, combining it into a single customer view and analyzing it, you will be able to apply business intelligence to your marketing campaigns later.

Content

Some marketers sound like a indigenous tribe member when writing articles, rhythmically ctrl-c-ing and ctrl-v-ing throughout the day. Ironically, these are also the guys and girls who don’t get to go home early. It is a bit silly to drag all that content around all the time, isn’t it? Welcome to the wonderful world of content distribution.

Once you’ve published content online, it begs to be re-used, as (part of) an emailing, a landing page or a third party site.

Techniques like HTML fetching, RSS and XML have been developed to make our lives easier when distributing content. Make use of that!

Content that can be re-used is not limited to text only, it can be images, video’s, audio, web forms and even complete HTML pages.

Media

Now you’re ready to start developing and optimizing relevant and timely campaigns. The great thing about any internet-based media, is that they provide instant results.

Facebook, Twitter, email marketing, websites, phone calls and bought products all provide valuable insights in individual behavior. From this media you’re able to track opens, clicks, visits and non-responders.

With this information you’re able to enrich profile data with fields of interest and lead scores.

Marketing automation

Once behavior is being tracked and stored, it’s time to start automating. For example by setting triggers to launch new campaigns based on specific events and behavior. Generating new data, allowing you to refine your campaigns.

Closing notes

The trinity of data, content and media has big advantages over the copy-paste strategy of old-school marketing.

Data, content and media in marketing campaigns

  • provide a closed marketing loop
  • leverage testing and optimization
  • allow to automate the individual customer journey
  • will, thus, provide better results

With the right software and the basics firmly in place, you’re ready to venture out into the marketing jungle. You can follow the well beaten tracks, but now you’re also equipped to divert and explore. Leave some bread crumbs to find your way back home safely and remember: a good guide can make the experience more memorable.