Robots to the rescue – using automation to generate higher ROI in marketing


The lure of automation has always lain in its promise to drastically slash costs and provide a high return on investment without compromising on quality of output.

Most businesses now are aware of the existence and benefits of marketing automation systems. However many are at a loss when it comes to zeroing in on the right product for their businesses. While high end offerings available in the market may not fit into their budget, others may be unsuitable or appear too complicated to be run by a non technically qualified person.

Luckily, not every business needs a high end expensive marketing automation product. Nor does every solution need a technically qualified person to run it. For small and medium businessness in particular, all that is required to boost their performance is a simple, easy to use platform that provides accurate results.

An effective lead generation platform can provide SMBs the advantage they seek. An automated lead generation solution can be programmed to take over routine, repetitive tasks. With clearly defined work flows and scheduled tasks executed by robots, it successful eliminates incidents of omissions or errors, resulting in high quality leads.

Automation also yeilds cost savings through better utilization of human resources.Robots can take over mundane, repetitive tasks, and free up the human resources engaged in these tasks. Redeployment of these resources in other more creative or strategic areas leads to better utilization of the talent pool. Using robots is advantageous also because a single robot deployed can take over the workload of several persons, work continuously and uninterupted for long hours, and not fall victim to boredom because of a monotonous job!

Automated marketing solutions such as robot driven lead generation platforms thus offer businesses an effective tool to improve their sales pipeline. Such solutions offer higher ROI through gains arising on two fronts – one, better human resource utilization and two, better quality leads from improved work process. SMBs in particular, definitely stand to gain significantly by investing in a lead generation platform.

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Calling a robot, a robot


Have you ever received a sales call from a telemarketer who sounded a little too perfect to be a human? Have you felt the unease, discomfort or sensed the distrust, talking to a voice pretending to be a real person when you know it is not? And then you moved on to speak to a robotic IVR voice on a call to your bank and felt perfectly comfortable as it helped you navigate through a series of checks on personal information before revealing your account details?

What about all those emails of newsletters,offers etc in your box, pretending to be from a William, Susan, Sushma or Raj when it was quite obviously sent by a robot… ? Haven’t you felt exasperated by all the show and the pretense and felt like saying,”Oh please, enough of the pretense, I know this is an automated message and I really don’t care if it is, as long as you give me the information I need!”

A company that openly reveals the use of robots to respond to messages,on the other hand, conveys transparency in its operations and generates trust. After all you do receive automated bank statements -with significantly more confidential data– from robots and the fact that these are also sent from auto responders definitely doesn’t bother you.

Yet, marketers continue to send automated mailers sent from obviously fake names.So why do marketers continue to send mails from proxy ids pretending to be people while constantly denying the use of robots? It isn’t as if the use of autoresponders is illegal!

The set idea that messages or interactions with prospects must originate from a real person to establish authenticity and to guarantee an ‘open’ is responsible for this thinking; the logic being that the use of actual people to write or respond to messages would create a better connect by leveraging the natural human instinct of empathy and intelligence.However, when providing facts, data or content to a new contact how relevant is a human connect? If the information provided is personalized and accurate,who delivers it becomes redundant.And what real value will having a personal id as the sender, add to the messages? We know we don’t need a human to send us a message on our utility or credit card outstanding to establish its authenticity or credentials.All we need is the information-on time and accurate.

The focus of a marketer’s efforts should ideally be not to just push a product or service but to fill a customer need. If an automated software can help a customer with a requirement, connect with a provider that offers a solution, there seems no valid reason to credit a human for the results when it has actually been arrived at with an algorithm. Sending the results from a robot’s id is not likely to devalue the results.In fact a robot generated result can be more accurate based on its ability to sift through copious amounts of data and check with multiple data points.

Email messages that reveal their robot source outright, convey honesty and transparency. It provides an insight into the company’s commitment to openness and earnestness in finding and providing the right solution to the lead to ensure customer delight.The honest approach sets the client customer relationship on the right foot from the beginning.For example,a lead generation platform using automation to send standard emails from a registered bot from address enhances the image of the solution in terms of its transparency – for both, the campaign launching company and the prospect.

In this light, it’s time marketers stopped pretending, and come clean.Let’s call a spade, a spade and a robot,a robot.Shall we?

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Automation of lead generation process – the way forward

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For SMBs, lead generation is a constant challenge.Traditional methods involve substantial human efforts in identifying contacts, sending out emails, tracking responses, executing timely follow up and monitoring the complete process. In addition to being prone to human error, this approach is also cost and time consuming with the quality and quantity of leads generated being far from satisfactory.

So what is the solution? What alternatives do SMBs have to help them streamline the lead generation process and to quickly and acccurately identify the hot leads ? How can SMBs zero in on genuine leads ?How can they optimize the ROI on lead generation activities?

Marketing automation offers a solution. A well designed and robust lead generation marketing automation tool can carry out all these tasks and more, even while effecting dramatic cost and time savings. It can overcome the numerous hurdles SMBs face, and carry out effective lead generation activities with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Cost savings.An ideal automated lead generation tool has much to offer: a prime advantage being cost savings, a very attractive and exciting proposition for SMBs grappling with budgetary constraints.With manual tasks involving repetitive actions, being replaced by automated processes and virtual managers, businesses stand to gain from significant reduction in head count requirements.

Optimized use of human resources. Adopting automation releases human resources from being involved in repetitive, low value add activities. Instead they can be assigned to more productive and high end activities thereby optimising human resources utilisation. The existing staff can move up the value chain, contributing to personal and organizational growth.

Heightened accuracy.With the elimination of unnecessary manual intervention, the probability of human error diminishes significantly resulting in more accurate outcomes.Higher accuracy levels ensures that generated leads are of better quality and guarantee greater traction through the sales funnel.

 Lead scoring. Lead management platforms can be leveraged to extract important data and gain deeper insights into the process.For instance, leads segmented according to their sales-readiness quotient allows managers to score the leads obtained and prioritize their sales efforts. With focused action and targeted sales, businesses are better placed to achieve higher conversion rates.

Ease of use.While many businesses may be apprehensive of automated campaigns fearing the technicalities invoved, a truly well designed automated marketing solution is ideally designed for use by non technically qualified users also.

With automated lead generation platforms offering this slew of advantages, it comes as no surprise that increasing numbers of businesses are turning to it to transform their business. Do you think it could work for you too?

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