Now that marketing doesn’t happen up close, it has to get personal…

Written by Kelly Cummins
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Who remembers buying a car in the 1990s? That journey started with a purchase of Auto-Trader or another car magazine from the newsagent, followed by lots of trips to dealerships to eye up potential motors, talk to the salespeople, and test-drive the shortlist.

Fast forward to 2021, and the road to buying a car looks very different…

The customer journey probably starts with an online search, takes a spin through some expert ratings and customer reviews, stops off at various websites to find out more about features and styles, then emails some dealers for a price comparison – all before even setting foot in the showroom or on the lot.

Some people might not even visit a dealership at all. They’ll simply research and compare cars online before clicking ‘buy now’; their new vehicle delivered to their driveway the next day.

The wheels of change are turning

As a marketing agency in Hampshire, we’re always following the shift in how people buy goods. The rise in online purchasing is forcing a major gear change in marketing communications and sales techniques – and it’s here to stay.

Yes, face-to-face sales haven’t been happening so easily over the last year because of lockdown restrictions and social distancing rules – but the way consumers buy products and services was evolving way before that. The circumstances of the pandemic have simply reinforced changing behaviours and given them greater momentum.

The switch from a generic seller-controlled process to a buyer-powered, self-guided tour

 Let’s separate the sales process into 3 simple phases:

  • awareness

  • consideration

  • decision

Historically, the majority of the buyer’s journey has been controlled by the seller. About 85% of the sales effort used to be focused on contact that happened in those primary awareness and consideration phases.

Rich, personal, face-to-face conversations took place. The customer could explore options and ask questions. The seller qualified the buyer and tailored offers to them. There was plenty of human interaction.

In 2021, customers manage 85% of their own journey without talking to a human

These days, customers experience and navigate those early awareness and consideration phases alone. What that means is that 85% of your effort as a seller needs to be focused on supporting them in those stages – virtually, from afar.

Chances are, you’re already investing in digital marketing to cultivate a better virtual relationship with your target audience. Your activities probably span various channels, from email marketing to social media, to blogging, and much more.

All this might involve a dizzying number of digital platforms, each with their own contracts, fees, updates, maintenance, training, analytics and compliance requirements. Managing these channels and platforms costs money, time and resource – but are they really and truly allowing you to recreate that personal connection? Or is it time for a rethink?

Stop running campaigns, start having conversations

This different era we’re living in requires a different approach. Consolidating many of your customer engagement channels within one sales and marketing automation platform not only streamlines your activity, but it also allows you to personalise communications with razor-sharp precision.

Time to get personal, hyper-personal

The hyper-personalised functionality of a sales and marketing automation platform supersedes mass marketing, segment marketing and relationship marketing to valuable effect. It will allow your brand to re-discover the engagement and meaningful connection that might have become lost in a sea of disparate digital and virtual systems.

With investment in the right automation, you can:

  • engage customers through their entire lifecycle – in real time – from generating the lead to closing the sale

  • replace static one-way websites with two-way adaptive websites based on needs

  • swap generic emails blasts with highly personalised and relevant email content

  • gather information and insight to qualify leads based on online behaviour, so you know where to focus your sales energy

  • abandon old-fashioned ‘one size fits all’ tactics with custom-built campaigns that will nurture leads and boost conversion

From a practical point of view, there is a single contract, one easy-to-learn platform, processes are connected and seamless, data and analytics are unified, compliance is simplified, and you’ll get comprehensive support form one source.

Personalised marketing automation works

Here at Brevity Marketing, we love using SharpSpring. It gives us powerful, easy-to-use tools that enable our clients to drive more leads, convert more leads to sales, and optimise their entire funnel within one solution.

Dynamic features integrate with email, landing pages, social media, blogging and offer deeply insightful reporting. But don’t just take our word for it, let’s conclude with letting the stats do the talking…

  • personalised web content boosts conversion rates by 219%

  • 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates for personalised email content vs. non-personalised email content

  • 360% higher conversions with personalised than generic emails

Don’t take this personally but is it time to re-vamp your sales and marketing approach with some smarter automation? Let’s get closer to your buyers, drive leads, convert opportunities into sales, and create a more dynamic and responsive customer journey. Call us on 01256 536 000 or email