How Publishers Can Benefit from Marketing Automation
In recent years, marketing automation has become more widespread across the commercial sector, and publishing is no exception. It represents a natural progression from the growth in online business transactions and for many, a CRM (or Customer Relationship Management system) is becoming a key tool in their marketing strategy. Marketing automation is still a relatively new concept, but the benefits are such that its use is growing rapidly. It has numerous functions and attributes that can be enjoyed by companies working in the book industry.
What Does Marketing Automation Do?
Essentially, marketing automation allows a fairly small publishing business with limited manpower to operate the sort of professional and responsive marketing operations that are more commonly associated with the big five. After the initial outlay on software applications, the savings can be significant too. It cuts down on the amount of staff hours put into chasing leads and building the business.
A CRM is all about customer management – finding customers and potential customers, gauging their interest, and nurturing them over time. It also helps with customer segmentation – assessing who’s actually reading your books and determining whether your latest publication is appealing to who you thought it would or whether your customers are a completely different group altogether.
Efficiency is the key benefit of CRM systems. They allow you to automate jobs that are critical to your business but that take hours of time, so they can be completed quickly and accurately without human input.
A CRM allows a single staff member to manage multiple campaigns simultaneously, ensuring consistency throughout even when their hands are full elsewhere. And they make it easy to set up automated messages to be sent out at predetermined times through your company’s web and social media presence. Your message will stay the same across multiple channels, protecting the integrity of your brand and allowing customers to interact in the way that suits them best.
Because everything is being done electronically, your staff don’t have to waste time with manual data entry or laborious, repetitive tasks. That gives you more time to focus on the all-important face-to-face interactions that are crucial in a successful publishing business. After all, few sectors are as essentially human as books and publishing.
Critical sales campaigns can be composed beforehand and set to run at a later date. Think of the implications of this on your next book launch. Your broadcast campaigns can be running quietly in the background while you deal with the publicity events, book signings, and more personal aspects of the launch.
Identifying Your Customers
It’s not just broadcast advertising that can be automated, and you can still tailor your messages to groups or individual customers. Even better, you don’t have to go looking for them. A good CRM system will record who visits your website, who signs up for your newsletter, and who takes a visible interest in your business or product. This allows you to build up detailed customer profiles so you know who’s buying.
The feedback from these processes is important for identifying what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. As with any digital system, a CRM keeps track of everything it does, which means that there’s a wealth of data left behind. All of your campaigns can be analysed, with graphs and statistics available to help you to see exactly what’s happening and to use the information to optimise future campaigns.
Not so long ago, you would have been forced to employ a team of technical whiz kids to deal with data analysis. Luckily, that’s no longer the case. Modern technical solutions are designed to have intuitive interfaces for easy use by busy people.
Like a car, a marketing automation suite is a tool for you to use. You don’t need to know how it works to drive it safely and efficiently. Likewise, you don’t need a degree in computer analytics to use a CRM, and no coding experience is needed either. Just click the buttons you want and the system will do the rest. Good luck!